Julio Cesar Martinez had more trouble with Ronal Batista on Saturday night than the wide odds suggested he would.
Mexico City’s Martinez eventually overwhelmed the pesky Panamanian with his power, however, and stopped him early in the 11th round on the Canelo Alvarez-John Ryder undercard at a sold-out Akron Stadium in Zapopan, Mexico. Referee Celestino Ruiz stepped between them to stop the action exactly a minute into the 11th round, after Martinez pummeled Batista with a barrage of power punches while Batista was backed into the ropes.
Martinez (20-2, 15 KOs, 1 NC), who retained his WBC flyweight title in DAZN Pay-Per-View’s co-feature, dropped Batista in the seventh round. Panama City’s Batista (15-3, 9 KOs) also had a point deducted for hitting Martinez after the bell sounded to end the fourth round.
Martinez, who entered the ring as a 14-1 favorite, took control of their fight following the aforementioned knockdown. He landed a left-right-left-right combination about 55 seconds into the 11th round, which led to him unloading the punches that caused Ruiz to halt the action.
A left hook by Martinez knocked Batista’s mouthpiece out of the ring late in the 10th round. Batista backed Martinez into the ropes and drilled him with a left uppercut early in the middle minute of the 10th round.
Martinez was the aggressor and the harder puncher again in the ninth round. After dropping Batista halfway through the seventh round, Martinez landed many flush punches on his challenger during an eighth round he completely controlled.
A clean left hook by Martinez sent Batista to the seat of his trunks with 1:33 to go in the seventh round. Ruiz erroneously called it a slip before Batista got up several seconds later.
An instant replay after the seventh round determined that Martinez indeed scored a knockdown. That adjustment was made on the scorecards before the eighth round began.
Batista pressed the action again in the sixth round, when he often backed Martinez into the ropes and landed to the champion’s body. Martinez switched to a southpaw stance several times in that sixth round and hit Batista with hard shots of his own.
Batista landed several right hands against the defensively flawed Martinez in the fifth round.
Martinez and Batista traded hard shots in the final 20 seconds of the fourth round. Batista then hit Martinez after the bell, which prompted Ruiz to deduct a point from the challenger.
Two left hooks by Martinez backed Batista into the ropes just before the halfway point of the fourth round. Martinez’s left hook knocked Batista off balance about 45 seconds into the fourth round.
A left uppercut by Martinez staggered Batista with just under 20 seconds on the clock in the third round. Martinez hammered Batista with a right to his body and then a right hand to his head barely a minute into the third round.
Batista landed two left hooks and a right hand as Martinez recklessly came forward toward the end of the second round. They then each landed punches after the bell.
Martinez knocked Batista into the ropes with a left hook about 55 seconds into the second round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.