Controversy and boxing go hand in hand and there was no shortage of controversy in the Roman “Rocky” Martinez (26-1-2 16KO) vs. Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1-1 20KO) bout. When the final bell rang, virtually everybody watching thought Burgos had done more than enough to win his first title from Martinez. Two judges would spoil everyone’s assumptions.
Burgos got to a strong start by beating Martinez with body punches and uppercuts. He also outworked Martinez and kept him at a distance with his jab.
Martinez had some success in the middle rounds as he started to get close and land some shots on Burgos. However, even during those exchanges Burgos managed to land excellent body shots and continued to weaken Martinez.
The last third of the fight clearly belonged to Burgos. He hurt Martinez several times with body shots and a couple of head shots. After the final round, Burgos seemed confident he had pulled off the victory and Martinez seemed distanced and disappointed.
The scorecards read 117-111 for Burgos, 116-112 for Martinez, and 114-114 a draw. The decision was extremely unpopular and it is fairly obvious that Burgos won the fight. This sort of poor judgment shouldn’t be unexpected however, since all three of the judges were largely inexperienced and at least one judge had turned in a questionable scorecard in the past.
Hopefully an immediate rematch will clear things up between these two fighters.
The kingpin of the featherweight division was decided in an impressive yet unsatisfying way as Mikey Garcia (31-0 26KO) dethroned rugged veteran Orlando Salido (39-12-2 27KO) for the WBO title.
Garcia gave his best performance to date, as he knocked Salido down fou
r times throughout the bout. There would be no great conclusion for this fight as an accidental head-butt in the eighth round broke Garcia’s nose and he could not continue
Since the head-butt was ruled accidental, the fight was decided by the judges’ scorecards. All three judges had Garcia winning the fight easily by scores of 79-70 and 79-69 (twice).
Garcia immediately showed Salido that he was no joke by knocking him down with sharp, powerful left hooks twice in the first round.
After dominating the second round, Garcia unveiled a right uppercut that put Salido on the canvas for a third time. A hard jab would add even more insult to injury in the fourth round.
As the fight wore on, so did Salido’s ability to take Garica’s shots. Although he still got outclassed, he found brief moments of success in the seventh and eighth rounds before the head-butt would occur.
The abrupt conclusion left a sour taste in the mouths of the viewers, who were looking for either a knockout victory or a standard lopsided points victory. Instead, the fight ended in the middle of a round where Salido was having some success and due to an injury other fighters have continued with in the past.
A rematch could provide a more conclusive ending but it was obvious from what we saw that Garcia is the more talented, skillful and powerful fighter and even though Salido will probably want to redeem himself, it isn’t a bout that the public would buy necessarily due to Salido getting so completely outgunned and outclassed.
For Garcia, in spite of the unsatisfying ending, the sky is the limit for him as he has risen from contender to champion. Whatever Salido decides to do, he should avoid Garcia.