Martinez, 37, got off to a quick start using his unorthodox right jab to tag Macklin, 29, in the first half of the round. But, Macklin came on in the second half of the round, as he utilized many feints and slick upper body movement to get close to Martinez.
Martinez connected with cleaner punches in round two, as Macklin's pressure was not as effective. Later in the round, Martinez sent Macklin staggering into the ropes, although the punch struck Macklin when he was off-balance.
Sergio stayed one step ahead of Macklin during round three, however, Macklin was closing the distance between them. Macklin was not connecting with hard blows, but he kept touching Martinez, letting him know he was right there.
Macklin landed a solid right cross in the fourth round. Martinez immediately countered with a sharp left uppercut, but Macklin showed a durable chin. As the round was coming to an end, Macklin blasted a hard right-hand shot through the Argentinian's southpaw guard.
Macklin really came on intensely in the fifth round, exhibiting terrific elusiveness. Martinez began to look slightly one-dimensional. Macklin's pressure started to throw Martinez off his game.
After a similar sixth round, the fight heated up in the seventh. The Irish fans erupted after Macklin connected with a glancing right-hand shot that left Martinez off-balance. To prevent himself from falling entirely on the canvas, a stunned Martinez reached out with his right glove to touch the mat, resulting in a knockdown being scored. After Martinez returned to his feet, he hit Macklin with a ferocious left cross to the body. From there, both fighters exchanged blow-for-blow the rest of the round, as the New York City crowd rose from their seats to applaud the action.
As Martinez did in previous fights versus Kelly Pavlik, Sergiy Dzinziruk and Darren Barker, he turned it up a notch as true champions do in the later rounds. Martinez began to pot-shot Macklin, and he landed a massive overhand left as the challenger was briefly trapped in the corner. Macklin slid away quickly, and Martinez could not land another similar blow.
Macklin could not get into close quarters in the ninth round. Martinez threw and landed multiple punches, hurting Macklin in the last minute with a right hook to the head.
Martinez whacked Macklin twice with left cross-right hook combinations in the beginning of the tenth round. Then, Martinez sent Macklin backward with a stinging right jab in the closing minutes of the round.
Martinez was now back in his groove in round eleven. All of a sudden, Martinez unleashed a thunderous left-hand shot that sent Macklin crashing to the canvas and almost through the bottom ring rope. Macklin never saw the punch coming. Martinez did a masterful job of using angles to disguise the "big shot". Macklin got up with approximately ten seconds left in the round. Martinez instantly smothered Macklin, sending him down for a second time before time expired after striking him with a brutal left cross. Macklin beat the ten count and retreated to his corner. In the corner, Macklin could not get up off his stool. Referee Eddie Cotton informed Martinez the bout was over, and Martinez jumped up in elation, raising his hands and parading around the ring in victory.
Matthew Macklin fought with an unbelievable amount of intensity. His eyes had fire burning in them as he stalked the Argentinian champion throughout the bout. He left every bit of energy, ounce of sweat and drop of blood in the "World's Famous Arena" last night. Macklin put on an absolutely remarkable performance in defeat.
That being said, Sergio Martinez showed the difference between a good fighter and an elite fighter Saturday night. He has continuously closed the show against high-caliber opposition, and his most recent accomplishment is no different. Martinez is clamoring for a mega-fight, and could further enhance his image if he gets one. But, who is going to step up to the plate next to challenge Martinez? It may be unfair to point out because they campaign as welterweights, but regardless of the amount of money Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao could potentially make in a fight versus Martinez, and as intriguing as it is for fight fans and media to contemplate, both of them would be wise to avoid the middleweight champion.
Rodriguez Outpoints George
Edwin Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KO's) defeated Don George (22-2-1, 19 KO's) via ten-round unanimous decision by official scores of 96-94, 99-91 and 97-93 in an entertaining super middleweight fight.
Rodriguez, 26, started round one dictating the pace and tempo by employing his long left jab and superior lateral movement. George, 27, landed a well-timed right-hand shot over Rodriguez' jab, but failed to get into close quarters in the opening minutes.
In round three, George connected with a clean overhand right, but Rodriguez responded quickly, thrashing George with a series of overhand rights.
During the fourth round, Rodriguez trapped George in the corner and unleashed a swift combination. It became relatively clear Rodriguez was much more fluid with his punch output. Yet, George applied unyielding pressure, but fought too much in a straight-up stance. Rodriguez showcased the talent to inflict additional damage on George, but he failed to let his hands go more frequently when he had the opportunity.
In the fifth round, George began backing up Rodriguez with a steady left jab. Rodriguez gave the impression he was being too careful placing his shots.
Rodriguez nailed George with a powerful right cross to the body with thirty seconds left in round six. Rodriguez always put himself in a good position after landing his punches. George kept pressuring him, although Rodriguez did a better job counter-punching in round six than round five.
Rodriguez stepped up his work rate and made some tactical adjustments in the seventh round to ensure he got his punches off before George. Despite constant pressure from George, Rodriguez never slowed down.
With fifteen seconds left in round nine, George hurt Rodriguez with a shot that landed behind his left ear.
Then, George went into another gear in the tenth round, applying continuous pressure and winging wild shots at Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who undoubtedly was the more technically sound fighter, never faltered and carried on circling around the ring easily due to his matchless conditioning until the final bell sounded.
Abdusalamov Stops Pettaway
Magomed Abdusalamov (14-0, 14 KO's) maintained a perfect record, stopping previously unbeaten heavyweight Jason Pettaway (11-1, 8 KO's) via TKO in round four. Official time of the stoppage was 1:20. The ringside physician brought a close to the fight after Pettaway was floored in the fourth round. The 30-year-old Russian-born Abdusalamov was a 2005 and 2006 Russian amateur champion in the super heavyweight division.
Monaghan Continues To Progress, Decisions Watkins
Sean Monaghan (13-0, 8 KO's) kept his undefeated record intact, winning a one-sided, six-round unanimous decision versus Eric Watkins (6-2, 3 KO's) in a light heavyweight bout. Official scores were 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
Monaghan, 30, hurt Watkins several times in the first round with a succession of vicious left hooks to the head and body following Watkins unloading his punches at a furious pace in the first minute of action.
Monaghan continued his ambush in round three, connecting with a punishing, flush right-hand shot that snapped Watkins' head back with ten seconds left in the round.
Watkins lacked the "pop" in his punch to keep Monaghan from closing distance during the course of the fight. Yet, he showed great bravery and tremendous valor through the exchanges, surviving primarily using respectable lateral movement.
Ota Turns It On Late, TKO's King
Charlie Ota (20-1-1, 14 KO's) scored a notable seventh-round TKO thirty-five seconds into round seven, defeating a determined Gundrick King (16-8, 11 KO's) in a fierce junior middleweight clash.
In the first round, Ota displayed quicker reflexes as he felt King out by utilizing a light left jab.
King, a southpaw, connected with a series of hard, straight left-hand shots in round three.
During round four, King backed Ota up against the ropes, hammering away at his ribcage. Despite King getting his punches off first for the majority of the round, Ota connected with a crushing right-hand shot toward the end of the round.
In round five, Ota increased his punch output, striking King with a barrage of punches from various angles.
Ota sent King backward into the ropes after connecting with a pulverizing right-hand shot to his face in the sixth round. Subsequently, both guys engaged in a heated exchange. Once again, a devastating right-hand shot from Ota momentarily staggered King.
Early in round seven, Ota pummeled King in his own corner with an onslaught of crisp punches, prompting referee Arthur Mercante, Jr. to halt the bout.
McNickles Takes Narrow Decision
In a spirited junior welterweight bout, Carl McNickles (8-3, 6 KO's) won via six-round majority decision versus durable New Jersey native Danny McDermott (9-4-2, 4 KO's). McNickles triumphed by scores of 57-55 twice with one scorecard even at 56-56. McNickles, 27, was able to land clean overhand rights repeatedly to McDermott's head throughout the contest. McDermott, 32, charged forward relentlessly, breaking through McNickles' defensive guard often with a series of body shots. However, McNickles used better lateral movement, connecting at a higher rate with his power shots.
Rooney Makes Quick Work Of Shuff
Kevin Rooney, Jr. (4-1, 2 KO) improved his professional record, stopping Anthony Shuff (0-2) at 1:30 of round one in a middleweight contest. Rooney, 27, struck Shuff effortlessly with a series of overhand rights until Shuff retreated to his corner, and indicated to referee Arthur Mercante, Jr. that he did not want to continue fighting.
Hardwick Stays Undefeated, Captures Decision Over Gibson
In other heavyweight action, Thomas Hardwick (5-0, 2 KO's) captured a four-round unanimous decision against T.J. Gibson (1-2, 1 KO). Hardwick won by scores of 39-35 on all three judges' scorecards.