As glorious a sport as boxing is, one of the more unsavory (and unfortunately, ubiquitous) occurrences is the immediate creation of excuses by a vanquished competitor. Most unsettling is the fact that the canned explanation often comes on the heels of the even more pervasive pre-fight declaration: "This was the best training camp I've ever had and I'm in the best shape of my life!"
Such bravado evaporates quicker than morning dew in Miami once the defeated pugilist begins the post-fight interview, a litany of pre-fight issues suddenly remembered in startling detail, from training injuries to poor refereeing to dirty tactics by the victor. None of these excuses, however, were uttered by Sergio Martinez after the shellacking he received on Saturday night.
Instead, Martinez simply accepted his defeat like a man. Though he didn't attend the post-fight press conference (instead going to the hospital for a precautionary examination), his promoter, Lou DiBella, had this to say: "He said that the first punch that knocked him down, he never recovered from the punch. He had no excuses. Not a knee, not a bad hand. Nothing other than he got caught and didn't recover."
In defeat, Martinez defined what type of champion he was. Boxing, a sport beloved for both its brutality and its grace (which co-exist with decreasing frequency these days), Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez is a shining example of both—a man who can not only dish it, but can also take it. Regardless of whether Saturday was his swan song or not, props are well-deserved. Salud, Champ.
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