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Vazquez, Martinez score impressive KOs
Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. retained his junior featherweight title with an impressive 10th-round stoppage of game Zsolt Bedak on Saturday at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Vazquez (19-0-1, 16 knockouts), the son of the former three-division titleholder of the same name, gradually outclassed the former amateur standout. The Bayamon native did not have an amateur career but he has obviously learned his craft well, as he exhibited the poise and textbook technique of a savvy veteran.
Still, the victory didn't come easy.
Bedak (15-1, 5 KOs), of Budapest, Hungary, was competitive for the first four rounds of the bout and appeared to clearly win the third. The gutsy Germany-based prospect was the aggressor and the quicker, more-active fighter, but Vazquez began timing him with right hands in the fifth round -- which featured terrific two-way action.
The hometown favorite firmly took over the bout in the late rounds, repeatedly rocking the challenger and battering his face. A body head combination put Bedak down 50 seconds into the 10th, and although the courageous Hungarian beat the count, his corner, headed up by former lightweight titleholder Artur Grigorian, signaled to the referee that he had had enough. The bout was stopped 1:12 into the 10th.
In the co-featured bout of the pay-per-view broadcast, junior lightweight beltholder Ramon "Rocky" Martinez lived up to his nickname once again by banging out brawler Gonzalo Munguia in the fourth round of a thrilling slugfest.
Martinez (24-0-1, 15 KOs), of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, withstood a furious attack from the Nicaraguan challenger in the first two rounds of the bout. Munguia (17-7-3, 13 KOs) landed hard hooks and uppercuts while pressing Martinez in the first six minutes of the bout.
The 30-year-old fringe contender appeared to buzz Martinez with one of the haymakers he landed in the second round, which may have spurred him to go for the knockout in the third round.
Big mistake. Martinez is not the most skilled or talented titleholder in the sport but the Puerto Rican bomber's heart is second to none. He's known for his ability to rally from adversity. And that's what he did when Munguia went for the kill, which sparked toe-to-toe exchanges for the duration of the the third round.
Martinez hurt Munguia in the final seconds of the fight of the year candidate. He finished the job in the next rounds by pressing his still wobbly foe with compact combinations. Martinez backed a covering-up Munguia into his own corner where a series of hooks and crosses -- punctuated with an accurate right uppercut -- sent his spent opponent to the canvas.
The fight was waved off by referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. at 1:48 of the fourth.