Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez scored a come from behind 11th round TKO over challenger Matthew Macklin before a sellout crown in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Martinez was knocked off balance in round seven and his glove hit the canvas so it was called a knockdown. To that point, Macklin was much more competitive than expected and Martinez did not look anything like the pound-for-pound # 3 fighter in the world. In fact, after seven rounds, Martinez was behind on all three scorecards by two, two and four points. The knockdown, however, seemed to wake up the champ and from that point on he dominated the fight.
Macklin was dropped twice in round eleven and was a bloody mess when he went to his corner at the conclusion of the round. Macklin wanted to continue but his trainer Buddy McGirt mercifully told referee Eddie Cotton to stop the fight before the beginning of the final round. After scoring the 11th round 10-7, two judges had Martinez ahead 105-101 but the normally reliable Julie Lederman somehow still had it even 103-103. Lederman and the entire HBO announcing team seemed to be overly impressed with Macklin who, despite exceeding expectations and giving a game effort throughout, was definitely not winning the bout.
Martinez wants to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. next and has offered to come down to 154 pounds and give Pretty Boy 80% of the money. If the risk-averse Mayweather refuses to face Manny Pacquiao, the odds are he will continue to avoid Martinez as well. The other big money option for Martinez is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who - unfortunately - is also in no hurry whatsoever to get in the ring with the true middleweight champion of the world.