Interesting night as I sat in a local coffee shop live streaming the fight between Darren Barker and Sergio Martinez. More interesting was listening to the commentators, who were pro Barker and called the fight as if Barker was on his way to victory. This may have appeared to been the case until the second half of the fight. As promised by Maravilla, he settled into the fight, wore out his opponent, picked his combinations wisely (both to the head and eventually to the body), and finished off the fight in style with a knockout in the 11th. Barker fought a conservative fight consisting of a stiff defense, not allowing Martinez to directly connect punches to Barker’s head. Nonetheless, over the course of the fight, Barker felt the inevitable power of Martinez’s right hand and went down with a hard right shot to his left temple.
Now the question stands: Who is left in the middleweight division to fight Sergio Martinez? Larry Merchant raised the obvious questions about the possibilities of fights with Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. He also brought up Bernard Hopkins, who has recently stated that if he beats Dawson, he would be open to fighting Sergio Martinez. That fight however, is one that Sergio Martinez knows he will not take given the fact that he walked into the ring tonight at 165! There is also talk of a rematch with Antonio Margarito, but first Margarito needs to get through Miguel Cotto in December.
So that leaves me with the same question: Who is left for Maravilla to fight? Well, one that comes to mind is none other than Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Reason being is that Chavez currently holds the WBC belt in the middleweight division, a belt that originally belonged to Sergio Martinez. The WBC Middleweight belt was taken away from Sergio after he signed to a rematch with Paul Williams. WBC then decided to make their Middleweight belt available for the winner between Chavez and Sebastian Zbik, a fight which many said could have gone to either fighter. At the end of the day, the WBC Middleweight belt that Sergio never lost, ended up in the hands of Chavez. For a fight between Martinez and Chavez to happen, the political world of boxing needs to sit down at the table and realize that this fight is a win win situation for promoters, boxing commission, and of course the fans. The reality is that Sergio is not getting any younger and he still needs that big fight that he has earned based on his victories over Paul Williams and Kelly Pavlik. At least Sergio’s promoter, Lou Dibella, has agreed to co-promot his fighter with Top Rank. Let’s hope this collaboration leads to the fight that Sergio has earned.