Thirty six year-old Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KOs) puts his WBC “Diamond” middleweight belt on the line against relatively unknown and undefeated 29-year-old Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs) of England on Saturday’s HBO World Championship Boxing live from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Sergio Martinez is widely recognized as one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world today, and one of the most avoided. Ever since Sergio’s devastating one punch knockout of Paul Williams, he has had extreme difficulty landing a fight with the big names in or around his division, names like Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez all seem to be avoiding the slick southpaw from Argentina.
Martinez last win was a stoppage over previously undefeated Sergiy Dzinziruk and since then Martinez has been trying to get fights with current welterweight superstars and the top two pound-for-pound best in boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, even willing to go all the way down to 150-pounds to make the fights happen.
The only fighters willing to get in the ring with Sergio are unknown fighters with nothing to lose, and Darren Barker is a dangerous threat because of that very reason. Although fights with welterweights Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are unlikely, Sergio has to keep winning in order to keep his light shining bright in hopes of landing some mainstream recognition and a big money fight in the future.
Also on the HBO card, is a rematch between Andy Lee and Brian Vera, Vera pulled off the upset handing Lee his first defeat by TKO in 2008. Lee wants to redeem himself against Vera and clear that lone loss from his record and hopes to fight the winner of Martinez vs. Barker.
Following the broadcast will be Face Off with Max Kellerman: Pacquiao/Marquez. Watch Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez analyze their previous battles in anticipation of their third bout on November 12.
Watch Martinez vs. Barker live on HBO World Championship Boxing Saturday, October 1st at 10:00 pm ET/7:00 pm PT. HBO and HBO On Demand will replay Martinez vs. Barker and Face Off with Max Kellerman: Pacquiao/Marquez check your local listings for day and times.