Boxing: Martinez cashes in with rapid win
Monday 27 August 2007
A young kid called Kiko Martinez won the European Super Bantamweight title in Dublin on Saturday night in quite exceptional circumstances.
Martinez's handlers and associates placed a ¿ 10,000 (£6,800) bet on their young fighter beating local idol and champion Bernard Dunne in Round One at odds of 66/1.
At the Point, a crowd of nearly 7,000 arrived for Dunne's latest defence. It was a highly volatile crowd long before the first bell and that was partly to do with the fact that the old theatre will be demolished next week.
The fight lasted just 86 seconds, and Dunne was sent sprawling to the canvas a total of two times before being rescued from his own bravery by Birmingham referee Terry O'Connor.
It is doubtful if many of the crowd realised just what the win meant to the five or six men who scrambled through the ropes and lifted Martinez high onto their shoulders.
The young undefeated Spanish fighter received over ¿50,000 (£34,000) for his part in the fight, but it is unknown just how much he will receive from the ¿660,000 (£450, 000) that his backers are now owed.
It was a disaster for Dunne who lost for the first time in 25 fights and had been on a short and direct route to a proper world title and potentially serious financial gains of his own.
But for Martinez, who won for the 17th time including 14 knockouts, his future is likely to continue in Britain as he has signed a promotional deal with Dennis Hobson's Fight Academy.
"He's the best natural puncher that I've ever seen," said Hobson, who was not part of the boxer's betting syndicate.
On the same bill, Southampton's Tony Oakey retained his British Light Heavyweight title against Belfast's Brian Magee on a tight majority draw decision. The passionate Irish crowd in the Point Arena booed the verdict which saw two judges, Terry O'Connor and Ian John Lewis, both scoring the fight 114-114, while the third judge Mickey Vann gave the decision to Magee.
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