Sergio Martinez TKO’s Alex Bunema in Battle of World-Rated Contenders to Claim interim WBC 154 Pound Title on HBO
New York (October 5, 2008) – Saturday night (October 4) in a fight seen on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, Sergio Martinez became the new interim WBC junior middleweight world champion with an overwhelming eighth-round TKO victory over WBA # 1 & WBC # 4 rated Alex Bunema, at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California.
From the opening bell, Martinez (44-1-1, 24 KOs), who came into the bout as the WBC # 2 rated contender, completely dominated the accomplished, reigning WBA Inter-Continental 154 pound titlist, Bunema.
In round three, southpaw Martinez battered Bunema all over the ring before flooring the African with a left hand. Martinez’s superior hand speed was evident throughout the one-sided beating – prompting the ringside physician to stop the bout before the start of round nine.
“Sergio Martinez is one of the best fighters in the world period! His nickname is ‘Maravilla,’ which means ‘Marvelous’ and that’s the kind of performance he delivered against Bunema,” said DBE president Lou DiBella.
The 33-year-old Martinez resides in Madrid, Spain, and has already held the IBO world and WBC Latino 154 pound titles. His advisor Sampson Lewkowicz was the first to alert DiBella to the Argentine’s unlimited potential.
DiBella: “Sampson told me about Sergio a few years back. Once I had the opportunity to watch some tapes, I knew the sky was the limit for this guy as long as he was given the opportunity to perform on the HBO stage. Along with Sergio’s manager Ricardo Sanchez-Atocha, Sampson and I are confident that Martinez will prove to be boxing’s next major international star with displays in the ring that earn him the accolades associated with a talent of his magnitude.”
Bunema came into the fight against Martinez coming off two straight knockout victories already this year over world-class contenders Roman Karmazin and Walter Dario Matthysse – making Martinez’s resounding win that much more impressive.
“The scary thing about Martinez is, he has the ability to do the same thing to almost any fighter out there and he’ll continue to do so as he’s matched against the very best competition. A new star has emerged in the 147 to 160 pound weight classes and his name is Sergio Martinez,” concluded Lou DiBella.