Surge of adrenaline: Martinez’s boardwalk blast a breath of fresh air

Crown his ass

There was a moment on Saturday night, right after Paul Williams crumpled to the mat, when even Sergio Martinez had yet to fully register what had taken place.

It reminded me of watching Piazza’s post-9/11 homer floating past me in the upper deck at Shea. Watching the formerly feared Williams sprawl face-first on the mat, time slowed to a crawl as our minds furiously processed what we had seen. And as Martinez’s jubilation took hold, everyone erupted, regardless of rooting interest.

A moment like that is a reminder that through all of the issues and nonsense boxing fans are privy to, it finds a way in the end to give us something to hold on to.

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For boxing purists, war by the shore trumps last week’s blockbuster

Marquee event The fact that Manny Pacquiao’s whitewash of Antonio Margarito last Saturday drew anywhere between 1.25-1.4 million pay-per-view buys, depending on who you ask, is a testament to two things: the popularity of Pacquiao, and the effectiveness of the HBO 24/7 program.

Tonight’s Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez rematch in Atlantic City, which I will be attending, has neither of those aspects in its favor. But while last week’s spectacle was valuable in that it showed that boxing could still be a major mainstream draw, the vibe for tonight’s fight from fans and writers actually possesses more excitement.

Last week’s fight was for everyone. This one’s for us.

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