Talk about star power! Sergio Martinez proved his Saturday with a picturesque straight left that knocked out Paul Williams in the second round of their WBC middleweight title fight in Atlantic City.
Martinez flattened Williams with the most telegenic punch anyone has thrown in boxing this year.
Martinez’s glamour surely transcends his home country of Argentina now.
He won the middleweight title from Kelly Pavlik last spring after nearly beating Williams last December, a bout I thought Martinez won. He got jobbed against Kermit Cintron in 2008, a draw in a bout Martinez thoroughly dominated. He has dazzled us every time out. Did I mention he’s a rather handsome guy?
But Martinez (46-2-2, 25 knockouts) was the “other guy” in most of these fights promotion-wise, including Saturday, when he was introduced first and the challenger Williams was therefore billed as the main attraction.
Close decisions go to the house fighter, and Martinez was in danger of suffering from that syndrome Saturday as Williams (39-2) got off to a busy start. Martinez then began landing cleaner punches and I thought he won the round. But not everyone did.
Williams was landing his share of clean shots in the second and was probably winning the round when the two southpaws launched power punches simultaneously a minute in. Martinez’s knocked Williams face-first to the canvas.
It was a beautiful knockout, and now Sergio Martinez is one of the beautiful people.