Julio Cesar Martinez and McWilliams Arroyo finally made their way into the ring, only for the fight to end just as it was developing into a scorcher.
The oft-rescheduled WBC flyweight title fight saw both fighters hit the deck before ending in anti-climactic fashion. A cut over Fajardo, Puerto Rico’s Arroyo deemed to have been caused by an unintentional headbutt resulted in a No-Decision verdict Friday evening from SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Mexico City’s Martinez opened the fight with his normal disregard for his opponent, though it nearly proved to be his undoing. The defending champ from Mexico City went on the attack, flinging left hooks and right hands as if anything that would come back in return wouldn’t have any affect.
Arroyo surged ahead midway through the round, briefly stunning before crashing a left hook across his chin. Martinez stumbled into the ropes, correctly ruled as a knockdown by referee Johnny Callas. Arroyo was feeling good about closing the show until getting tagged himself. A left hook by Martinez floored the 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian and three-time title challenger in the closing seconds of round one.
Arroyo was back on the canvas midway through round two, though not quite as clean of a sequence. Martinez landed a right hand, though it was a subsequent shove that forced Arroyo to hit the deck. It was ruled a knockdown, though the growing cut over his right eye was more problematic.
It was also enough to end the fight.
The ringside physician was summoned to the ring apron at the start of round three, covering Arroyo’s left eye and inspecting his vision and the wound before determining that he was no longer in position to continue. Arroyo aided the decision, responding with “No veo” (“I can’t see”) when quizzed by the doctor.
Martinez retains his title for the fourth time, as his record is now 18-1 (14KOs) with two No-Decisions. His first title fight ended in similarly disappointing fashion, having a knockout taken away after it was ruled that Charlie Edwards was on the canvas at the time of the fight-ending blow. The use of replays overturned the initial ruling in the ring in the August 2019 fight, with Martinez claiming the vacant title later that December in a ninth-round knockout of Cristofer Rosales.
Three defenses have followed, though with Martinez-Arroyo scheduled twice before during that stretch. Martinez withdrew due to illness from their fight last August and then prior to the weigh-in after a hand injury disallowed him to move forward with their scheduled February 27 clash in Miami Gardens.
Arroyo—who is now 21-4 (16KOs) with one No-Decision—was granted the opportunity to remain on the February 27 DAZN card, scoring a fifth-round stoppage of very late replacement Abraham Rodriguez to win the WBC interim flyweight title.
The purpose of Friday’s affair was to consolidate the belts. With that mission unsuccessful, a rematch seems imminent—though there is no telling how long it will take for the two to make their way back into the ring versus each other given the sordid history.
Headlining the evening, two-divisions and reigning WBO middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade (30-0, 18KOs)—Reis’ longtime, childhood friend from Providence—faces Ireland’s Jason Quigley (19-1, 14KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox