Andres Cortes (20-0, 11 KOs) got one step closer to a world title shot by defeating Xavier Martinez (18-2, 12 KOs) via seventh-round TKO to defend his US WBC silver junior lightweight belt.
Cortes opened the fight by landing bombs on the taller Martinez. However, Martinez was not deterred and used his reach to connect with straight shots in the third and fourth.
Martinez’s forward momentum, though, made it easy for Cortes to land his overhand right, which caused Martinez to swell below his left eye. By round seven, another right hand opened up a gash on the swollen area.
Veteran trainer Robert Garcia deemed the cut too severe for him to continue, and Martinez was not allowed to come out for the eighth round.
Cortes said, “I was feeling myself, and I started finding a groove. When that happens, the fight’s over. It was a good stoppage. His eye was messed up. He was having trouble seeing with the eye because he kept blinking.
“I want the winner of Emanuel Navarrete versus Oscar Valdez. I want any champion at 130. If not, I’m going to move up 135 and get all of those champions there.”
Philadelphia’s Nahir Albright (16-2, 7 KOs) scored an upset eight-round majority decision win against U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas (14-2, 12 KOs).
Balderas boxed calmly from a high guard and had success with his jab. However, his lack of punch output allowed Albright to win rounds as he threw and landed more consistently.
Scores: 76-76 and 77-75 2x.
Dominican Olympian Rohan Polanco (10-0, 6 KOs) overwhelmed Panamanian contender Cesar Francis (12-2, 7 KOs) en route to a fifth-round TKO. Polanco
dropped Francis once with a left-right combo in the fourth and again with flurry in the fifth. Francis got back to his feet, but the referee deemed him unable to continue.
Time of stoppage: 1:05.
Emerging contenderAbraham Nova (23-1, 16 KOs) blasted out former world champion Jonathan Romero (35-2, 19 KOs) in three rounds.
Nova landed a picture-perfect right uppercut that floored Romero in the second. In the following round, he connected with a fight-finishing overhand right.
Time of stoppage: 2:47.
Subaru Murata (5-0, 5 KOs) extended his knockout streak with a stoppage win against Juan Centeno (8-9-3, 1 KO).
Murata sent Centeno to the canvas in the second round with a left uppercut. Centeno struggled to recover, and he bowed out following the conclusion of round three.
Dante Benjamin Jr. (7-0-1, 5 KOs) and William Langston (8-3-1, 5 KOs) fought to a six-round majority draw.
Benjamin boxed a cautious fight and was able to connect early, but Langston was able to land shots of his own in the final two rounds to even things up.
Scores: 58-56 Langston and 57-57 2x.
Former Team USA amateur standout, Charlie Sheehy (7-0, 5 KOs) scored a third-round TKO against Kaylyn Alfred (4-5-2).
Sheehy landed a lead left hook that dropped Alfred, who was unable to recover.
Time of stoppage: :31.
Credit: Top Rank