Promoter Lou Dibella isn’t ready to say that his fighter Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KO’s) is old an over-the-hill following his defeat at the hands of Miguel Cotto last Saturday night. Instead of attributing the loss to the 39-year-old Martinez’s advanced age or perhaps to the condition of his surgically repaired knees, Dibella thinks that Martinez simply never recovered from the three times that he visited the canvas in the opening round.
Dibella feels like those knockdowns took the starch out of Martinez, and made it all but impossible for him to mount a comeback to get into the fight.
“The guy has a lot of heart,” said DiBella. “But he wasn’t the same after those three knockdowns in the first round.
It’s certainly possible that Martinez’s ability to think clearly after the knockdowns kept him from getting into the fight. We’ve seen that from many other fighters in the past after they’ve been knocked down early in a fight, and badly hurt.
They’re sometimes unable to fight at a high level in the following rounds. However, the thing that Dibella isn’t addressing was the state of Martine’s knees. He looked weak in both knees not when taking jarring shots from Cotto, but also when moving around the ring.
It wasn’t the same type of movement that we’d seen from Martinez in the past, and it leaves one to believe that he might have taken this fight without being at 100%. Why would Martinez fight with two less than healthy legs? It’s hard to say, but it could be that this was as good as his legs could be after he burned up one year rehabbing them following surgery last year.
For a football player, they’re able to come back from knee injuries after 9-12 months and play at pretty close to the same level that they did before the injuries. Martinez tore ligaments in his right knee in 2012 in his win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Shortly after that fight, Martinez had surgery to repair the problem. However, last year Martinez re-injured his right knee while getting ready for his April 2013 title defense against Martin Murray. Martinez subsequently had a second surgery performed on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus. The combination of surgeries was perhaps too much for Martinez to be ready for the Cotto fight just a year later. He might have needed additional time.