Saturday, November 13, 2021

Martinez KO’s Galahad In 6 To Win IBF Featherweight World Championship


Former IBF Jr. Featherweight world champion Kiko Martinez is a world champion again after scoring a devastating sixth round stoppage of IBF Featherweight world champion Kid Galahad on Saturday night at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England. Martinez had trouble early in the fight due to Galahad’s hand speed and angles. The challenger was cut in the second round over the right eye from a punch. As it appeared Galahad was building a lead on the scorecards, Martinez dropped the champion hard with an overhand right in the closing seconds of round five. Galahad was able to get up, but was clearly hurt at the end of the round. At the beginning of round six, Martinez immediately threw another overhand right that sent Galahad down for a second time and out on the canvas. The fight was immediately stopped. Official time of the stoppage was :06 of round six. Kiko Martinez advances to 43-10-2, with 30 Knockouts. Kid Galahad falls to 28-2, with 17 Knockouts.


Also on this card:


Alycia Baumgardner scored a fourth round stoppage of previously undefeated Women’s WBC/IBO Jr. Lightweight world champion Terri Harper to win the world championship. In what was Harper’s first fight in over a year due to a broken hand, Baumgardner showed her power in this fight. In round two the challenger stunned Harper with a right hand that momentarily buckled her legs. Harper seemed to get her footing in round three, but in round four a sudden end to the fight came when Baumgardner connected with an overhand right that knocked Harper out on her feet. Referee Mark Lyson immediately stepped in and prevented Harper from further punishment even though Harper did not go down to the canvas. Official time of the stoppage was :23 of round two. Alycia Baumgardner advances to 11-1, with 7 Knockouts. Terri Harper falls to 11-1-1, with 6 Knockouts.


European Cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith successfully made the first defense of his European crown by scoring a twelve round unanimous decision over Dylan Bregeon. A fight that was at times fought at a methodical pace, Smith was able to pick up his pace and outwork Bregeon over the second half of the fight to earn the unanimous decision victory. Official score were: 120-109, and 119-109 (On two scorecards) for Smith. Chris Billam-Smith advances to 14-1, with 10 Knockouts. Dylan Bregeon falls to 11-1-1, with 3 Knockouts.


Undefeated Jr. Lightweight Donte Dixon scored an eight round decision over Jordan McCorry. At times a slugfest where both fighters were willing to stand and trade power shots, Dixon’s greater activity controlled the combat. In round six, Dixon dropped McCorry with a sweeping right hook to the body. McCorry was able to get up from the knockdown, but would then be penalized a point due to obsessive holding and not breaking on command from the referee.   As all non-title bouts that are held in the United Kingdom and Ireland that do not have an impact on regional or world rankings are scored solely by the referee officiating about, Referee Howard Foster scored this bout 77-73 for Dixon. Donte Dixon advances to 6-0, with 3 Knockouts. Jordan McCorry falls to 19-8-1, with 4 Knockouts.


In a battle of unbeaten Welterweight prospects, Dom Hunt scored a ten round decision over previously undefeated James Flint. A highly competitive fight throughout, Hunt’s cleaner punches and generally being able to get his punches off first ultimately proved to be the difference in the fight. As all non-title bouts that are held in the United Kingdom and Ireland that do not have an impact on regional or world rankings are scored solely by the referee officiating about, Referee Steve Gray scored the bout 98-93 for Hunt.  Dom Hunt advances to 8-0, with 1 Knockout. James Flint falls to 9-1-1, with 2 Knockouts.


Bantamweight William Cawley successfully made his professional debut by scoring a one-sided four round decision over veteran Stephen Jackson. Referee Howard Foster scored the bout 40-36 for Cawley. William Cawley advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Stephen Jackson falls to 1-7, with 1 Knockout.


Women’s Featherweight Stevi Levy remained undefeated by scoring a four round decision over Polina Golubeva. Levy was in control from the outset and saw it through to the end of the bout. Referee Steve Gray scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Levy. Stevi Levy advances to 5-0, with 0 Knockouts. Polina Golubeva falls to 1-4, with 1 Knockout.


Unbeaten Light-Heavyweight Khalid Ayub scored a four round decision over Stanko Jermelic. The highlight came late in the third round when Ayub dropped Jermelic with a counter left hook. Jermelic was able to survive the round and go the distance. Referee Howard Foster scored the fight 40-35 in favor of Ayub. Khalid Ayub advances to 2-0, with 0 Knockouts. Stanko Jermelic falls to 0-12, with 0 Knockouts.


Women’s Jr. Lightweight Raven Chapman began the evening as she moved to 2-0 in her young career by pounding out a six round decision over very “Game” veteran Karina Kopinska. From the opening bell, Chapman applied pressure and tried to break Kopinska down with a body/ head attack, but to her credit, Kopinska made it to the final bell. Referee Steve Gray scored the bout 60-54 for Chapman. Raven Chapman advances to 2-0, with 1 Knockout. Karina Kopinska falls to 14-45-4, with 3 Knockouts.


Boxing is truly a sport as this observer has said over the many years that I have covered the sport where often the best approach one can take as an observer is to expect the unexpected. Both Kid Galahad and Terri Harper entered their respective world championship defenses on this card as significant favorites over their opponents. Those opponents Kiko Martinez and Alycia Baumgardner were each able to upset the apple cards in their challenges and as 2022 approaches, what were in the plans for Galahad and Harper in potential unification bouts in their respective weight classes has now obviously been changed.


While obviously, the question that will be asked is whether or not both will seek rematches in the new year. Although one cannot dismiss the possibility of both Galahad and Harper invoking their rematch clauses, it is important to keep in mind, both of these fighters suffered brutal knockouts and as much damage as knockouts like what occurred in these two fights can damage a fighter physically, so too can it damage a fighter mentally and both will likely need time to recover from their losses. As for which fighter scored the bigger upset here, yours truly believes both of these results were unexpected, but for the thirty-five year old Martinez, a fighter who was eight years removed from winning his first world championship, to become a two-division world champion under circumstances where some treated his challenge of Kid Galahad as a mere afterthought is likely a frontrunner for Upset of the Year for 2021. Not only because he emerged victorious, but more importantly the manner in which he achieved victory.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


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