Is Sergio Martinez lacking that key to success?

boxingby Paul Strauss: Itís a hard argument to make. First of all, most of the credible boxing people rank him number three or four on the P4P list. He is recognized as the true lineal middle weight champion. Doesnít that mean he is a success? Well, as they say, everything is relative, and in his case what has been withheld from him is the big money fights, and the chance to be part of the big show. Why? Is it something he has done or not done that has kept him just short of being a mega star? Is he flawed or somehow unworthy?

Take a moment and have a little fun creating an ideal prize fighter. Now, you shouldnít limit him to just your own likes. Expand things and create someone who you know will reflect the proper image and have wide ranging appeal. A comic book hero if you like. Remember, weíre talking ideal now. Try this on for size. This person should be handsome, yet rugged, someone who will appeal to female enthusiasts. He should be David like in build and athletic ability. He should have incredible boxing skills, both offensively and defensively, as well as being very tough. He should be very fast, yet graceful and fluid. He should be intelligent and well spoken. He should also conduct himself with proper deportment, and avoid any hint of scandal. He should be willing to fight all comers. He should be gracious in victory and never complain when misfortune might occur..

Do you know anybody like that? Some of our most recent mega stars of the ring include names like Manny Pacquaio, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones, Jr., Mike Tyson, and Sugar Ray Leonard. Do their attributes match up with our ideal? Not really. Theyíre all flawed, but in each case they were so strong in some areas that they overcame weaknesses in other areas. And, the key is they had help. The best example is Tyson. Everyone knows about his fall from the championship throne. But, when he was in his prime, coming up the ladder, he was one of the most exciting fighters of all time because of his tremendous knockout power. . People knew he was going to destroy his opponents, but they still wanted to see it happened. It was like a perverted attraction to see an accident.

All those named made it to the big show multiple times, and actually increased the size of the stage. But, they all had flaws, and thatís okay. Sometimes we like our heroís flawed. For example, consider Dempseyís popularity vs that of Gene Tunney. All those named were not the ideal either, but still enjoyed having huge followings. The key is they had outside help. They were media favorites. Marvin Hagler can tell you about not having it. He banged away in relative obscurity for a long time before the then Speaker of the House Tip OíNeill helped him get his title shot. Without that help, he may never have got his shot. All fighters need help.

Sergio is as close to our ideal fighter as anyone out there. Understandably, he has a desire to get one or more of the big names into the ring, but so far has been unsuccessful. So far, he hasnít had much help from outside his own circles in doing so. Why?
Isnít he deserving of such a fight? Say with Julio Cesar Chavez, or Felix Sturm, or Floyd Mayweather, Jr. We can understand why a particular fighter or his manager might not want him to jump into the ring with someone who has Sergioís skill sets and difficult style. But, if the fighter is one of the best P4P fighters, and the recognized lineal champion of his division, why isnít the boxing media pushing for and demanding the fight or fights be made?
Sergio has handled himself in exemplary fashion both in and out of the ring. Important to some and unimportant to others, he doesnít engage in trash talking, and as far as the public knows, he has avoided any problems outside of the ring. In fact, the opposite is true. He has taken steps to get himself involved in some very worthwhile causes.

It makes you wonder if the boxing media and cable networks truly are concerned with the welfare of the sport? It canít be that theyíre worried about Sergio failing to make weight, or come up lame with some questionable injury? Sergio is always in great shape. Thereís no danger of him tiring in the championship rounds. Just as our ideal fighter is, Sergio too is handsome, charismatic and articulate, which compliment his superior ring skills very nicely.

How then is it he hasnít got his just desserts? You have to admit, he sounds almost too good to be true. As our demonstration suggests, you canít conjure up a better ideal to promote and publicize in the sport. Promoters, the media and the cable networks should be drooling over such a fighter, such a superior individual. But, they are not?

Certainly people in the media and specifically the cable television networks are entitled to their opinions, and obviously have their favorites under contract. But, they also have an obligation to assist in trying to make the best fights, involving the most deserving fighters. Sergio qualifies as one of those fighters. He keeps winning and knocking people out, while coming away unscathed. But, still itís not good enough. The hyperbole and forgiveness given to some fighters has not been extended to Sergio, not that he needs the latter. Frankly, it would appear the time has come for that to change. The media types in control should set aside their personal prejudices and selfish interests. They need to do whatís right for a deserving fighter and for the good of the sport. Gentlemen, that means being proactive!

Article posted on 19.03.2012

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