By Francisco Salazar
BURBANK - The grudge match between bantamweights Max Ornelas and Leopoldo Martinez will have to wait another day.
An accidental head-butt that produced a deep gash on Martinez's forehead was ruled to severe to continue, prompting a halt in the second round and a subsequent technical draw.
Ornelas goes to 8-0-1, 3 KOs, while Martinez goes to 6-0-1, 3 KOs.
The war of words between Ornelas and Martinez, along with their respective camps, was to produce a stellar bout.
Early on, the taller Ornelas, who is only 18 years of age and resides in Las Vegas, landed the more effective punches, beating Martinez to the punch during most exchanges.
Towards the end of the first round, an accidental clash of heads produced a nasty cut, producing blood down the face of Martinez.
Ornelas continued to control the action going into the second round. Martinez had to deal with an overflow of blood that covered his face while eating numerous punches from Ornelas.
Referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the bout at 49 seconds when the ringside physician deemed the cut to deep to continue. Under the California Athletic Commission rules, the bout was ruled a technical draw whenever a fight ends on a cut due to an accidental foul.
Despite dominating the fight, Ornelas was disappointed with the outcome.
"I knew he was frustrated, especially on the inside," said Ornelas after the fight. "He was frustrated. He couldn't do anything, so I just worked behind my jab. My right hand hurts just because I was landing it so much."
"I've been sparring pro since I was 15 (years old) and I've fought the best at national tournaments. Anything in the ring I do is second nature to me."
Keith Veltre, CEO and co-founder of Roy Jones Jr. Promotions, hopes both fighters can fight in a rematch.
"I'm offering Martinez a rematch on national television (CBS Sports Network)," said Veltre. "Regardless, Max is fighting June 10 in Las Vegas on CBS Sports Network."
In a battle of unbeaten featherweights, Adam Lopez (6-0, 3 KOs) won a four round unanimous decision over Adan Ochoa. Lopez mostly controlled the action by outboxing Ochoa (2-1, 2 KOs) over the course of the fight. Anytime Ochoa mounted an attack, Lopez was able to counter, particularly with right hands to the head. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Lopez, 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.
In a minor upset on paper, heavyweight Oswaldo Ortega (2-5, with 1 KO) won a sloppy four round unanimous decision over Sean Loeffler. Ortega pressed the action, looking to connect as he walked Loeffler (7-1, with 7 KOs) down early in the fight. The action turned into a clinchfest as Loeffler, who had fought all of his bouts in Tijuana, slowed down considerably, grabbing onto Ortega in round four. All three judges scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Ortega.
Welterweight Damien Lopez (3-0-1, with 2 KOs) stopped Javier Rodriguez in the second round. Lopez landed the more effective punches throughout the fight. A right uppercut dropped Rodriguez, who was making his pro debut, in the second round. Lopez went in for the kill, trapping Rodriguez in a corner and landing a barrage of punches until referee Thomas Taylor stopped the bout at 2:28.
In the opening bout of the Rebel T/ Roy Jones Jr. Promotions card, featherweight Humberto Rubalcava (6-0, with 5 KOs) stopped Cesar Martinez in the third round. Rubalcava dominated the action in the opening round, but Martinez (4-6-2) came on in round two, finding success in round two. In round three, Rubalcava stunned Martinez with three consecutive right hands to the head. Martinez was on his way down to the canvas when referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the bout at 1:43.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing