Ricky Burns Upsets Roman “Rocky” Martinez In A Great Fight, Wins WBO 130-Pound Belt Via Unanimous Decision

By James Slater - Last night in Glasgow, Scotland, underdog challenger Ricky Burns turned in the performance of his career as he won the WBO super-featherweight title from defending champ Roman “Rocky” Martinez of Puerto Rico. Given no chance in some quarters, the 27-year-old proved many people wrong. The spirited battle, which had the crowd on its feet, went the full 12-rounds, and in the end the warrior from Coatbridge, Scotland was declared the winner via scores of 115-112, 115-112 and 115-113.

Burns also improved to 29-2(7). Martinez, who was making his third defence, lost for the very first time in dropping to 24-1-1(15)..

It was almost disaster time for the much taller Burns in the opening round. After a good, positive start, in which he used his left jab to good effect and also let loose with some right hands, the challenger was caught by a straight right hand to the chin and hit the deck. Not as badly hurt as it perhaps looked, Burns made it to the bell okay and then, amazingly, began to dominate the action!

Some felt the fight was a mismatch going in, and at times it looked like one - but it was Martinez who looked out of his depth. Burns really was massive next to the defending champion, also aged 27 - his body and height giving him the appearance of a fighter from another weight class! Burns also outclassed the champion, who was crude and out of ideas at times.

The 3rd was a great round for Burns, as was the 5th - a session that saw Martinez take plenty of shots, with the crowd going absolutely wild. The upset was on the cards and they knew it. Martinez, the bigger puncher, was always dangerous, but Burns tucked up when he had to, and he fired back with crisp right hands at others.

If Burns, who has just 7 KO’s, had been a bigger puncher, Martinez may well have been in deeper trouble. As it was, the champion was able to come roaring back in the 7th, catching his man with a left hand to the head. Burns, though, sucked it up and got through the round. The action remained thrilling, even though the pace dipped somewhat late on in the fight. Martinez really looked as though he might salvage the win in the torrid 7th, however.

Boxing in a mature, admirable way, Burns, though tired (as was the open-mouthed champion) used his superb jab well in the last couple of rounds, and he knew he had the fight in the bag. Martinez, it must be said, boxed one of his worst fights tonight, but Burns boxed just the opposite. As a result, the man who received an ovation at the conclusion of the 12th and final round, joins greats like Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt as world champions hailing from Scotland.

This fight was a dandy, and it will hopefully find it’s way onto to You Tube, so that fans in the U.S and elsewhere, who do not have Sky Sports, will be able to see it.

Article posted on 05.09.2010

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