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McJoe Arroyo Decisions Geraldo, Earns 115 Lb. Title Fight

By Jake Donovan

McJoe Arroyo will next challenge for a 115 lb. title after scoring a unanimous decision over Philippines' Mark Geraldo in their 12-round super flyweight eliminator Saturday evening in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

Scores were 119-107 (twice) and 118-108 in a rout for the local favorite. 

Arroyo and his twin brother McWilliams both came into 2014 with a mission to capture world titles by year's end. Their dreams are slightly altered based on results and timeline, as McWilliams came up just short in a valiant effort versus the excellent Amnat Ruenroeng on the road in Thailand this past September. 

McJoe simply had to wait for his final eliminator to be secured, which couldn't happen until late in the year due to logistical reasons. The timing of the fight means he has to wait until next year to challenge for his first title, but getting there proved to be the easy part. 

It was a breakout year for Arroyo, who along with McWilliams served on the 2008 Puerto Rico Olympic Boxing squad. Saturday's bout was just his third of 2014, but the past 12 months have been all about quality over quantity. 

Arroyo came in on the heels of the biggest win of his career, an 11th round knockout of former 112 lb. titlist Hernan 'Tyson' Marquez on the road in Mexico this past June. This time around, the unbeaten flyweight enjoyed home court advantage, though it stands to reason that he would have beaten Geraldo anywhere in the world. 

A boxing lesson quickly developed into a rout, with an exclamation point coming in round eight when Arroyo sent the visiting Filipino to the canvas for the bout's lone knockdown. Frustration set in for Geraldo, who lost a point in round 12 to only add insult to injury.

The lopsided loss is the worst of Geraldo's seven year career, falling to 31-5-3 (14KOs) as his nine-fight win streak comes to a screeching halt. 

Arroyo only continues to improve with each fight. The win sends his record to 16-0 (8KOs), but more importantly puts him in position to challenge tough-as-nails Zolani Tete for a 115 lb. belt sometime in 2015. 

UNDERCARD

Roman Martinez enjoyed a triumphant return to the ring following a 13-month hiatus. The former 130 lb. titlist scored a second round knockout of Hebert Quartey in his first fight as a full-time lightweight. 

The bout was a mismatch from the moment it was formed - barely two days before fight night. Martinez was without an opponent all the way up until after the final presser during fight week, at which point event handlers stumbled upon Quartey, who - according to boxing database website BoxRec.com - was making his pro debut.

Martinez closed the show in round two, putting Quartey down for the full ten count courtesy of a body shot. The fight was waived off at 2:33 of round two.

The win is Martinez' first since scoring a narrow points win over Diego Magdaleno in his lone successful 130 lb. title defense last April. The 31-year old Boricua advances to 28-2-2 (17KOs) in fighting for the first time since losing his title to Mikey Garcia last November. 

Future plans call for Martinez to pursue a shot either at Terence Crawford, or possibly a vacant title once the current World lineal lightweight champion moves up in weight. 

Another comeback also resulted in a 2nd-round knockout win, as Jose 'Chelo' Gonzalez had his way with Portugal's Joan Antonio Bento (27-15-2, 15KOs). 

Gonzalez scored three knockdowns on the night, one in the opening round and then two more in the desicive second round. The fight ended with the former lightweight challenger scoring a flush right hand to Bento's jaw, as the journeyman was floored and still dazed as he attempted to rise to his feet. 

The official time was 2:27 of round two.

Gonzalez improves to 23-1 (18KO) with a much-needed win following a 19-month ring hiatus. His last fight ended in despair and disgrace, quitting on his stool after nine rounds of a title fight with then-lightweight titlist Ricky Burns, in which Gonzalez was up on all three scorecards before citing a wrist injury as his reason for the untimely exit. 

All three bouts aired live on DirecTV Pay-Per-View.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the official records keeper for Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a voting member of Boxing Writers Association of America.  Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by baya on 12-21-2014

martinez. only rican in history winning a title fight only to quit because he broke a nail.

Comment by alexander28 on 12-21-2014

Great another Puertorican champion. Boxing :firedevil

Comment by PETUFF on 12-20-2014

ibf need a good champion like mc joe arroyo!:boxing::boxing:

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