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Barker dethrones Geale! Martinez upsets Romero!

By Arvin Nundloll and Kurt Wolfheimer;
Photos by
Emily Harney

Darren Barker (25-1, 16 KOs) fought for twelve hard rounds and survived a knockdown, that would leave most on the floor, to defeat reigning champion Daniel Geale (29-1, 15 KOs) and become the new IBF middleweight champion this past Saturday at the Revel Casino-Hotel in Atlantic City.

Geale started the fight off well, using his speed to land some splendid combinations on Barker while doubling his opponent's punch output. Geale also landed the more telling punches and controlled the center of the ring.

After a cautious start, Barker began to go to the body in an attempt to slow down Geale, which lead to some intense exchanges. He continued to claim the middle rounds with aggressive and accurate boxing which rocked Geale in the third but suffered a cut above his left eye in the fourth round.

Early in round five, Geale woke Barker up with a straight right.  Geale came off better when fighting on the inside. This tactic paid off as Geale delivered a left hook to the body that dropped Barker instantly. Somehow, Barker was able to pick himself up at the final second of the count and survive. In fact he came close to knocking Geale down towards the end of the round with a counter right that momentarily stunned Geale.

After the knockdown, Barker recovered well and went on to take the later rounds while Geale slowed his punch output but still remained a threat. Geale was still finding success with the counter punches however came up second best when fighting inside.

Geale started showboating and playing up to the crowd towards the later rounds in an effort to throw Barker off-guard.

Round twelve was a controversial one to score, however both fighters slugged it out and were determined to give the crowd one final exchange of power punches.

After twelve tough rounds, the one judge scored the fight 114-113 for Geale and while his counterparts scored the contest at 116-111and 114-113 to Barker.

Barker dedicated the victory to his brother Gary, who had passed away in a car accident.

"I dedicate this to my late brother," said the new champion.  "Everything I've done is for him."

"I take my hat off to Daniel Geale, he's a great champion and a tough, tough man.

"He caught me right in the solar plexus and completely took my breath away from me."

Speaking about the knockdown, Barker explained his mindset: “I was in absolute bits. I was gone. But as the seconds went on my brother and daughter, they got into my head.

Geale felt as though it was a close fight and maybe had done enough to win:

"I hurt him throughout the fight,” said the former champion.  “It wasn’t my best performance, and I was disappointed that I lost the belt. I definitely want a rematch.”

Barker now faces Felix Strum in a mandatory defense of his title and Geale will most likely take a break before stepping back into the ring. One thing that is certain is that both fighters gave everything that had into this fight and proved that the middleweight division is alive and kicking. ---Arvin Nundloll


Martinez upsets Romero for title!

In the co-feature, former two-time European super bantamweight title holder Kiko “La Sensacion” Martinez (29-4, 21 KOs) scored a thrilling sixth round stoppage over previously undefeated Jhonatan “Momo” Romero (23-1, 12 KOs) to capture Romero’s IBF super bantamweight belt.

It was a classic Bull versus the Matador matchup as the shorter Martinez bulled his way in under the long reach of the taller Columbian from the opening bell. Romero looked to keep him off with right jabs, but Kiko constantly pushed him to the ropes and dug in hard hooks to the body. Romero tried to stand tall and fight back but his chin was in the air and exposed.  Midway in the round, Martinez stunned Romero with a hard right which spun the Columbian’s head around. Romero wobbled backwards and clinched to regain his senses.  Martinez would not let him breathe and hurt him again as he tried to retreat from the brutal onslaught. Romero desperately tried to fend him off with a hard right uppercut of his own, but Martinez continued to find his range with hard right hands up top. Romero was trapped again on the ropes and the pounding kept coming, but the bell finally sounded to end the opening round.

Romero boxed while on the bicycle in the second.  His legs were back so Romero used stiff jabs and straight rights to kept Martinez at bay in the center of the ring. Martinez finally found his mark again late in the second with four hard right hands.

Romero added the right uppercut into the fray in the third as he boxed his way around the ring while the “Bull” Martinez kept coming forward absorbing some shots along the way.

Early in the fourth, Romero began to time the wide right hands of Martinez with counters and uppercuts while on the move. Martinez would not be denied though and again found his range, staggering Romero with a short right on the button. Martinez kept charging forward like a Bull pursuing the Matador's red cape, except this bull made contact.  Martinez battered Romero from corner to corner before Romero was able to regain his composure and flee the brutal assault. In the closing moments, the fighters dove in and clashed heads which resulted in a cut over the left eye of Romero. Just before the bell, Romero again stood tall with his back against the ropes which allowed Martinez to land flush with two more damaging shots up top.

The blood from the cut seemed to bother Romero and it bled throughout the fifth round. Martinez stayed inside and on the chest of his opponent, swinging away for the knockout shot.

Finally, in the early moments of the sixth, Martinez again hurt Romero with a crunching right hand up top.  Romero escaped but Martinez was right on top of him.  Martinez forced Romero into a corner and wobbled him with two hellacious right hands.  The relentless Martinez unleashed another battery of punches on the bloodied Romero who was trapped in the corner and virtually defenseless.  

Referee David Fields had seen enough and mercifully waived the bout off at 2:40 of the sixth round.

"I knew I had to keep throwing punches because he wasn’t responding,” said Martinez on the stoppage. “The referee would eventually stop it.”

