Sergio Martinez: No. 2 Pound-for-Pound Ranking Up for Debate

Troy SparksColumnistApril 10, 2011

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - NOVEMBER 20:  Sergio Martinez celebrates after knocking out Paul Williams in the second round of their Middleweight Championship fight on November 20, 2010 at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

ESPN thought so highly of Sergio Martinez that they ranked him as the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter behind Manny Pacquiao and ahead of idle boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.  I will stick with Ring Magazine ranking Mayweather behind Pacquiao instead.

You can compare Martinez' career with Mayweather, and it's like night and day.  So what if Martinez had the knockout of the year last year over Paul Williams?  I think he got lucky.

The fight Martinez had against Sergiy Dzinzuruk was impressive.  In his career, his quality of opponents doesn't compare to who Mayweather fought.

We can go back and forth about one fighter being a welterweight and the other a middleweight.  In the end, quality will win over quantity.

With the exception of Kelly Pavlik and Williams, who did Martinez fight?  Mayweather took on Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Zab Judah, Juan Manuel Marquez and Arturo Gatti and beat them all. 

If Martinez and Mayweather got in the ring right now, Martinez couldn't hold a candle over the undefeated boxer.  The No. 2 ranking ESPN gave him was unfair, even though Mayweather hasn't announced his intentions to fight.

In the last 10 fights that Martinez had, he won eight of them with a loss and a draw.  Mayweather, well, I don't have to tell you what the record in his last 10 fights was.

Both fighters have three TKO's each in their last 10.  Half of those 10 fights resulted in an unanamous decision for Mayweather. I guess he was playing it safe while going the distance. 

All three judges gave Martinez the vote in two of the last 10 fights.  Mayweather had one split decision to none for Martinez.  The two majority decisions from the judges in two of Martinez' contests resulted in a draw and a loss.

The referee stopped two of Martinez' fights while one of Mayweather's fights was stopped by the referee.  However, Martinez scored a knockout over his last 10 fights.  Mayweather didn't KO any of his fighters in the last two years.

Mayweather would be in control in determining a catchweight that Martinez will have to meet if he wants to cash in.  In theory, Martinez has hand speed, but it doesn't compare to Mayweather's hand speed and quickness.  Mayweather knows how to win.  He isn't undefeated for nothing.

I think it would be a good fight for both of them.  Pacquiao will wait for the winner of that fight, unless he hangs up his gloves for good.