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Saturday, March 12, 2011
Updated: March 13, 9:13 AM ET
Sergio Martinez drops Sergiy Dzinziruk

Associated Press

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- There wasn't a lot of trash talking before the Sergio Martinez-Sergiy Dzinziruk middleweight bout.

That didn't mean that Martinez was without a sense of purpose.

"I had my highest level of motivation ever," Martinez said. "I want to be the best in the world."

Martinez sure looked the part at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Saturday night.

Martinez stopped Sergiy Dzinziruk in the eighth round, knocking down the Ukrainian middleweight three times Saturday night at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Casino.

Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. stopped the bout at 1:43 of the eighth after Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KOs) of Oxnard, Calif., sent Dzinziruk down for the third time.

"I was able to hit the gas and accelerate," Martinez said. "I got a new wind, That happens to every human."

After three uneventful rounds to begin the fight, Dzinziruk (37-1, 23 KOs) briefly went down on one knee at the start of Round 4 from a tap on the top of his head.

Dzinziruk argued that he slipped. Mercante, however, ruled that Dzinziruk was hit by a punch and called it a knockdown.

In Round 5, Dzinziruk was knocked down again by a left hand just seconds before the bell rang. He got up smiling, but Martinez now firmly appeared to be in control of the fight.

Martinez had won the WBC middleweight title with a knockout of Paul Williams last November, but had that title stripped from him earlier this year.

The Martinez-Dzinziruk bout was for the WBC Diamond Championship. Martinez was awarded a diamond encrusted belt worth $50,000 for his victory. The WBC also refers to Martinez as the WBC champion emeritus.

"It is a dream of mine to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world," Martinez said. "I'm obsessed with it. I want to fight the best fighters out there."

It was only the second fight since November of 2008 for Dzinziruk.

Legal wrangling with promoters kept Dzinziruk out of the ring until he returned in May 2010 and scored a technical knockout victory over Daniel Dawson.

That fight was in California, marking the first time Dzinziruk had fought in the United States. Dzinziruk is the World Boxing Organization super middleweight champion, but did not have to put that title on the line against Martinez.