Sergio Martinez still remains at the top of the middleweight rankings with The Ring and on Boxrec.com. But the 38-year-old Martinez has required knee surgery following each of his last two bouts, an ominous sign for a fighter who relies on speed and athleticism to the degree that Martinez does.
Against Martin Murray last April, he was very lucky to escape with a narrow decision. He was knocked down in Round 8. The referee ruled a slip when he hit the canvas in Round 10, but, in my opinion, that should have been a knockdown, too.
I'm not prepared to say that a fighter as great as Martinez doesn't have one or two more big nights left in him. But he is clearly not the future of the division.
Other rising stars are prepared to fill the void he will leave.
The middleweight division has always been one of the most exciting in the sport. From Bob Fitzsimmons to Harry Greb and from Sugar Ray Robinson to Bernard Hopkins, the 160-pound class has featured a high percentage of the sport's all-time greats.
The names on this list will be involved in some of the biggest fights in boxing during the coming years.