Kiko Martinez knocked out Kid Galahad, scoring a shock upset in the main event from Sheffield, England, to win the IBF featherweight title, making the Spanish veteran a two-division world champion.
For nearly five rounds, the fight was going the way of the heavily favored Galahad, who was facing pressure from the 35-year-old Martinez (43-10-2, 30 KO), but handling it fine, as Martinez just didn’t seem able to do enough damage.
The tone changed sharply late in round five, as Galahad (28-2, 17 KO) was caught with his chin up, drilled with a right hand that put the home fighter on the canvas. Galahad was badly hurt and lucky that the round came to an end as he got to his feet, but the luck didn’t hold. Galahad couldn’t recover, and Martinez flattened him with one more shot at the start of round six, ending the fight just six seconds into the round.
It’s a brilliant result for Martinez, a likable fighter who always brings top effort. He was out-gunned as expected for pretty much the entire run of this fight, and then he wasn’t, and he’s now got an argument for being the best Spanish fighter of all-time, though he downplayed the idea in his post-fight interview.
Martinez said he’ll let promoters decide what comes next for him, which could be a Galahad rematch, but we’ll see. Unification with Emanuel Navarrete or Gary Russell Jr seems unlikely. Russell has already beaten Martinez comfortably, and has a mandatory due soon, anyway. Navarrete may actually move up to 130, seeking a world title in a third weight class.
“One of the most stunning things I’ve ever seen in a ring,” said Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn. “Kid Galahad buckled Kiko in the first round, he beat him up most of the fight. No one in the world expected that at that moment in the fight. That was one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever seen. “
Alycia Baumgardner TKO-4 Terri Harper
A massive result for Baumgardner, who wins the WBC 130 lb title and, to be frank, dominated this fight. This was not close. If you’d seen any of the limited footage of Baumgardner that’s out there, you knew she could box, wasn’t some hobbyist coming in to get beaten up by a top fighter. She was a dangerous underdog and challenger here, and she made her shot count.
Harper (11-1-1, 6 KO) just did not look right in this fight ever. The 25-year-old had been out a year with a broken hand, and Baumgardner (11-1, 7 KO) did not let her get comfortable or spurred on by a vocal and supporting crowd. Baumgardner flashed a quick, sharp jab from the get-go, keeping her lead hand low and shooting it out before Harper ever had much time to react.
Harper was first hurt in the second round, and Baumgardner went for it for a moment, but laid off the gas. That seemed as though it could have been a mistake, but also that Baumgardner was fully confident she could hurt Harper again, and she did, blasting Terri with a right hand in the fourth. Harper was knocked out on her feet, stiffened straight up, and referee Mark Lyson made a very good decision to leap in as quickly as he could and stop the fight. Harper was completely vulnerable and could have gotten badly hurt. As it was, Baumgardner only halfway landed one follow-up shot on a defenseless Harper, and being clear, that’s what Baumgardner should have been doing, she was still fighting. She stopped when Lyson got there.
“I dreamed of this moment, I put it in my head and looked in the mirror every day and told myself I would become the world champion,” Baumgardner said. “I saw her energy and read it. I came here as the challenger, as the underdog, and my confidence was 100 (percent). I didn’t see that in her.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn somewhat side-stepped the question of whether or not Harper will go for a rematch clause, which is probably smart, because at the moment it didn’t look like Harper should go right back in with Baumgardner.
“It was a big defeat, and well done to Alycia. She’s talked the talk all week,” Hearn said. “I said this was a very dangerous fight (for Harper) to come back into, but they wanted a big fight and to make a statement. But it was Alycia who made the statement.”
Asked if she’ll look to unify with Mikaela Mayer (WBO/IBF) or Hyun Mi Choi (WBA), Baumgardner sounded confident about any possible matchup.
“For anyone out there at 130, you know what time it is,” Baumgardner added. “I’m the top dog at 130 and you can come get this work.”
- Chris Billam-Smith UD-12 Dylan Bregeon: Scores were 119-109, 119-109, and 120-109. I actually had it slightly closer at 117-111, but that was nicking a couple rounds to Bregeon that could easily have gone to Billam-Smith, who defended his European title successfully. We saw Bregeon (11-2-1, 3 KO) give Italian cruiserweight Fabio Turchi some real problems in his last fight, losing a close decision on the road. Billam-Smith (14-1, 10 KO) was clearly better here, and Bregeon tried basically the same sort of approach, it just didn’t work as well. Billam-Smith wasn’t pitch perfect or anything, but did a lot more damage and got the better of the action overall, and pretty obviously so. Bregeon was able at times to fluster and frustrate, hung around in the fight, but the rounds just kept going the other way, and there was no real argument about the outcome. The action and pace that we saw in this fight pretty much all came from CBS.
- Donte Dixon PTS-8 Jordan McCorry (77-73): The score here means Dixon (6-0, 3 KO) won five of the eight rounds on the referee’s card, with extra points taken off McCorry’s total because the veteran was dropped in the sixth round and had a point taken after getting up as he engaged in survival tactics to a pretty extreme degree. I actually thought Dixon deserved a bit wider of a score. Dixon, a 21-year-old lightweight, really does have some skills but is still raw with the boxing IQ and all that. Needs to harness his ability, sharpen things up, keep developing — all fair for a guy in his sixth fight getting a solid win over McCorry (19-8-1, 4 KO), who knows how to go rounds and can be frustrating and dirty when he needs it. This may sound like somewhat negative criticism of Dixon, but I don’t mean it that way, just trying to gauge a young fighter who’s gonna get chances on these shows. I liked what he did today, mostly.
- Dom Hunt PTS-10 James Flint: Didn’t score this one, but the referee’s score of 98-93 seemed about right. Hunt (8-0, 1 KO) wins the Central Area welterweight title with this victory, and at 30, this really is about the ceiling for fights he’s going to win. The 24-year-old Flint (9-1-1, 2 KO) never quite got untracked here. Eddie Hearn tried to put some extra intrigue on this fight by offering to double the winner’s purse if he got a stoppage, but it became clear pretty quickly neither of them were really capable of that. They didn’t stink out the joint or anything, though; the fight was busy and wasn’t ugly or clinch-filled or anything like that.