Julio Cesar Martinez was, for a moment, the new WBC flyweight titleholder, but the result of the fight was immediately overturned by WBC’s Mauricio Sulaiman in the ring after it had been officially announced as a knockout victory for Martinez over Charlie Edwards.
Martinez (14-1, 11 KO) put Edwards (15-1, 6 KO) down midway into the third round after a wicked two-handed assault that had Edwards hurt and in clear trouble, but the problem came after the knockdown, when Martinez landed a shot to the body of Edwards, who had taken the knee and was clearly on the canvas. Referee Mark Lyson hadn’t yet stepped in, and went on to make the 10 count, declaring Martinez the winner and new champion. The official announcement was made and everything, as boos rained down on the Mexican fighter.
But then it got weird. The British Boxing Board of Control doesn’t do instant replay, so they couldn’t step in. But the WBC does, and Sulaiman quickly made the call to overturn the decision, declaring a no-contest, which was then announced to the crowd.
“The shot on the floor absolutely finished me. I’ve never felt a shot like that. It took the complete wind out of me,” Edwards said after the fight. “Watching that back and seeing how dirty that was, I’ve just got to thank the WBC for sticking by the rules.”
Edwards did say he’ll give Martinez a rematch.
“I hurt him. He didn’t go straight down. He took a knee in steps, and I think I got him before the referee stepped in,” Martinez said. “I stopped hitting him. But he sensed how hard I hit and didn’t want to continue.”
“The WBC instant replay is in effect. The WBC has determined that there’s going to be an immediate rematch ordered,” Sulaiman said after the fight. “The kid was hit when he was down. There’s a controversy and we’re going to deal with it. It was an accidental foul, not an intentional blow. So it’s a no contest with an immediate rematch.”
So it looks like we’re headed for Edwards-Martinez II, and based on how this went, you have to consider Martinez a clear favorite if and when it happens. Edwards is a good boxer, but Martinez’s aggression and power was giving him hell. The knockdown was legit, he was overwhelming Edwards, but the overturn call is also completely reasonable.