Big-Hitting Kiko Martinez Becomes The First Man To Stop Jason Booth, Wins Via 10th-round TKO In Spain

By James Slater: Last night in his homeland of Spain, former European super-bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez regained the title via an impressive 10th-round stoppage over former British and Commonwealth 122-pound boss Jason Booth. Dropping the 33-year-old with a left hand in the 10th, Martinez, who had hurt “2-Smooth” a number of times in earlier rounds, got the TKO win when referee Luigi Muratore decided Booth had had enough.

Now 25-3(18) “La Sensacion” has won his last five fights. For Booth, who was coming back after a hard-fought split decision win over Jamie Arthur, in which he defended his British and Commonwealth belts, last night’s loss marked the only time he has ever been stopped as a pro. Booth is now 36-7(15).

One of British boxing’s most amazing comeback stories, Booth’s return from serious alcohol problems to regain past glories earned the Nottingham warrior much praise and respect. The return to winning ways that began in 2006 also eventually earned Booth a shot at the IBF title. Losing a close, gutsy affair against the classy Steve Molitor last September, Booth had the satisfaction of crossing the finishing line and remaining on his feet. Now, in light of being stopped by the Spaniard who is known to Irish fans for his brutal and quick KO of Bernard Dunne (TKO 1 in 2007), Booth may have a good long look at what his options are. Could the 43-fight veteran even decide to call it a day?

Martinez, a naturally heavy-handed fighter, hurt Booth in the 5th-round, and he caught him with more heard head shots in the 8th and 9th-rounds. On top in a big way and surely well ahead on points at the time of the stoppage in the 10th, Martinez finished things with a big left hand to the head. Booth showed guts, as he always does, in getting back up, but the ref had seen enough. No-one could complain about the stoppage.

Martinez - twice out-boxed by Rendal Munroe, the talented southpaw Booth was perhaps looking at facing one day - can now look ahead to some big paydays. The 25-year-old has proven he is unafraid to travel to fight, and maybe he will return to the U.K for another fight soon? A genuine danger man, Kiko is now a three-time champion (Euro Union and full-Euro champ). Maybe a shot at one of the various world titles will come for him next?

Article posted on 16.04.2011

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