It was Saturday November 20, 2010 when Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez and Paul “The Punisher” Williams met in a rematch for Martinez’s Middleweight crown. Only one would live up to his nickname as “Maravilla”, which means Marvel, marveled every fight fan with a punishing knockout win over Williams. What was hyped as a possible “Fight of the year”, was changed to “Knockout of the year”, as he delivered an explosive left hook to Williams chin, dropping him to the canvas. Williams was looking to land a hook of his own but wasn’t fast enough. He ran right into the punch and that was the end of it. Fight over!
No one expected Martinez to KO Williams, let alone in that fashion. Williams simply didn’t see the punch coming, which made it more devastating. He was out before he hit the canvas. Referee Earl Morton could have counted to 100 and Williams would have been out. How nasty was that punch? The five thousand plus fans in Atlantic City were so stunned at what took place, you could almost hear a pin drop. Why wouldn’t they be? Just 11 months ago, the two fought an epic 12 round battle in which both fighters would go down in the first round. Williams would edge Martinez by majority decision.
After their first bout, a rematch seemed unlikely as the two went in different directions. Martinez would overcome an early knock down to Kelly Pavlik and dominate him to take his WBC and WBO crown. Williams would win a wild split technical decision over Kermit Cintron. During the fourth round , Cintron accidentally fell out of the ring and injured his head. Williams was ahead on two the judges’ scorecards.
Both fighters’ futures are up in the air as Williams will need to reconsider whether he should stay in the Middleweight division while recovering from this devastating loss. If the first fight didn’t wear down Williams, this one will definitely put mileage on his career. The Martinez camp on the other hand has to feel ecstatic and they will try to land a big fight with a Manny Pacquiao or a Floyd Mayweather. This may prove to be a tough task due to the collision course that has yet to be made between Pacquiao and Mayweather. Age is also a factor in landing a big money fight, as the 35-year-old Martinez is reaching the twilight of his professional career. Maybe there will be a Martinez vs Williams 3 bout in the near future. If I were Williams, I’d take a pass!
By Keith Madyun