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Teofimo Lopez Survives Close Fight With Sandor Martin

By: Sean Crose

Former lightweight kingpin Teofimo Lopez engaged in his second junior welterweight fight on Saturday night, as he faced Sandor Martin in a scheduled ten rounder at Madison Square Garden. The Lopez-Martin bout was the main event of a card aired live by ESPN.

Photo: Top Rank

Lopez answered the opening bell by coming out aggressively, though not as aggressively as he had come out to face George Kambosos in the only fight he had lost up until that point. Lopez went down in the opening seconds of the second round. He got up quickly, but it was a surprise to see Martin send him to the mat, no matter how briefly. With that in mind, Lopez appeared to get the better of his man for the rest of the round.

The third was something of a chess match, with each man having his moments, with Lopez on the hunt and Martin fighting in a defensive format. Martin landed well several time in the fourth, but Lopez was doing good work pot shoting his man to the body. What’s more, Martin began to bleed rather profusely from a clash of heads. Martin had a solid fifth round, but it was clear that Lopez was able to reach him while he tactically retreated.

Lopez began to look a bit frustrated in the sixth, as he wasn’t able to regularly land clean on his man. Still both men ended up firing away at each other in close in the final seconds of the round. It appeared that Lopez was the victim of a second flash knockdown at the the top of the seventh, though the referee ruled it a slip. The rest of the round was close enough to be difficult to score.

The eighth was razor close, but Lopez’ straight shots to the body may have edged it for him. By the ninth it seemed that Martin’s own patience might ultimately work against him. With one round left to go, neither man was dominating. With that being said, the tenth and final round saw Lopez barrel along, while Martin was able to get some impressive shots in.

The judges ended up giving Lopez a split decision win, with one score of 95-94 for Martin, one score for 96-93 Lopez, and one score of 97-92 for Lopez.

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