Sergio Martinez wasn’t as impressive as some expected against Matthew Macklin on March 17, but he turned it up a notch in the eighth round, picking up the pace and stopping the Irishman in the 11th round.
“It wasn’t difficult, it was a complicated fight,” Martinez said via his translator after the fight. “He’s a tough fighter. He didn’t come out and attack like I expected, and he wasn’t that open on his defense. … I knew it was a matter of time; it’s like cutting a tree. Little by little, but before the last bell, he was gonna fall.”
Martinez displayed his punching power in the 11th round, sending Macklin to the canvas twice. The Irishman’s corner decided to stop the fight prior to the 12th round, giving Martinez the RTD victory.
Macklin told Larry Merchant he could have continued to fight, but I thought his corner did the right thing, considering the amount of punishment he took in the 11th round. With the two knockdowns in the 11th round, Martinez sealed the deal on the scorecards, and there was simply no reason for Macklin to continue taking punishment.
Even though Macklin was the underdog going into the fight, he showed a lot of heart against Martinez, scoring a knockdown in the seventh round and hanging in there until the final rounds.
“I talked about going to war all week,” Macklin told Merchant after the fight. “I tried to feint, move my head, box, take him out of his rhythm. Upset him a little bit and ease my way into the fight … a couple of the rounds were close, but I felt like I was dictating things in there. I was the one who was sticking to the game plan and taking him out of his. … The better man won tonight. I thought it was a close fight up until the last few rounds when he pulled away.”