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Sergio Martinez steals the show on HBO; Gamboa, Angulo win as expected

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

I went out last night and DVR'd Boxing After Dark, and got around to watching the card this evening, doing a wonderful job of avoiding the results. I avoided them so well that I didn't even know that Abraham-Marquez was called off and postponed until November 8.

Let's talk some fights.

Sergio Martinez def. Alex Bunema (RTD-8)

I've seen Martinez fight a fair amount of times before last night, and he never impressed me. I thought Bunema had a great shot at beating him, because Martinez seemed to be a creation -- a guy with a great-looking record in black-and-white terms, but without much in the way of good wins.

Fighting for the interim WBC junior middleweight title, Martinez was sensational in a one-sided beatdown of Bunema. At age 33, Martinez looks like he's peaking. Lampley and Kellerman were in love with him, and though it got annoying (does every fighter with a showboat-y performance have to be compared to Roy Jones, for God's sake?), it was not undeserved. Martinez had Bunema totally destroyed by the fourth round. He knocked Bunema down on a stiff straight left in the third, and I gave him 10-8 rounds in both the seventh and eighth, too, as he totally dominated. I had Martinez up 80-69 when the fight was stopped after the eighth round.

Martinez had Bunema totally off-balance all night, beating him to the punch with ease, popping his jab out at will, and essentially doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. He was exceptionally loose in the ring, confident and even cocky at times, holding his hands low, and Bunema could do nothing about it.

It was a star-making performance. Martinez isn't about to headline his own big card or anything, and nobody likes fighting a slick southpaw, but they'll be looking for the biggest possible fights. And with this performance, Martinez deserves it. I've gone from doubter to fan in one fight.

Alfredo Angulo def. Andrey Tsurkan (TKO-10, corner stoppage)

This one...there's a lot to say about this one.

Tsurkan is a brave, tough guy, good enough to not go down, and too proud to do so, too. But this fight should not have gone all ten rounds, with only Tsurkan's corner stepping in to stop it. And they should have stopped it well before they did.

It was very uncomfortable and unnerving listening to Jim Lampley recall times he's been ringside for the death of a fighter. I suppose that is the point, but I don't think there's any point in going that deep with your observations of a fight that needs to be stopped. If Tsurkan had been killed, was Lampley going to say, "I told you!"

That said, he was correct in calling for the fight to be stopped. It was reminiscent of Teddy Atlas screaming at the referee from his broadcast position last year, furiously calling for the Nate Campbell-Ricky Quiles fight to be stopped. There is no reason for a fighter to take this kind of punishment.

With Tsurkan reeling again in the tenth, having been battered the entire fight (in which he won zero rounds), Lampley lost it. "Go down, Andrey," he said. "Go down! Go down! Go DOWN! Save yourself! Go down! There's no point! What does it take to get this fight stopped?!"

Everyone should be blamed for this. Referee Tony Krebs stepped in once Tsurkan's corner waved the white flag, and he wound up taking a punch from Angulo when he got between them. Good. He deserved it. He stood there as if he had no ability to stop the fight, watching Tsurkan get pummeled. It was awful to watch, frankly, sort of ruining how impressive Angulo was again. The fight doctor could have stopped it. Someone should have done something. Thankfully, it didn't get to the point where it was beyond "too late."

Yuriorkis Gamboa def. Marcos Ramirez (KO-2)

For a two-round fight, you couldn't ask for much more. Ramirez is a club fighter, but he came out swinging on Gamboa, the offensive dynamo whose legitimate problems have made me, personally, come down off the hype cloud. Someone's going to wax this kid, just like happened to Amir Khan.

Ramirez dropped Gamboa in the first round, following through with an elbow at the end of a right hand. I don't count that as a big deal, it happens. In the second, Gamboa floored Ramirez clean, and Ramirez got up at nine. After a second knockdown, referee Jerry Cantu administered the following count:


Ramirez was reaching his feet when Cantu decided to fast-count him. Listen, Ramirez was going to go down again, but come on. Don't cheat a guy with a fast count. That's bunk.

Now about Gamboa. He's not that young at 26, he's got a style he believes in, and unfortunately for him, it's also a style that better fighters than Marcos Ramirez and Darling Jimenez will chew up at some point. He will have to rise past fighting guys of this caliber. He doesn't take the best punch, he drops his hands all the time, and his defense is atrocious. A puncher is going to rip him someday.

All in all, a very entertaining night of fights, despite the complaints. Here's hoping Shaw puts a third one of these cards together for BAD in the future. They've both been the type of cards that are just damn fun to watch.

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