Rocky Martinez took over down the stretch a bit, but it was a knockdown in the middle rounds that sealed the deal, as the Puerto Rican retained his WBO super featherweight title against Diego Magdaleno, winning a split decision on scores of 114-113, 115-112, and 111-116. BLH had a close, competitive fight just barely in Magdaleno's favor, 114-113, but the decision was anything but a robbery -- really, the 116-111 Magdaleno card was probably the worst of the three.
Martinez (27-1-2, 16 KO) kept about the same pace and approach throughout the entire fight, finding out quickly, it seemed, that the talented Magdaleno (23-1, 9 KO) didn't have the firepower to hurt him. As Martinez plodded forward, he never looked uncomfortable in the fight, even when Magdaleno had some good moments, and without question, it was a close fight the whole way.
But if anyone seemed in control, it was usually Martinez, who patiently broke through in the fight and didn't get flustered by Magdaleno's speed advantage or southpaw stance.
For the 26-year-old Magdaleno, it was a bit of a rude awakening, in some respects, when it comes to fighting guys on the higher level. He didn't fight poorly at all, but it's just a different world when you're in with Martinez and not a faded vet like Antonio Davis or Emmanuel Lucero. Magdaleno may still have some upside and some potential he's yet to tap into, but he's back to the drawing board a bit after this one. Again, he fought well, but to win consistently at this level, he needs to be better than he is right now, and I'm sure he and his team know that.
Martinez retains his title and keeps his standing as an attractive option for just about anyone at 130. He's a vulnerable titlist, but a good fighter, and rarely if ever in dull fights.