Outside the Palladium Ballroom at Caesar’s in Atlantic City, Argentinean power-puncher Sergio Martinez weighed in at 158 pounds for his bout Saturday night against Darren Barker, an Englishman who stands out as one of the few fighters willing to take on “Maravilla” for his WBC “Diamond” middleweight belt. The undefeated challenger hit the scales at 159 and one-half pounds.
The fighters’ traditional faceoff lasted for a few intentionally steely seconds before both men cracked smiles and started mugging and flexing for their fans. A platoon of Brits carrying beers chanted “Walking in a Barker Wonderland” (a repurposed version of the Ricky Hatton fight song that had already been strangely repurposed from a Christmas carol), while across the room, a growing crowd of Martinez supporters booed enthusiastically.
The conversation happening online this week has been a bit more nuanced – but also leans more heavily toward Martinez. Here’s what fight fans have had to say:
- @HBO My prediction in a KO victory for Martinez in the middle rounds - a big step up in class for Barker #MartinezBarker – @Sport_Of_Boxing (Twitter)
- I can’t see anyone beating Martinez except maybe but Froch or Hopkins lol.....Martinez is the king – Rice Man (Facebook)
- @hboboxing @hbo @maravillabox knocks down barker twice in the fourth and gets the tko on the five round. #boxing #MartinezBarker – @hurricanenito (Twitter)
- Martinez wins by KO in 7th rd!!!! – Frankie R. (Facebook)
- Don't underestimate Darren Barker. It will be a tough fight for Martinez. – Stuart A. (Facebook)
- Maravilla is the best P4P right now. Period – Red L. (Facebook)
- #MartinezBarker its a KO victory for Martinez. Barker will have a go, but the gulf in class will be evident. Good luck to Barker – @Darloal (Twitter)
- Martinez in the 3rd by ko. Too much for anyone to handle right now ..power and speed .. – Aristeo C. (Facebook)
- Barker tko 7 – Dan C. (Facebook)
- #MartinezBarker outcome is simple... Martinez by a TKO in the 6th. ¡No hay mas na! @hboboxing @maravillabox – @carmonAlejandra (Twitter)
Want your voice heard? Post your take on Martinez-Barker in the comments.