And we move forward to this weekend.
As a boxing fan, it’s hard not to get excited when Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez takes to the ring. With his movie-star good looks and superb skill, “Marvelous” Martinez has easily claimed the role of boxing's biggest star not named Pacquaio or Mayweather.
This weekend, Martinez squares off against little-known Englishman Darren Barker. While Barker sits at an undefeated 23-0, it’s hard to imagine that he stands much of a chance in the ring against Maravilla. Look for Martinez to end this fight with a stoppage and move on to a possible fight with Miguel Cotto or Pac/Mayweather. (MARTINEZ KO)
The real DRAMA of this weekend’s card comes in the form of a rematch between Bryan Vera and Irishman Andy Lee. In 2008, Lee suffered his first defeat by TKO to former “The Contender” star Bryan Vera. At the time, Andy Lee was considered to be one of boxing’s up-and-coming stars.
Under the tutelage of famous trainer Emmanuel Steward, Lee was using his long 6'2'' frame to move up the ranks of the middleweight division.
In his highly anticipated ESPN debut against Vera, Lee seemed to be living up to expectations as he clearly controlled the fight. Vera, however, came on strong in the seventh round and caused the referee to step in and stop the fight in an effort to save the visibly battered Lee from receiving any more damage.
Although this loss halted Lee’s progression, the Irishman is 11-0 since the TKO.
Look for Lee to rectify his sole loss this weekend by unanimous decision over the Mexican-American Bryan Vera (19-5). Due to the lack of talent in the middleweight division, an impressive performance by Lee may be enough to earn him a shot at division king Martinez. (LEE UD)
This weekend’s card will also host middleweight J’Leon Love out of Emanuel Steward’sKronk gym. J’Leon is 8-0 and is fighting Eddie Hunter (4-2). J’Leon had a very impressive amateur career and is looking to do big things as a part of the Lou DiBella team. He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on in the division.
THE FIGHT TAKES PLACE IN ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY AND CAN BE SEEN ON HBO AT 10PM (EST).