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Martinez halts game Cordova in six, hopes to unify

The heavy hands of WBC flyweight king Julio Cesar Martinez eventually broke down the spirit and body of plucky compatriot Joel Cordova to force a sixth-round stoppage at the Dome Alcalde – CODE Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday.

Fellow Mexican Cordova (12-5-2, 3 KOs) brought aggression and industry in a worthy challenge. But Martinez remained calm in the pocket and gradually picked Cordova apart with his sharper blows in the third and fourth.

Cordova kept on coming regardless, taking on puncher Martinez in the trenches in the fifth but the champion’s stiffer shots were taking a heavy toll. A left hook in the sixth finally dropped Cordova who was under furious fire and on wobbly legs when the referee intervened soon afterwards.

“I am grateful with the team and we’re aiming to stay at flyweight and unify the titles,” said Martinez (18-1, 14 KOs & 1 NC). “I am so happy my family and my fans are here in Mexico for me and to support me this evening.

“He was as tough as I expected, a great fighter and we’re all here to win, so all respect to him. Now I want to unify next.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “I believe [Martinez] is the best 112lb fighter in the world. He’s certainly the most exciting, he just throws with you, he wants you to throw. You don’t see KOs in the lighter divisions, but you do with him.

“I think this kid is a superstar, Eddy Reynoso is behind him, we’re behind him, this kid is going all the way. I think he should unify first at flyweight whether that’s Sunny Edwards [IBF], Artem Dalakian [WBA], Junto Nakatani [WBO] and then up to super-flyweight and then up to bantamweight over time. A fight with Juan Francisco Estrada is a super-fight in Mexico, and we’ll see Martinez back out in September.”

In the main undercard attraction, Cuban Daniel Matellon (12-0-1, 6 KOs) retained his WBA Interim light-flyweight belt with a competitive points victory over former IBF strawweight champion Jose Argumedo (24-5-1, 15 KOs). Scores were a (too wide) 117-111 and 115-113 (twice).

Argumedo was cut over the left eye from a second-round head clash and also sustained damage over the right eye and forehead, but the injuries seemed to make the Mexican fight harder to push the champion all the way. The measured Matellon took over in the closing stages to merit a close and hard-fought win.

Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing.