When the Sergio Martinez-Sergiy Dzinziruk bout was announced, you could hear the collective moans and groans from all over the boxing world.
Martinez, the WBC middleweight champion and arguably the hottest fighter in the sport, deserved better. Don't get us wrong, the Neutral Corner believes Dzinziruk is a fine fighter. He is certainly one of the top 154-pound fighters in the world. But Martinez deserved a PPV fight, perhaps against Miguel Cotto.
Martinez and Dzinziruk will mix it up on March 12 at Foxwoods in Connecticut on HBO Championship Boxing.
Even Lou DiBella, Martinez' promoter, wasn't thrilled when he first learned of the possibility.
"When this fight was first brought to me, I said no," DiBella said. "Sergio Martinez said yes."
With few opponents available, what could DiBella do? Cotto was already in talks to take on Ricardo Mayorga and there wasn't much of a clamoring to see Martinez-Paul Williams III or even a Martinez-Kelly Pavlik rematch.
"Sergio Martinez has all the qualities of a star and wants only the best fights," DiBella added.
Sources close to the situation said the DiBella camp was hoping to match Martinez up with Cotto. But with Many of today's top promoters -Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions- keeping most of the top bouts within their camps, smaller promoters are forced to take what they can get.
At some point Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs) will be just too much of a commodity for people to ignore. A convincing win over Dzinziruk (37-0, 23 KOs) could make him an attactive option for an HBO or Showtime PPV bout.