For the reigning WBC middleweight champion, Sergio Martinez, these are indeed stormy times. Having morphed into a November 2010 version of himself, he arrives in Buenos Aires after a long flight from Spain, to meet with another time traveler of a different kind.
Clad in stylish shades and a thin black leather jacket amid unseasonably cool conditions, the champion ignores the turbulent weather and an umbrella, looking only to shield himself from the persistence of doubt.
After a short drive to the city's beautiful downtown extravaganza, he positions himself in the back of a swanky café. There's polite fanfare to his arrival, one he's tried to keep as clandestine as possible. Soon, he rises to his feet to get a glimpse of what appears to be a scuffle outside.
The entourage of Floyd Mayweather has no doubt arrived.
After emerging from the smoke and filibuster, Mayweather surfaces to reveal a man of renaissance with chess pieces for hands and feet. If this meeting were to take place, to negotiate and finalize a deal to face this version of Martinez, it would be seen as an unusually risky move on the board for the defensive savant.
Around this time, Mayweather was on another long sabbatical after facing a 38-year old Shane Mosley in May of that year. He was rocked like never before in the 2nd round, but recovered to go vintage Greg Maddox on Shane, striking his ass out while completely shutting down his offense the rest of the way.
But here’s to dreams- then and now (as I raise a glass of wine to this fantasy).
Martinez is in fact preparing to get back into form, and you’d be hard pressed to tell him that he can’t get back to his November 2010 self. He can’t- no more than Mayweather can.
Sergio is however, an extremely intelligent man.
This fight could conceivably take place in May 2014 (why not?), and it would be an interesting one. Sergio knows Floyd isn't that far behind him in age, and can see through the cloud of dust Floyd is creating by trying to get a KO of Amir Khan (and that’s just what he would do).
Martinez seems to be avoiding Gennady “GGG” Golovkin much in the same way Mayweather seems to be flat out avoiding Manny Pacquiao. No one could accuse them of anything but a great fight – and a historical one at that – if this fight somehow got made. I think Martinez would've beaten Floyd a few years back. But times- do change.
FLOYD “MONEY” MAYWEATHER VS. SERGIO “MARAVILLA” MARTINEZ
Frankly we should've gotten this fight anyway.
Whether this is owed to the speculation of ducking on Floyd's part, or the reluctance of Al Haymon to make this fight, is anyone's guess. But Sergio Martinez definitely wanted this fight and was vociferous in asking for it.
Well let's pretend he gets what he wants.
Floyd knows that in many ways this fight represents something of a conundrum for him. He has the fastest singular hand strikes in the sport, unparalleled quickness, boasts the game's best defense, and has the highest ring IQ.
But Floyd regards Martinez as an obnoxious sort that thinks he's smarter than him. He knows how very hard Martinez trains, that endurance is his strong suit, and that he's looking to knock him out. He also knows he has to deal with speed and ring generalship that rivals his own, and that he'll have to compete for space.
This is a very even match-up.
Sergio Martinez is an aristocratic, indefatigable athlete of remarkable precision. The version that would confront Mayweather now can’t go 18 rounds if he had to. But Floyd wouldn't be able to either with Sergio’s movement.
The good news for both of them is- they wouldn't have to. The bad news is it would finish them both over 12 rounds.
Floyd isn't much younger than Sergio, but hasn't been in pitched battles either. He’d be facing someone with his very own conditioning, one who often lowers his guard in front of opponents to conserve energy- because he is constantly on the move. But his is a game of risk, and he will trap you into a firefight.
Martinez would be very difficult for Mayweather to beat, and this would be very apparent right away. His cocky nature in the ring would irritate Floyd, who would be the aggressor. He wouldn't have a choice due to the way Sergio moves around the ring.
In Martinez, he is dealing with the rare fighter who is completely capable of out-boxing him and knocking him out. This is uncharted territory for him- and for us, as we would see a very athletic, stalking, James Toney-like Mayweather in there.
The difference between these two is Floyd's unique striking ability and depth.
Floyd would get hit like never before- but so would Martinez, who even though he's dropped Floyd and had him in some trouble, comes face to face with his iron will and other worldly intelligence. Martinez is very predictable in his movement over time, as is his punch selection.
The May 2014 brand of Mayweather won’t really be no any different than what you just saw with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. He’ll be ever so slightly slower and would be forced to forget about punch economy. Not as physically strong as the Spaniard by way of Argentina, Floyd is intelligent enough to make Martinez raise his guard more than he's accustomed to.
This will wear him out, and allow Floyd to lullaby Sergio as the fight progresses. In an electrifying and career-defining performance, Floyd Mayweather turns back the gangster assault of Martinez, and stops him in 12 spellbinding rounds.