It wasn't quite the fight that promoter Lou DiBella was looking for, but he ended up doing the bidding of his prized middleweight, Sergio Martinez and the leading premium cable network HBO.
Martinez will take on Sergiy Dzinziruk in a 12-round WBC Diamond championship middleweight bout at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods.
DiBella was looking for a Martinez-Miguel Cotto bout. But Cotto and his promoter Top Rank opted for a less challenging fight against Ricardo Mayorga. DiBella wasn't pleased, but understood what needed to be done.
Said DiBella: “It’s no secret that I didn’t like this fight. HBO twisted my arm but I give them credit. This is the best possible opponent in the world to fight Sergio. Sergio agreed to fight him despite giving up his middleweight belt. He wants to leave a legacy of fighting the best and there’s no doubt that Sergiy is the best 154-pounder in the world.”
Although it wasn't quite what the fight world had in mind for Martinez, who was named fighter of the year by the Boxing Writer's Association of America, but Dzinziruk is highly regarded in European boxing cirles and could put on a good show.
And as much we all would like to see Martinez take on Cotto, a fight that should generate a massive following, this could work out.
Martinez has developed a large following. His knockout win over Paul Williams etched him in stone as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the game. What would be better than watching him put on a good showing against one of Europe's top boxers? It would certainly endure him to the rest of the world.
And that fact that it is on HBO Championship Boxing and not pay-per-view, will allow more casual boxing fans to get a look at Martinez.
In the end, this could be a win-win scenario.