By: Sean Crose
The 15-0 Xavier Martinez stepped into the ring at the fanless Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday night to face the 24-4 Claudio Marrero in a scheduled 12 round super featherweight affair. The first round was a relatively uneventful chapter. The second round wasn’t much more eventful. Marrero came on strong at the beginning of the third. Martinez started upping the pressure a bit by round’s end.
By the fourth it was clear that Martinez was showing patience. With that in mind, the pace of the fight was no doubt trying viewer’s patience. Marrero came alive again around the middle of the fifth. He didn’t continue being aggressive, however, until the end of the round, when both men began to trade leather.
Things remained choppy in the sixth. Both men had their moments, but there wasn’t a whole lot of consistency to be found. Martinez hit hard in the seventh, but things remained slow. Martinez appeared to be the more gifted fighter, but Marrero took his punches well.
A thunderous right sent Martinez down at the beginning of the eighth. Martinez got up but a heavy flurry of punches sent him down once more. Martinez got up again, but Marrero continued to fire away. Things had suddenly gotten interesting. Martinez survived the round, and appeared to be at least somewhat recovered in the ninth.
Marrero showed a large degree of confidence in the tenth while Martinez fought on with bruises under both eyes. What’s more, Martinez struck his man hard in the eleventh. He continued to be aggressive in the twelfth and final round. The judges ended up ruling in favor of Martinez by scores of 115-111, 114-112, and 114-112.