Martinez now has his sights on even bigger quarry. When Martinez was asked about whom he wants next, Martinez quickly responded, “I want Nonito Dona ire!!”---Kurt Wolfheimer


Brunker maintains undefeated record

Featherweight Joel Brunker (26-0, 15 KOs) kept his undefeated record intact and survived a cut above his left eye to see off challenger Mike Oliver (25-4, 8 KOs).

The fight itself saw Brunker bully Oliver around the ring, frequently pinning Oliver against the ropes and unleashing a barrage of body punches. Oliver couldn’t find an answer to Brunker’s style of fight and could only manage to take a few rounds away by counter punching.

Brunker received a cut above his left eye in round five but continued to close off the ring and outbox Oliver.

Oliver tried to open up the cut towards the later stages of the bout but couldn’t quite match Brunker’s output. After eight rounds, all of the scorecards tallied the action at 78-74 to Brunker.---Arvin Nundloll

Ugas pummels Williams!

Yordenys Ugas (15-1, 7 KOs) captured the interim WBC Latin junior welterweight championship with a one sided ten round pounding of John “The Boxing Poet” Williams (11-3-1, 5 KOs)

Ugas, the 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist from Cuba, controlled the bout right from the opening bell as he mixed in body work with sharp left crosses. Williams landed a good right of his own in the opening round, but it did little to bother Ugas.

In round two, Ugas hurt Williams with a straight left and backed him up with a good one-two combination. Williams threw a wild shot that missed but kept Ugas at bay.

Ugas seemed content to stalk Williams in the early rounds, looking to find room for that one big shot. “The Punching Poet” was game though and tried to put up a fight in the fourth, however a Ugas right hand in the final ten seconds put him back on the defensive.

Williams seemed to have his best round in the fifth, outworking Ugas in the early going, although several hard body shots by the former Cuban Olympian made the round close.

Ugas was in complete control by the seventh round, as he backed his opponent around the ring with single shots. Late in the seventh Ugas went to the body, but was warned for going low.

Ugas threw many off balance shots in the eighth and was warned again for going low by Referee Randy Neumann.

Ugas hurt Williams in the tenth with a good left hook on the button forcing him to clinch.

Ugas continued to look for that big shot in the final round but he went low once again during his pursuit. This time the referee took a point for the infraction. It wouldn’t bother Ugas who immediately landed a counter left that had Williams in trouble again. Williams was resilient though and safely fought his way to the final bell.

All of the judges saw the bout in favor Ugas with scores of 98-91.---Kurt Wolfheimer


Dulorme pummels Figueroa!

Thomas Dulorme racked up another win by (19-1, 14 KOs) schooling Francisco Figueroa (20-6, 13 KOs) en route to a TKO victory in round 8.

Dulorme was in complete control of the fight, beating Figueroa to the punch and pummeled him at every opportunity. The first round also led to a warning for Dulorme due to a low blow.

After pounding Figueroa for four rounds, Dulorme knocked his opponent down in round five with a straight right, although Figueroa appeared to have tripped prior to punch helping him on his way down. Dulorme also received a point deduction for a low blow in the same round.

In round eight, Dulorme unleashed a vicious assault for which Figueroa had no answer.  The referee stopped the action at 0:47 of the round. ---Arvin Nundloll


Maicelo topples Rodriguez!!!

In the opening bout of the evening, Peruvian lightweight Jonathan Maicelo (20-1, 12 KOs) bounced back from the first loss with a crushing tenth round knockout of Guadalajara, Mexico’s Jose Alejandro Rodriguez (19-12, 11 KOs).

Maicelo, the 2003 Pan American Games quarter finalist, was steadily making a name for himself in the lightweight division, until he suffered his first setback of his professional career back in April at the hands of rising star Rustam Nugaev.

Rodriguez looked to give Maicelo a stern challenge, coming off a close split decision loss to undefeated prospect Jeffrey Fontanez.

Maicelo seemed wary of Rodriguez in the early going, but by round three he was timing the bigger Mexican and beating him to punch with sharp jabs and single overhand rights.

Late in the fourth round, as both fighters were diving in, an accidental clash of heads happened which produce a small cut on the forehead of Rodriquez.

The faster hands of Maicelo had him winning many of the middle rounds even though he was having a tough time staying balanced when he tried to throw counters under the jabs of Rodriguez.

Rodriquez looked to press forward in the sixth, but he couldn’t solve the hand speed and movement of Maicelo, who was still peppering away with straight shots and the occasional off balance leaping overhand right, while stepping in and out of the pocket.

The fighters traded in the seventh round, with Maicelo winning the brief exchange. His defense was tight which helped him to roll and counter the long right hands of his opponent.

Rodriguez landed a couple good overhand rights early in the eighth as Maicelo looked to save his energy for the final two rounds.

Maicello went on the offensive in the ninth as he began to push the his bigger opponent back, although Martinez wouldn’t get into a firefight.

Finally moments into the tenth, Maicelo found his mark and stunned Rodriguez with a good one-two combination. Rodriquez tried to back away, but a massive right cross to the left ear crumpled him to the canvas. Rodriguez could not beat the ten count of veteran Referee Allan Huggins. The official time of knockout occurred at 22 seconds of the 10th and final round.---Kurt Wolfheimer