Rocky Martinez and Miguel Beltran Jr put on a Puerto Rico vs Mexico classic tonight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, with Martinez winning a split decision in a grueling war on scores of 114-113, 114-113, and 111-116. Bad Left Hook scored it 115-112 for Beltran, but it was a close fight that could have gone either way, and there's no real dispute with the decision.
Martinez picks up the vacant WBO super featherweight title with the win.
The two fought about as evenly as any two men could. Here are quick CompuBox numbers from the HBO broadcast:
Martinez: 187/705 (27%)
Beltran: 154/553 (28%)
Martinez: 148/480 (31%)
Beltran: 140/458 (31%)
Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KO) and Beltran (27-2, 17 KO) waged a close quarters war at times, drilled each other at distance at times, and both employed heavy offensive weapons. Beltran found a lot of success with his right hand, and Martinez seemed to put punches together better in combination. Neither did major body work, but Beltran had the advantage there with a strong left hook.
It must be noted that a point deduction late in the fight by Russell Mora kept this fight from being a majority draw. But it must also be noted that the deduction wasn't really unjust -- Beltran had been warned for hitting behind the head, and told he'd lose a point the next time, and there did appear to be intent there.