In the co-main event, unbeaten contender Xavier Martinez (16-0, 11 KOs) survived two knockdowns to win a unanimous decision over Claudio Marrero (24-5, 17 KOs) in their WBA Super Featherweight Title Eliminator. After 12 rounds, all three judges scored the fight for Martinez, by scores of 115-111 and 114-112 twice.
The fight featured ebbs and flows, with each man seemingly in control at different times throughout. Sacramento’s Martinez flashed impressive combination punching, punctuating many attacks with a left hook that slowly closed Marrero’s right eye. Representing his native Dominican Republic, Marrero actually held the statistical edge in the fight, out landing Martinez 161 to 128.
Marrero seemed to change the tide of the fight in round eight, landing a powerful right hook to the head that dropped Martinez in the first minute of the frame. Marrero followed up with a flurry finished off by a right hook that again dropped Martinez. Despite the two knockdowns, Martinez was able to survive the rest of the round and avoid the hard-charging Marrero.
Although he was fighting past the eighth round for the first time in his career, Martinez was able to regain his momentum through the championship rounds to clinch the victory.
In the telecast opener, super lightweight contender Subriel Matias (16-1, 16 KOs) scored a TKO victory over Malik Hawkins (18-1, 11 KOs) after six rounds of action. The fight was stopped on the recommendation of the ringside physician prior to the start of the seventh round and is officially scored a TKO one second into the seventh.
After Baltimore’s Hawkins won the first round on all three judges’ cards, Matias began to outwork his opponent and consistently land his left hook to the head and body. In round six, Matias knocked down a fading Hawkins with that hook, the first time Hawkins had been down in his career.
Matias was the busier fighter from rounds two through six, landing 137 punches to Hawkins’ 94. His left hook also helped him to a 122 to 70 advantage in power punches landed, while swelling the right eye of Hawkins that would lead to the end of the fight. Matias led by the score of 59-54 on all three judges’ cards at the time of the stoppage.