Guerrero beats Martinez via tech. decision, wins IBF 115-pound title
Rodrigo Guerrero evened his score with Raul Martinez and picked up the vacant IBF 115-pound title in the process with an entertaining six-round technical decision over the former U.S. amateur standout in Tijuana, Mexico, on Saturday.
Guerrero (16-3-1, 10 knockouts), who lost a hotly contested 12-round split decision to Martinez last November, dropped his American rival in the third round and was the aggressor throughout the fast-paced shootout until an accidental head butt in round six prompted referee Pat Russell to stop the fight between rounds due to a bad cut above Martinez’s swollen right eye.
Guerrero, a 23-year-old protťgť of Marco Antonio Barrera, was ahead by scores of 59-54 and 57-56 (twice) after six rounds.
It was too bad the fight was stopped because all six completed rounds featured tit-for-tat power-punch exchanges between the talented junior bantamweights. Guerrero pressured Martinez from the opening bell. The Mexico City native constantly switched from an orthodox stance to southpaw as he stalked Martinez. He nailed the Texan’s body from a right-handed stance and scored from the outside when he switched southpaw.
Martinez (28-2, 16 KOs) counter punched well in rounds two and three until, Guerrero measured him with a right hook and dropped him with a follow-up straight left near the end of the third. However, the knockdown seemed to light a fire under the San Antonio native, who attacked Guerrero with gusto in round four and mixed in some nice boxing in the fifth by setting up his power shots with a stiff jab, pivots and lateral movement.
The two traded on even terms in the sixth round, but Martinez’s face was a bloody mess by the time the bell rang. Still, the 29-year-old veteran was unhappy with the referee’s decision to halt the bout and go to the scorecards. Martinez wanted to continue fighting even with one eye.
Hopefully, he’ll get another shot at Guerrero and fans will be treated to a rubber match.
Auditorio Municipal, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico– A close, entertaining scrap that could’ve developed into something really special was ended early due to an unintentional headbutt in the sixth of twelve scheduled rounds
After the dust settled and the ref called for a technical decision to be issued, it was Mexico City’s Rodrigo Guerrero (16-3-1, 10 KOs) who came away with the judges’ decision as well as the vacant IBF super flyweight championship over San Antonio’s Raul Martinez (28-2, 16 KOs).
Fought evenly throughout, Guerrero and Martinez, fighting a rematch of a November, 2010 bout which Martinez won via close split decision, exchanged heavy leather and momentum shifts as neither fighter was able to seize control for extended chunks of time.
The closest to a dominant moment came at the end of the third round, when a straight left hand from Guerrero wobbled and sent Martinez stumbling to the canvas. The bell saved Martinez from a potential knockout loss and allowed him to recover and turn in a strong performance in the fourth.
An accidental clash of heads in the sixth round opened a gash over Martinez’s eye that would eventually bring about the premature end of the bout.
At the end of six, the judges scorecards read 59-55, 57-56, 57-56 for Guerrero. The Boxing Tribune also scored the fight 57-56 for Guerrero.
This was both fighters’ second shot at a world title. Guerrero had been defeated by Vic Darchinyan via unanimous decision for the WBC/WBA super flyweight title in March of 2010. In Martinez’s previous failed title grab, he was stopped in four rounds by Nonito Donaire in IBF flyweight title bout.
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