Jose Martinez Grabs NABO title; So Cal Prospects Shine in Cancun

Puerto Rico’s Jose Martinez powered through Colombia’s Jesus Martinez to win the vacant WBO NABO super flyweight title by knockout in the battle of the Martinez’s on ESPN Thursday.

In the neutral country of Mexico, the Boricua Jose Martinez (20-0-1, 13 KOs) had youth, determination and lethal body blows to stop the southpaw Jesus Martinez (23-3, 11 KOs) on the Golden Boy Promotions card at Poliforum Benito Juarez in Cancun.

From the opening bell both fighters seemed focused on establishing control via the body shot. Although a few punches veered below the belt and ignited warnings from the referee, it was clear that the Boricua’s youth helped absorb the shots and enabled him to retaliate with even bigger blows.

Jose Martinez floored the Colombian with a left hook to the body at the end of the third round, but Jesus Martinez beat the count. He survived the round but in the fourth round the Puerto Rican fighter feinted right and whipped a left to the body that sent the Colombian down for the count at 19 seconds of the fourth round.

The new NABO titlist is Puerto Rico’s Jose Martinez and the win puts him in the middle of the very crowded super flyweight rankings. Japan’s Naoya “the Monster” Inoue is the current WBO world titlist.

Other Bouts

On the undercard, a pair of youthful prospects ended their nights before anyone could adjust their seats.

A battle between welterweights saw Santa Ana’s Alexis Rocha and Colombia’s Pascual Salgado end before the first round expired.

Rocha (10-0, 7 KOs), a southpaw, connected with a counter left to the body and a right and left followed by a right as Salgado (12-8) went to a knee. He was counted out at 1:46 of the first round.

“I want to be as good defensively as I am offensively,” said Rocha, 20, after the fight.

When asked how he obtained so much power in his fists Rocha was very calm in his response.

“I think it’s just genetics,” he said. “I’m heavy-handed.”

Rocha is the younger brother of junior featherweight contender Ronny Rios who fights on Dec. 2, in Madison Square Garden.

The other young prospect on display was Dallas super lightweight Vergil Ortiz Jr. (8-0, 8 KOs) who faced Brazil’s Evander Cavalheiro (13-4, 10 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bout. It barely lasted 21 seconds when an Ortiz right counter behind the ear sent the Brazilian down. The referee signaled that it was an illegal punch behind the head but he was later corrected when the Cancun Commission took a look at the video tape and saw the punch was indeed legal and thus ended by knockout. It was Ortiz’s eighth knockout in eight fights. He trains with Joel Diaz in Indio, Calif.

Jose Martinez Grabs NABO title; So Cal Prospects Shine in Cancun

Puerto Rico’s Jose Martinez powered through Colombia’s Jesus Martinez to win the vacant WBO NABO super flyweight title by knockout in the battle of the Martinez’s on ESPN Thursday.

In the neutral country of Mexico, the Boricua Jose Martinez (20-0-1, 13 KOs) had youth, determination and lethal body blows to stop the southpaw Jesus Martinez (23-3, 11 KOs) on the Golden Boy Promotions card at Poliforum Benito Juarez in Cancun.

From the opening bell both fighters seemed focused on establishing control via the body shot. Although a few punches veered below the belt and ignited warnings from the referee, it was clear that the Boricua’s youth helped absorb the shots and enabled him to retaliate with even bigger blows.

Jose Martinez floored the Colombian with a left hook to the body at the end of the third round, but Jesus Martinez beat the count. He survived the round but in the fourth round the Puerto Rican fighter feinted right and whipped a left to the body that sent the Colombian down for the count at 19 seconds of the fourth round.

The new NABO titlist is Puerto Rico’s Jose Martinez and the win puts him in the middle of the very crowded super flyweight rankings. Japan’s Naoya “the Monster” Inoue is the current WBO world titlist.

Other Bouts

On the undercard, a pair of youthful prospects ended their nights before anyone could adjust their seats.

A battle between welterweights saw Santa Ana’s Alexis Rocha and Colombia’s Pascual Salgado end before the first round expired.

Rocha (10-0, 7 KOs), a southpaw, connected with a counter left to the body and a right and left followed by a right as Salgado (12-8) went to a knee. He was counted out at 1:46 of the first round.

“I want to be as good defensively as I am offensively,” said Rocha, 20, after the fight.

When asked how he obtained so much power in his fists Rocha was very calm in his response.

“I think it’s just genetics,” he said. “I’m heavy-handed.”

Rocha is the younger brother of junior featherweight contender Ronny Rios who fights on Dec. 2, in Madison Square Garden.

The other young prospect on display was Dallas super lightweight Vergil Ortiz Jr. (8-0, 8 KOs) who faced Brazil’s Evander Cavalheiro (13-4, 10 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bout. It barely lasted 21 seconds when an Ortiz right counter behind the ear sent the Brazilian down. The referee signaled that it was an illegal punch behind the head but he was later corrected when the Cancun Commission took a look at the video tape and saw the punch was indeed legal and thus ended by knockout. It was Ortiz’s eighth knockout in eight fights. He trains with Joel Diaz in Indio, Calif.

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