Sandor Martin made a routine defense of his European super-lightweight title with a landslide points win over British challenger Kay Prosper on Matchroom’s show in Barcelona.
Martin, 27, is a clever southpaw, quite rangy and awkward. How that will help him at world level is anyone’s guess, although a shortage of power could find him out. At this level, though, he can dominate.
Prosper was stepping up from English title level and Martin had far too many tricks for him. Prosper tried boxing, tried switching to southpaw, tried mixing it up and eventually tied to blast Martin out. Nothing worked. Martin controlled the space, drew Prosper in, beat him to the punch and whenever Prosper threw a heavy shot, Martin was well out of range.
Prosper was staggered by a big right early on and, as hard as the British boxer tried, Martin always managed to find a target for his best shots without ever threatening to force a stoppage. Prosper had a point deducted for rabbit punching in the eleventh round, although the fight was long gone for the British boxer then.
All three judges went for Martin by scores of 119-107, 117-109 and 117-110.
There was an unsatisfactory end to the European featherweight title Andoni Gago and Gavin McDonnell, which was sent to the scorecards at the start of the fifth round because of a huge cut over McDonnell’s left eye. Gago retained his title via a technical draw in a fight that was warming up nicely.
It was a real bull v matador type fight. Gago walked forward while McDonnell – the twin brother of former WBA bantamweight champion, Jamie – circled and landed straight punches. Early on that worked well for McDonnell, although the cut that ultimately ended the fight happened early in the first round and was worsened by a Gago left hook.
McDonnell had a good second round, as Gago walked into his punches, but the longer things went, the closer Gago started to get, as his punches began to get through McDonnell’s guard. Gago did well with the left hook, although McDonnell, a former European champion at super-bantamweight, was generally the only leading off.
Mark Lyson, the British judge, had it 40-36 to McDonnell, the other two, Jose Lazaro Carrasco, of Spain, and Ventsislav Nikolov, of Bulgaria, both had it 38-38 to force the draw.
Big-punching former European welterweight champion Kerman Lejarraga scored his fourth successive win since losing to David Avanesyan for the second time, but he had to climb off the floor twice before stopping Londoner Jez Smith in the seventh round of a super-welterweight ten-rounder.
The first two rounds were close, with Smith doing OK when boxing from distance, but Lejarraga looking dangerous whenever in range. Things started to go wrong for Lejarraga as he was cut and then dropped by a booming right uppercut in the third round. He hurt him again soon after and the, in the fourth round, after Lejarraga had shown signs of getting back into things, he was dropped by another right uppercut.
As after the previous knockdown, Lejarraga was allowed to get extra time to recover after spitting out his gumshield, and Smith was unable to finish him and, in the fifth round, Lejarraga started to come back into things.
In the sixth round, Lejarraga started to get on top as he crowded Smith and landed well to the body. A left hook hammered into Smith’s jaw as he struggled to keep the Spaniard off him. A combination then sent Smith back to the ropes and he was dropped with a crunching left hook to the body in the final seconds of the round.
Smith tried to stand and trade with Lejarraga in the seventh round, but the Spaniard was sapping Smith’s strength. Late in the round a right hook, rocked Smith, who tried to cover up and duck low as Lejarraga looked for another opening. But without another clean punch being landed, the referee, Alfonso Monroy, jumped between them to stop the fight. While the original punch had hurt Smith, the ending seemed dreadfully premature.The official time was 2:31.
A name like Bernard Angelo Torres should fit in well on a card in Spain, but the 24-year-old featherweight prospect comes from the Philippines and lives in Norway. He looks to be some talent too, as he raced to 14-0 with a two-round demolition of Colombia’s Anuar Salas.
Torres was dominant and almost ended matters in double quick time as he dropped Salas midway through the first round. Salas survived the round but was constantly under pressure and dropped by a clubbing left, late in the second, the fight being stopped as he rose at 2:33.
There were two Brits who won on the undercard. Luke Willis, a super-lightweight from Liverpool, moved to 10-0 with a unanimous decision over Ricardo Fernandez, from Bilbao. Willis, whose uncle, Tony, won a bronze medal at the 1980 Olympics, dropped Fernandez in the third round and went on to win by scores of 60-54 (twice) and 59-55.
April Hunter, a welterweight from the North-East of England, recorded her third win as a professional as she claimed a majority points decision over Elsa Hemat, of France, in a tough four-rounder. Two judges went for Hunter by 39-37, while the third scored it a draw 38-38.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.