Today, Saturday April 27, Bloody Elbow presents live fight coverage of HBO World Championship Boxing featuring Sergio Martinez vs. Martin Murray in a title fight live from Argentina. HBO Boxing Martinez vs. Murray airs this Saturday, April 27 with a fight time of 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT. Bloody Elbow will have live fight night coverage, including results and discussion.
The set-up for this fight has made the intended outcome very clear. It's Sergio Martinez, a top ranked fighter taking on a relative unknown in Murray. It's in front of a massive crowd in Martinez's home country of Argentina. It's the first time Martinez has fought there in nearly a decade. When you put it all together, you get a fight that was not put together to be a highly competitive, toss up of a battle. No - this is about one of our modern day legends being honored. It's about the spectacle of Sergio Martinez winning in front of his fans.
But whenever a fight is so clearly set up for one man to win, there's an obvious question that has to be asked:
What if Sergio Martinez loses?
HBO is trying to sell that this is a possibility, and who can blame them? They are, after all, in the business of drumming up interest and hype. They describe Murray as someone who "poses a very real threat" to Martinez, going on to explain just how he can win. It feels somewhat like promotional bluster created to hype up a mismatch, but there are some salient points that have to be considered. Namely:
1. This is Martinez's first fight since knee surgery last year. Martinez is a very active fighter who uses a lot of movement. If that movement is impaired by the surgery, will he still be as effective?
2. Martinez is 38 years old. Boxers like Bernard Hopkins have shown that there is life after 40 in boxing, but Hopkins remains the exception. Martinez spent a large portion of his career toiling away in relative obscurity, so it's easy to forget that he is likely already winding down that career - there's talk of him being in the low single digits in terms of fights standing between him and retirement. Will that advanced age catch up with him here?
3. He has taken some serious damage in his last few fights. Of course he has - this is why we love him. The Chavez fight is the prime example, but in nearly every one of his fights for the past 4 years, Martinez has found himself in serious trouble. He always comes back, always finds a way to survive and get the win, making his fights dramatic and thrilling. But at some point, the damage adds up and the comebacks get harder. MMA fans may be reminded of Minotauro Nogueira, who for years was renowned for his ability to survive any attack... until one day when he just couldn't anymore. Is that day today?
4. Murray almost certainly will brawl. He'll make this a dogfight, which is a style of fight Martinez is fine with. But again, if Martinez sees his movement hampered, his reflexes slower, and his chin less resilient, a dog fight is not the way to survive. Part of why Bernard Hopkins has defied his age is because he refuses to fight a young man's fight. But that's the only way Sergio Martinez knows how to do it, and Martin Murray will be happy to oblige.
So is HBO just selling us on a mismatch? Probably. Probably we'll see the outcome we expect - Martinez surviving a few scares before coming back to KO Murray late. But I can't help shaking the feeling that at some point, that late fight comeback won't be there, and instead, Martinez will find himself not merely pushed, but toppled. In the end, I don't think tonight will be that night. But it's coming. And that only adds to the drama of what should already be an intense evening.
Prediction: Sergio Martinez by KO in 10
Join us here at Bloody Elbow for HBO World Championship Boxing Martinez vs. Murray results, discussion, and live fight coverage this Saturday, April 27.
MARTINEZ VS. MURRAY FIGHT CARD:
Sergio Martinez (50-2-2; 28 KOs) vs. Martin Murray (25-0-1; 11 KOs)
Luis Carlos Abregu (34-1; 28 KOs) vs. Antonin Decarie (27-1; 8 KOs)
Chris Arreola (35-2; 30 KOs) vs. Bermane Stiverne (22-1-1; 20 KOs)