What next for Martinez and Barker?

By James Slater: Hats off to Sergio Martinez and Darren Barker for giving us a fine middleweight title fight last night. Martinez retained his position as the world's premiere 160-pounder,while Barker earned respect in proving he is nobody's 26-1 underdog.

Martinez did look pretty ordinary until he closed the show in the 11th, however. The question now is what next for both men?

Barker can certainly come again and he may be a world champ of the future (I'd sure give him a great shot vs. Felix Sturm) - while Martinez will likely continue to hope for a mega-fight with either Pacquiao or Mayweather. But will the fans now feel "MARAVILLA" has the beating of either of his P4P rivals ?

The 36 year old looked labored at times last night, how would he cope with the speed of Manny or Floyd? I certainly think Martinez should forget all about draining himself down to 150 for a fight with either star.

Besides, there are enough good, solid fights that can be made for Martinez at middleweight. Martinez, in my opinion, should focus on cementing his greatness by cleaning up his natural weight class - not by risking his health by killing himself to make 150-pounds in order to face a natural welterweight in "Pac-man" or "Money."

What do you guys think? Wouldn't fights like Martinez vs. Sturm, Pirog, Macklin, Lee, Chavez and maybe Alvarez be more than enough to keep the number-one middleweight busy?

Article posted on 02.10.2011

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