At the top of the latest Matchroom Spain bill, Sandor Martin made a successful second defence of his European Super Lightweight title with a routine points win against Kay Prosper at Palau Olimpic Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona.
Martin won the vacant title in July 2019, while Prosper was taking a big jump in class, having previously reigned as English champion at ten stone and he had never previously been past ten rounds.
Prosper began the contest on the front foot, but it was a tentative first round from both. Prosper then switched stances to southpaw, giving the champion something to think about, and the second saw Martin open up a bit more, landing decent, straight shots to keep the Luton native on his guard.
Martin upped the ante in round three, and a cracking short right hand stopped Prosper in his tracks, and forced the challenger back into an orthodox stance as a result. Prosper looked a level below as he struggled to impose his will on the Spaniard, and Martin was comfortably fending off the limited attacks of the challenger, who again switched stance in the fifth to little effect.
Prosper did have his moments in the sixth, with a decent right hand finding the mark in what was by far his best round of the fight.
The 27-year-old champion was boxing within himself, and happy to not overly exert himself as he coasted through rounds, and try as Prosper did to come into things, he couldn’t cause enough of a dent to make things interesting.
Prosper decided to attack in round eight, coming forwards and taking more chances, but he was docked a point, and it was unclear exactly what the infringement was.
A relatively quiet ninth and tenth rounds left Prosper surely needing a knockout, and the 36-year-old was never likely to get it, hampered further by another docked point in the penultimate frame, this time for low blows that were hardly below the belt.
Kay let his hands go, but the home fighter was just too slick, and moved and boxed his way to the final bell, where the result was in little doubt, especially with the deductions. Tallies of 119-107, 117-109 and 117-110 confirmed Martin remained champion.
Big punching former European Welterweight champion, Kerman Lejarraga, continued his campaign up at Super Welterweight, and was forced to come off the floor twice to eventually stop Jez Smith in seven thrilling rounds.
Smith started brightly, landing with a decent uppercut, but the Spaniard worked well to the body in the first round. Lejarraga can be one dimensional though, and Smith floored Kerman in the third with another solid Smith right uppercut that connected on the way in.
A dropped gum shield bought the favourite time, but Smith poured on the pressure, cutting Lejarraga’s eye, but the Bilbao based 29-year-old saw the round out, and looked like he hurt Smith right at the end of the frame.
The lesson hadn’t been learned by Lejarraga, as yet another sweetly timed uppercut had him on the deck again in round four, and yet again his gum shield came out to give him more recovery time as he beat the count.
The fifth saw smart boxing from the 27-year-old Londoner, but Lejarraga caught a second wind, with body shots causing Smith distress in a torrid sixth, as well as clean work to the head, and a left hand to the body had ‘The Can Man’ on the canvas right at the end of the session.
Smith beat the count but was tiring, and ‘Revolver’ took full advantage, landing further spiteful punches in the seventh, and a stiff right hand that jolted Smith forced the referee’s hand to step in, in what looked like a premature stoppage, but Smith was very much unravelling at the time of the conclusion.
The second of the European title matches on offer ended in confusion, as Gavin McDonnell was pulled out of action by the ringside doctor in his Featherweight clash with the champion, Andoni Gago, due to a nasty cut, and the contest ended in a majority draw on the scorecards as the referee ruled that the cut was caused by a clash of heads rather than a punch in the opening round.
McDonnell had rehydrated to at least 140lbs, and he looked massive in comparison to the champion, but Gago bloodied the Doncaster man’s right eye in the very first frame, from two slashing left hooks, although McDonnell had the better of the action.
McDonnell connected with some crisp body shots in round two, but Gago kept the pressure on, and was catching the challenger cleanly upstairs.
It was becoming a dogfight for the two time former world title challenger, who was being forced to box on the back foot, with his damaged eye worsening with every punch that Gago landed with. The eye was checked by the ringside doctor in the first minute of the fourth, but he ruled Gavin ok to continue, and the former European ruler at Super Bantamweight decided to go for broke on the resumption, but Gago continued to have success.
McDonnell was again checked over before the fifth round was scheduled to begin, and this time the doctor ruled him out, and it looked as though it would go down as a stoppage win for Gago. The referee though decided the cut was caused by a clash of heads rather than punches, but it was difficult to see where the clash took place, and that opinion caused the fight to go to the cards.
The scores were announced as one score of 50-46 for McDonnell, and two even scorecards at 48-48, as Gago retained the belt via majority draw.
Luke Willis, not seen since the back end of 2018, made it ten wins out of ten as a professional, and showed little signs of ring rust in an impressive points win over six against Bolivian born Spaniard, Ricardo Fernandez.
Liverpool’s Willis showed superb boxing skills throughout, and scored a third round knockdown with a perfectly timed combination, but eventually settled for a near punch perfect win on the cards by two scores of 60-54, and a third at 59-54.
At Featherweight, Philippines born Norwegian, Bernard Angelo Torres, went to 14-0 with an eye catching second round knockout of Anura Salas.
A left hand bang on the chin dropped Salas heavily with just over a minute of the fight gone, and he shakily saw out the round. Every left hand that the Colombian took seemed to wobble him, and a big overhand left had him on the deck again with just over 30 seconds left in the second, and this time the referee waved the fight off mid-count.
Opening the show was April Hunter, and the Tyne & Wear Welterweight was given a tough examination by France’s Elsa Hemat, eventually triumphing by a majority decision over four. Hunter suffered facial damage, but two tallies of 39-37 were enough for her to move to 3-0, against a third score of 38-38.