Sometimes, you can win and still disappoint.
Sergio Martinez has been on an absolute tear for the last couple of years, wrecking everything in front of him in the middleweight division. He was coming off a masterpiece win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., where he dominated his younger foe and held on in the 12th after being badly hurt to pull out the win.
It's probably not fair to expect a home run every time he fights. But when Martinez walked into the ring in front of tens of thousands of his screaming countrymen, he certainly envisioned something better than squeaking out a decision victory in a life and death fight.
Perhaps it was that his injuries hadn't quite healed. Maybe it had to do with the fact that he's a 38-year-old fighter who relies on freakish agility and lateral movement to win fights. Whatever the reason, Martinez was not the same fighter against Martin Murray that we've come to expect.
You could feel the tension in the crowd as the rounds wore on and Martinez had yet to assert himself in the fight, culminating when he was dropped by a one-two from Murray in the 8th round. He was able to bear down with a champion's grit in the championship rounds to win the fight, but he left the ring with more questions than answers.
Has Martinez started the inevitable decline to mortality, or was he simply a wounded fighter with too much pride to call the fight off? Unfortunately, we likely won't find out until next year.