Friday night at the Metrodome in Barnsley, England, promoter Frank Maloney put on a fight card headlined by European super bantam champion Rendall Munroe’s dangerous defense against Kiko Martinez in a rematch.
Martinez ruthlessly attacked the southpaw champion in the early rounds, forcing Munroe to weather the storm and bide his time until the hard punching Spaniard started to slow down.
The bigger Munroe forced his challenger onto the back foot behind a campaign of energy sapping body shots before punishing Martinez with sizzling combinations from both hands.
Martinez spent the last two frames on the ropes where he was hammered into a defensive shell and showed tremendous toughness just to finish the fight on his feet.
Munroe, rated in the top 10 by the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO, won the scorecards 116-113, 116-112 and 118-110, retaining his European title for the fourth time and improving to 18-1 (8), while Martinez loses his second bout, both to Munroe, falling to 20-2 (15).
WBC number 6 ranked London southpaw Olusegun keeps his hopes alive of challenge the winner of the upcoming Timothy Bradley vs. Kendall Holt light welterweight title unification bout.
Welshman Gary Buckland, 15-1 (5), regained the vacant Celtic lightweight title with a thrilling win over Scotland’s former Commonwealth super feather titlist Craig Docherty, 22-5-1 (9), sweeping the referee’s card 100-90 after ten rounds.
2008 Olympic Bronze Medallist Tony Jeffries made a superb start to his professional career by wiping out Belarus native Aliaksander Vayavoda, 5-13-1 (3), in short order, stopping the journeyman at 2:42 of the first round at super middleweight.
Jeffries wasted no time dismantling the import from Minsk, displaying the kind of form that will take him far up the ladder in the highly competitive 168 pound division.
Irish super bantamweight titlist Paul Hyland, 14-1 (4), overcame iron-chinned Ukrainian Nikita Lukin, 8-17-2 (2), in a six round firefight won by the Dublin stylist 58-57. 24 year old Hyland could challenge European bantamweight champion Ian Napa before the year is out.
A brace of four round bouts were also on the bill featuring the kind of competitive matchmaking promoter Maloney is famous for.
Light welter Dave Ryan, 8-1 (1), put the first loss to the record of Jamie Way, 8-1 (1), taking the contest on points, 40-37, while towering lightweight Tyrone Nurse, 6-0 (0), stayed on track with a 40-36 points verdict over teak tough veteran Baz Carey, 11-40-4 (3).
Bantamweight Ross Burkinshaw, 5-1-2 (3), and super bantam Mike Robinson, 4-0-1 (0), went to war and came out with a draw after four furious rounds and super feather Lee Selby, 3-0 (0), defeated Craig Johnson, 9-4 (0), by a mark of 39-37.
Sky Sports provided television coverage of the marquee events.
All photos ©Jane Warburton/MMG and are free for use only with credit given to same.