It’s not often that a two-fight sequence gives you a Fight of the Year contender followed by a KO of the Year in the rematch, but that’s what happened when Argentina’s Sergio Martinez took on the tall, high-volume Paul Williams for the WBC middleweight title.
In their first matchup in December 2009, Williams dropped Martinez in what was mostly a balance issue for the first knockdown. Later in the opening round, Martinez sent Williams to the canvas. That set the tone for an exciting 12-round thriller, with Williams winning a majority decision and getting the benefit of a ludicrous 119-110 scorecard.
After Williams beat Kermit Cintron by technical decision after Cintron fell out of the ring, while Martinez got the better of former world champ Kelly Pavlik, the rematch was set for November 20th, 2010 in Atlantic City. HBO billed this as a potential Fight of the Year candidate, but what we got was something totally unexpected.
Neither one of these two has ever been known for devastating one-shot power, but they both exhibited excellent chins. In round two, Williams threw his southpaw left hand, but Martinez had a better one coming straight for his chin. Williams collapsed and everyone who watched this can remember the zoom-in on his thousand-mile stare. He was out cold and Martinez got his revenge plus defended his title.
Watch the video at the top of the page.
Martinez (52-3-2, 29 KOs) recently came out of retirement and stopped Jose Miguel Fandiño in August. He’s scheduled to face Jussi Koivula on December 5th. Williams (41-2, 27 KOs) fought twice more and won both times, although the win over Erislandy Lara was a clear as day robbery. Sadly his career ended in 2012 after a motorcycle accident launched him 60 feet and paralyzed him from the waist down. When interviewed by Jim Gray, Williams said of his paralysis, “I’m in a wheelchair because I got tired of walking.”
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