Teofimo Lopez retained his WBO International super lightweight title at Madison Square Garden, but had to get off the deck to take a split decision win against Sandor Martin.
Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) had previously reigned as unified lightweight champion, but after losing his belts to George Kambosos Jr in an upset, he moved up, and stopped Pedro Campa in seven last time out. Martin (40-3, 13 KOs) had made his name with a stunning majority verdict win over Mikey Garcia last year.
The Spanish challenger was cut on the bridge of his nose in the first frame, but he scored a knockdown in the second, with a sweeping right hand landing as ‘The Takeover’ was charging in.
Martin didn’t rush his work though, and he was boxing well although the volume of Lopez’s punches were scoring points.
Rounds five and six saw the 25-year-old home favourite up the ante as it looked as though Martin was having trouble breathing through his nose, but the 29-year-old was unfortunate not to take another knockdown in the seventh, instead the referee ruled a slip.
Although Lopez finished well, the fight looked in the balance, and the edge seemed with Martin.
It was not to be though on the cards, as a 95-94 verdict for Martin was overruled by scores of a way too wide 97-92 and 96-93 for Lopez, who retained.
.@SandorMartin with the HUGE knockdown in R2 👀 pic.twitter.com/11urkis4n1
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) December 11, 2022
Lopez was seen asking his corner if he still ‘had it’ after the contest, and he will need to improve if he is to reign in a second weight class, where Josh Taylor holds the WBO crown and Regis Prograis is the WBC champion.
Anderson blasts out Forrest
Jared Anderson (13-0, 13 KOs) again impressed, and the heavyweight stopped the usually durable Jerry Forrest (26-6-2, 20 KOs) in the second of their contest set for ten rounds to take the vacant WBO International title.
Forrest had taken the likes of Carlos Takam, Michael Hunter, Zhilei Zhang and Kubrat Pulev the distance, but he was no match for Anderson, who delivered a clubbing right hand that stopped the 34-year-old while he was still standing.
Keyshawn Davis (7-0, 5 KOs) claimed the vacant WBO Intercontinental lightweight title with a decision win over eight rounds against Juan Carlos Burgos (35-7-3, 21 KOs) and Xander Zayas (15-0, 10 KOs) retained his WBO NABO super welterweight title with a points win after eight against Alexis Salazar Flores (24-5, 9 KOs).
At welterweight, Delante Johnson (7-0, 5 KOs) stopped Mike Ohan Jr (16-2, 9 KOs) in the fifth of their eight rounder, and Joe Ward (8-1, 4 KOs) took an eight round points win against Frederic Julan (12-2, 10 KOs) at light heavyweight.
Damian Knyba (10-0, 6 KOs) needed two rounds to see off Emilio Salas (7-4-1, 3 KOs) at heavyweight.