By Chip Kuehn: While there’s been a lot of talk about WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KO’s) facing Miguel Cotto next, it’s looking like Martinez will face his WBC mandatory challenger Marco Antonio Rubio (58-6-1, 50 KO’s) next. Sergio’s adviser Sampson Lewkowicz has made a proposal to the 33-year-old Rubio to have him come to Argentina to face him rather than the United States. Martinez has to get the mandatory out of the way, and he’s lucky that it’s only Rubio and not somebody dangerous.
This is a fight that will give Martinez a good chance to get the cobwebs out of his system from his injuries to his knee and left hand from his last title defense against Martin Murray last April. It’s a good fight for Sergio because he’s not fighting another huge middleweight like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Martin Murray were. Those are both very heavy middleweights, and it was difficult for Sergio to win both of those fights due to the size of those opponents.
Rubio has won his last five fights after getting beaten by a much heavier Chavez Jr. last year in February in losing by a 12 round unanimous decision in San Antonio, Texas. Rubio fought Chavez Jr. in a toe-to-toe battle for 12 rounds and marked his face up pretty well, but at the end of the night he just didn’t have the size to get the victory. Since that fight, Rubio has beaten Jorge Cota, Carlos Baldomir, Michel Rosales, Marcus Upshaw and Dioniso Miranda. Rubio has stopped four out of his last five opponents.
This fight could be a little tougher than the guys that Martinez has been fighting recently because Rubio has better power than some of Martinez’s past opponents, and he likes to get in there and go to war. A lot of Martinez’s opponents have been afraid of him ever since he stopped Paul Williams in 2010. If you looked at Sergio’s opposition since then, he’s beaten an unwilling Darren Barker, Sergey Dzinziruk, Matthew Macklin and Murray.
The only guy that was willing to mix it up with Sergio was Chavez Jr., but that was because he was the size of a cruiserweight when he faced Sergio last year in September and looked like a tank. With a size advantage that Chavez Jr. had against Martinez, of course he’s going to stand in there looking to trade power shots for 12 rounds.