Besides the above video, I’ve compiled all sorts of links for you for one of the most anticipated fights of 2010, Saturday’s rematch between middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams: a weird training video for Williams; Ring Life, featuring both men; assorted feature articles of high quality; what other boxing blogs are sayin’; and a link-based rant about how everyone needs to relax about catchweights. Among others links and vids.
First, TQBR-related stuff. My preview and prediction is here. Paul Kelly argued on this site for the winner of Williams-Martinez II as the best opponent for Manny Pacquiao (but Yahoo’s Kevin Iole doesn’t like the idea). I also wrote a feature on Williams’ last day of camp for The Sweet Science. Don’t forget: We’ll do a live blog Saturday if the setup allows.
Most of The Boxing Bulletin folk come down pretty hard on the catchweight issue, but the reasoning I can see from them is… “because it’s a catchweight.” They aren’t alone. I still haven’t seen a strong argument for why the catchweight is so bad, even though the sentiment is widespread. I’m not saying I support it, but it’s not that bad. I’ve seen some people say that because it’s a title fight, it shouldn’t be for a catchweight, but I don’t remember people being as upset about Pacquiao’s catchweight title fight with Antonio Margarito just last weekend. Maybe that’s because there were more pressing controversies to discuss, but I’ve also heard that Williams-Martinez II is different because it’s for a lineal belt, or because it’s somehow a new thing. It’s not. Pernell Whitaker and Julio Cesar Chavez fought for Whitaker’s lineal welterweight claim at 145 pounds. Oscar De La Hoya fought Bernard Hopkins for Hopkins’ lineal middleweight championship at 158 pounds. Lightweight champion Joe Gans and welterweight champion Joe Walcott fought at a catchweight. Lightweight champion Lew Jenkins and welterweight champion Henry Armstrong fought at a catchweight. Welterweight champion Emile Griffith fought Dave Charnley at a catchweight (although it was a “non-title” bout).
In other words, some of the best fighters in the history of the sport have fought for lineal championships at catchweights, and dating back to the early 1900s. Not new. And they’ve done it for any variety of reasons. (For those saying, “But Williams had fought at 160 before, some of those other guys were moving up in weight.” Williams, despite his height and length, is the far smaller fighter of these two. Martinez apparently walks around at 200 pounds. Williams would have to go on an eating binge to get above 168. It’s one of the reasons why Williams has been retreating downward in weight following the first Martinez close call.) Even Martinez’ people are complaining about the catchweight, but guess what? They were OFFERING catchweight bouts for their lineal championship just a couple months ago, and at 155 pounds for God’s sake!
This is not anything to get too upset about. It’s two pounds. It’s not unprecedented. The reasoning by the Williams team is no worse than the reasoning for any other catchweight bouts. The Martinez team, despite its protests, has no philosophical objection to catchweight bouts. Let’s get over this, please.
Here’s a video of Williams training in a strange fashion. (Promoter Goossen-Tutor has gone very digital for this fight, and you should check out their video catalog here.)
Lastly, here’s a link that you can follow through for the entirety of the first fight, which speaks for itself.