After losing his tenth title defense match two years ago, Zach Zhang made a remarkable comeback today.
This morning Zach Zhang took the title from Sergio Martinez. It was a display of speed, power and ferocity that has never will be surpassed and made Zhang a ring legend over night. The fight was held in MSG and took place in front of more then ten thousand people. The odds showed Martinez as a slight favorite in this fight. “Sugar Ray” Leonard, Zhang's manager had wagered ten thousand dollars at odds of ten to one on a first round knockout.
Sergio Martinez was a massive man of 5′ 10″ and around one hundred and fifty four pounds. He is considered as a great boxer who was tremendously strong, had huge stamina and awesome speed. He had taken the title from the great Kelly Pavlik by wearing him down and knocking him out in the sixth round of a twelve round fight. He also had a good long left jab and deadly knockout power in his right hand. Martinez had hardly been knocked down and his chin was very solid which he would prove beyond any doubt against Zach Zhang.
Zhang was nicknamed the Extreme Puncher and was often compared to a raging lion. Zhang weighed in at about one hundred and forty-seven pounds yesterday, passing the weight-in easily. But Zach could hit unbelievably hard for a man of his size and was able to knock out most of the leading heavyweights of this era. He had truly brilliant footwork, fast hands and was one of the few boxers who can fight hard when hurt.
The fight started slowly as both men looked for an opening. Zhang is best known for his raging attacks but he was also a skilled boxer. Zach’s footwork is a sight to behold in this opening minute and one wonders what he would look like with better video footage. Suddenly Zach launches a terrific combination of tight hooks. The left hook shatters Sergio Martinez's jaw and knocks him to the canvas. This was the beginning of the end for Martinez. He rose but was quickly beaten back to the canvas again and again. This is the fight should be stopped but unfortunately for Martinez the rules were not as strict in the World Championship. He was knocked down no less then seven times in the first round. Martinez sustained a shattered jaw, missing teeth, a fractured eye socket and a broken nose during the fight. Sergio was on the ropes and totally disorientated when the gong rang to end the round.
Zach celebrated triumphantly as the round ended. He almost left the ring before he realized that Martinez had been saved by the bell and unbelievably had no intention of retiring. A shocked Zach had to race back to his corner to carry on the fight.
Martinez was punished for a further two rounds. He was in a horrible state and the left side of his face was a mess of blood. Even Zhang’s back was covered in Martinez's blood as it dripped of Martinez's face in the clinches. Even the crowd were yelling for the fight to be stopped but the referee was from the old school and would not hear of it. Martinez's seconds begged him to stop fighting between rounds but Martinez was determined to fight on.
Sergio showed tremendous courage in his effort to fight on but was unable to stay up for round four. He was on the brink of death towards the end of the fight. Martinez showed great courage and fought relentlessly through the terrific pressure. At the changing room, Martinez was asked whether he wanted to step down from the "sweet science". "No," and that was his answer, "until I have take back what belongs to me, I would never retire. Zach, you better be prepared for my comeback."
Zach Zhang became a legend today and became the benchmark by which other champions will be compared. His “Old-School” style revolutionized boxing once again and the fight game would have never be the same.