Boxing

Sergio Martinez scores beautiful 1 punch KO of Paul Williams

By Paul Strauss: Sergio Gabriel "Maravilla" Martinez made a believer out of any doubters tonight at the Boardwalk Hall Arena in Atlantic City, NJ. Sergio had been telling anyone who would listen that he deserved the decision on 12-05-09, when instead he suffered a majority decision loss to Paul "The Punisher" Williams. But, it was such a great fight, and so close that no one could have been too upset either way.

Most fans expected a repeat of that give and take, go the distance type battle. After all, neither man is noted as a knockout puncher, and both have exhibited the ability to take a good shot. After watching the first round, it looked like fans might be in store for another tough close fight that would go the distance. The round wasn't as exciting as the first round of the first fight when they exchanged knockdowns, but there was plenty of action.

Even though Martinez repeatedly said in pre-fight build up that he was going to knockout Williams, it seemed doubtful. Emanuel Steward quoted Sergio as saying that he planned to be the aggressor, and to get inside of Williams' long arms, and get to him while in close. However, in the first round, Williams was his usual aggressive self, and was firing numerous shots from a distance. When Sergio tried to move in close, Paul would put his gloves and arms on the back of Sergio's head and shoulders and push down. That maneuver prevented Sergio from doing much; although, he did land a few good glancing combinations. It was a close round, but Williams probably did more.

When he got back to his corner, he was told that he needed to catch Sergio with an uppercut, because Sergio was bending in so much. The second round opened with Paul, as usual, applying the pressure. He was moving forward, trying to drive Sergio backwards. The brutal end came when Paul reached out with his right. It seemed to be more of a range finder than a punch. His left was cocked and ready to fire.

Simultaneously Sergio leaned to his right. Paul's vision and left glove seemed to track with the movement of Sergio's head.. However, Paul didn't pick up the somewhat looping left hand of Sergio's, which was already on its way.. Unfortunately for Paul, the punch landed flush on his jaw just as he was about to start his own left. The collision was tremendous. The light switch went to the "off position", and Paul went as limp as Ricky Hatton did when KO'd by Manny.

There was no question in anyone's mind that he was not going to get up. Everyone but Paul was standing. They were in disbelief as to what they had just witnessed. Announcer Bob Papa said it best when he explained that fans looked forward to another possible fight of the year candidate, and Instead they saw the "punch of the year"!

In the post fight interview, Sergio said he had specifically trained to take advantage of Williams' mistakes. Max Kellerman asked him to elaborate a little, and through a translator, Sergio essentially said that Williams often times leaves himself wide open, and he planned to take advantage of it. His plan worked beautifully. Sergio made a point of pausing the interview long enough to give Paul Williams hug, and tap him on the chest, signifying that Paul has a big heart.

When Max pressed Sergio about his future plans, Sergio said he will take some time off, and then consider any offers. When Max talked about possibly fighting Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao at a catch weight, Sergio said he would certainly consider either of those opponents, but would first have to see the terms of the offer(s).

Max also briefly spoke with Paul Williams, who explained that after the first round, he was satisfied with the way things were going. He told Max that he thought he was controlling the action and felt good. As far as what happened, he gave the only explanation possible, which was to say he got caught with a good shot that he didn't see. It was just one of those things.

But, what a "THING" it was to see!. It was one of those punches that sends out that unmistakable audible sound that signifies the fight is over. To reinforce what you already knew, the recipient's body goes limp, and in this case falls forward flat on his face. It couldn't have been more dramatic.

Article posted on 21.11.2010



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