Martinez Dominates Pavlik
Reports by Rick Scharmberg and Kurt Wolfheimer
Photography by Emily Harney
WBC junior middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez rose in weight – and from the floor – to take Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik’s WBC and WBO middleweight belts with a dominating twelve round unanimous decision last night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the co-feature, Mike “MJ” Jones battered tough but overmatched Hector Munoz before stopping him at 2:03 of the fifth round of a scheduled ten round welterweight bout. Jones defended his NABA belt, while also picking up the vacant NABO welterweight title as well. The Martinez-Pavlik bout was televised on HBO as part of a dual-city broadcast with IBF super middleweight champ Lucian Bute’s defense against Edison “Pantera” Miranda serving as the broadcast’s co-main event. The card was promoted by Top Rank and DiBella Entertainment, in conjunction with Caesars Atlantic City.
The difference in size was evident immediately, as Pavlik, of Youngstown, Ohio and Martinez, of Buenos Aires, Argentina squared off in the opening round. Pavlik has fought in the past as high as 169 pounds, while Martinez began his career as a 147-pound welterweight.
If there is one thing that can overcome a disadvantage in size, it is speed, and Martinez has plenty of that. Combined with his awkward, hands-down style coming out of a southpaw stance, Martinez had all the tools needed to dethrone the powerful champion.
Both men were cautious in the first round, with pressure coming Pavlik while Martinez circled the ring as expected. Near the end of the round, an off-balance Martinez tumbled to the mat.
Martinez put his speed advantage to good use in round two. He connected with his right jab to Pavlik’s body, and established his money punch, a short left to the head. An apparent accidental clash of heads opened up a cut over Pavlik’s left eye that would bleed for the remainder of the fight.
Pavlik had a better round in the third, as he landed his jab and several two-punch combinations, however Martinez took round four. In that round, Martinez knocked Pavlik back with a hard right-left-left combination, followed by six unanswered right hands at the end of the round.
Pavlik bounced back in the fifth round. After opening with three lead rights, Kelly was effective with his jabs, and landed a big left hook that had Sergio backing off to re-think his strategy. With Martinez not coming in to land his awkward punches, Pavlik was able to strike first and win the round.
Round six was close, and after Pavlik dropped Martinez with a short right midway through round seven, the pro-Pavlik crowd was thinking knockout.
Martinez shortened up his punches in the eighth round, and began making the slower Pavlik miss. This round was also very close, but Martinez won it on two scorecards.
Everything changed in round nine. If you could liken Pavlik to a Hummer truck, Martinez would be a Maserati. Martinez sensed Pavlik was slowing down as he became more predictable, and he opened up with energetic and short three-punch combinations that landed before Kelly could react.
Midway through the round, one of the numerous lefts landed by Martinez opened a nasty cut under Pavlik’s right eye. Martinez peppered Pavlik with clean left hands throughout the round, and sent Pavlik back to his stool bleeding profusely from both eyes.
Round ten, along with the “championship rounds” eleven and twelve, were all Martinez. He would land two and three punch combinations before Pavlik could get set, and landed nearly every left hand he would throw.
In the twelfth, it was obvious Pavlik needed a knockout to win, but he couldn’t muster the strength to even go for it. The final scores were 116-111, 115-111, and 115-112 for Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez.
With the victory, Martinez saw his record rise to (45-2-2, 23 KOs), while Pavlik fell to (36-2, 32 KOs). – Rick Scharmberg
Jones Defeats Munoz
Philadelphia welterweight sensation Mike “M.J.” Jones (21-0, 17 KOs) retained his NABA welterweight title and captured the vacant NABO welterweight belt with an impressive fifth round stoppage of a game but outgunned Hector Munoz (18-3-1, 11 KOs) in the scheduled ten round co-feature.
Jones was sharp right from the early going as he methodically broke down the Albuquerque native with his lightning quick jabs and straight rights up top. Late in the opening stanza, Jones hurt Munoz with a right hand. Munoz tried to fire back, but Jones slipped his wild hooks and peppered away with a heavy four punch combination.
Munoz pressed the attack as round two began,
but Jones weathered the flurries and went on return fire of his own in mid round. For every Munoz blow that landed, Jones returned with four heavier shots.
By round three, Munoz’s face was reddened and puffy from the damage of the heavy shots inflicted by the rangy Philadelphian. Rounds three and four were all Jones, who continually snapped back the head of Munoz, who tried in vain to find a new method of attack.
Jones began to work the body late in the fourth round, which further slowed the attack of the heavily tattooed Munoz. One such tattoo was a pistol which hung out from of the back of his trunks. It was probably was the only thing he could have used on this night to stop the Philadelphian as Jones was on his “A” Game.
The end appeared near as Jones counter right-left hook combo backed Munoz to the ropes in round five. Munoz looked badly hurt and wobbled as he tried to fight back. Mike would not let him out and uncorked a left hook to the body and a right hand up top as the badly hurt Munoz bounced off the ropes. His corner had seen enough and correctly threw in the towel to stop the carnage at 2:03 of the fifth.
Under the watchful eyes of the HBO brass, Jones, ranked #6 WBA/#8 WBO/#10 IBF/#15 WBC, put on a nearly flawless performance that could set him up for national television exposure and a lucrative fight in the very near future. –Kurt Wolfheimer
Tapia Tops Winchester
Unbeaten junior middleweight prospect Glen Tapia (6-0, 4 KOs) captured a one sided four round unanimous decision victory over Reidsville, North Carolina’s James Winchester (10-4, 3 KOs).
Tapia of Passaic, New Jersey looked like he would make an early night of it as he constantly unloaded big combinations on the seemingly tentative Winchester. The barrage continued in round two as Tapia floored the Reidsville North Carolina native with a left hook. Winchester was game and got up to absorb more punishment. Tapia opened up with another strong combination and it looked like the referee might stop it. Tapia played it safe though and backed off as Winchester tried to land one counter bomb which would change the momentum of the fight
Winchester pushed his own attack in round three as Tapia looked to get his second wind. The North Carolinian called for Tapia to trade with him late in the round, which the New Jersey native gladly obliged, scoring several clubbing blows.
The counter punching Winchester continued to call Tapia in as the fourth round began. Tapia tried to land the same shots, but Winchester began to find his range with the counter rights. As the round progressed Winchester’s hooks were wider but landed more often. Tapia was faster though and took the round barely on his quick combinations.
The fight was a swing bout which was originally scheduled for six rounds and switched to four, to accommodate the televised portion of the card. Neither corner appeared to know the fight was changed as they entered their corners preparing for a fifth round. The commission had to step in and tell them the fight was over which sent it to the scorecards. All three judges saw the bout 40-35 for Glenn Tapia, who moves to (6-0, 4 KOs).-Kurt Wolfheimer
Korobov Decisions Snyder
Undefeated former Russian Olympian Matt Korobov, of Orotukan, Russia won a lackluster unanimous decision over Josh Snyder, of Berlin, Maryland in an eight round middleweight bout.
Korobov, a southpaw, swept the first four rounds with his superior boxing skills, however Snyder never stopped coming forward, and took round five as Korobov appeared to tire a bit.
Korobov came back in round six and knocked Snyder’s mouthpiece out with a left. Snyder landed several lead right hands, which Korobov countered with lefts to the body.
Round seven belonged to Korobov, and round eight was very close. Korobov suffered a small cut on his forehead in the final round.
The scores were 78-74 (twice) and 79-73 in favor of Korobov, who remains undefeated at (11-0, 8 KOs). Snyder falls to (8-5-1, 3 KOs). – Rick Scharmberg
Campbell, Ohio super lightweight prospect Chris Hazimhalis (2-0, 2 KOs) didn’t need much time to keep his perfect record intact as he dropped Ramon Ellis (0-5) once en-route to a technical stoppage at the 1:27 mark of the opening round.
Ellis of Philadelphia PA, tried to keep the Ohio native on the retreat with a couple of lunging rights in the opening moments, but Hozimhalis’ defense was tight. Once he weathered the storm, Chris uncorked a near perfect counter right hand which sent Ellis to the canvas. Ellis rose to his feet, but he retreated to a corner. Hazimhalis unleashed a flurry of unanswered punches before Referee Sammy Viruet pulled him off for the TKO at the 1:28 mark of the opening round. Ellis didn’t look badly hurt and was actually in the process of throwing a right hand as Hazimhalis pulled away. It may have been an early stoppage. -Kurt Wolfheimer
Hearns steamrolls Raines
Ronald “The Chosen One” Hearns (25-1, 19KO’s) continued his comeback with an impressive first round knockout of Delray “The Rainmaker” Raines (17-8-1, 12KO’s) in their scheduled eight round junior middleweight scrap.
The thirty one year old son of Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns from Detroit, Michigan seemed to be back in his old form with sharp left jabs, which forced Raines to open up. Hearns saw an opening and deposited Raines of Paris, Arkansas, to the canvas at the one minute mark with a right hand over his shotgun jab. Raines rose to his feet and tried to fend off “The Chosen One.” Hearns was determined and would not let him off the hook as he rained down an explosive right behind the jab, which planted Raines on the canvas for the final time at the 1:47 mark.
It was the fourth consecutive victory for Hearns since his knockout loss to fellow contender “Lightning” Harry Joe Yorgey (22-1-1, 10 KOs) in March of 2009.
Hearns seems to get sharper and more confident with his hand speed and power with each fight in his current four bout win streak. Look for him to again make a run at a world junior middleweight title belt in the very near future.-Kurt Wolfheimer
Arroyo Stuns Bryan
In a battle of up and coming welterweight prospects, New York, New York’s Vincent Arroyo (10-1, 7 KOs) captured victory from the jaws of defeat, with a stunning eighth and final round knockout of previously unbeaten Jeremy “Hollywood” Bryant (13-1, 6 KOs) of Patterson, New Jersey.
The opening two rounds were close, but Jeremy Bryan looked sharp behind left jabs and counters as Arroyo loaded up with heavier swings. Bryant pressed the attack in the third with a three punch combination. Arroyo retaliated with a hard one two of his own. Both pugilists felt the fight turning and traded away in the center of the ring. The flurries stopped when Jeremy knocked out Arroyo’s mouthpiece with a sharp right hand.
Bryan’s hand speed and tight defense seemed to keep Arroyo off balance in round four and five. A counter left hook stunned Arroyo and sent him to the ropes in the sixth. Seeing his opponent covering up, Bryan unloaded two short combinations. Arroyo was still dangerous and made Bryan go back to boxing on the outside with a hard counter right up top. Arroyo stepped up his attack as Bryan seemed to tire from his heavy punch output. Just as the round came to a close, a Arroyo straight right appeared to hurt Bryan but he was unable to capitalize. Just moments later, he landed a right south of the border, which gave Bryan time to recover.
The fight again turned in the seventh as Bryan, though tired, boxed his way around the ring. Arroyo landed a low blow and appeared to tire himself as his mouthpiece was knocked out twice which elicited stern warnings from Referee Sammy Viruet.
Though a couple of the rounds were close, Bryan appeared to be way ahead on the scorecards. It was confirmed afterward that two officials had Bryan winning every round (70-63 x 2) and the third gave Arroyo only the sixth round only (69-64).
Arroyo uncorked a big right hand which put Bryan on the bicycle early in the final round. Arroyo challenged Bryan to trade with him, motioning him in. Bryan clinched, but Arroyo hurt him with a right hand and began to batter him against the ropes. Bryan appeared to have gone to the canvas as he sat on the second from the bottom rope. Arroyo unloaded another left hook-right uppercut which collapsed Jeremy Bryan to the canvas. Bryan rolled on his side as Referee Sammy Viruet reached the ten count at the 1:43 mark of the eighth and final round.
Bryan’s corner vociferously protested the knockout, saying it was clear that Bryan’s knees was clearly on the canvas before the final two telling blows were landed. A protest would be filed with the New Jersey State Athletic Commission to ask that the contest be changed to a no decision.
A rematch could be in order to settle the score.-Kurt Wolfheimer
Guinn Halts Nelson
In the opening bout of the evening, former heavyweight contender Dominic “Southern Disaster” Guinn, of Hot Springs, Arkansas stopped Terrell “Baby Bull” Nelson, of Plainfield, New Jersey after seven completed rounds of a scheduled eight round bout.
Guinn started fast, and nearly ended things in the first round after flooring Nelson with 30 seconds left in the round. A left hook followed by a right uppercut staggered Nelson, and a big right hand decked him. Guinn followed up with a right hand-left hook combination at the bell, but couldn’t finish Nelson off.
Guinn suddenly became lethargic in round two, holding Nelson, and letting him land on the inside. Guinn bounced back to take rounds three and four on two scorecards, but Nelson took round five.
Guinn picked it up slightly in round six, and hammered a fading Nelson with three big right hands to end round seven. Nelson’s corner kept him on his stool after the round, giving Guinn the TKO win.
One judge had the bout even after seven completed rounds. The other two had Guinn comfortably ahead at the time of the stoppage.
Guinn improves to (33-6-1, 22 KOs) while Nelson drops to (8-10, 5 KOs). – Rick Scharmberg