Relentless junior featherweight contender Kiko Martinez swarmed Jhonatan Romero en route to a hard-fought sixth-round stoppage to lift the previously unbeaten Colombian’s IBF title on Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J.
The former two-time European champ stormed out of his corner and beat Romero from the proverbial pillar to post in the opening round, but the classy boxer bounced back with accurate combinations in the second round.
Romero (23-1, 12 knockouts) boxed beautifully, landing many flush uppercuts, when he moved and kept the fight in the center of the ring. However, Martinez (28-4, 21 KOs), a heavy handed pressure fighter from Spain, continually cut the ring off on Romero and scored with punishing body shots and left hooks whenever he got the boxer on the ropes.
It was while Romero was on the ropes in the sixth round that Martinez did the most damage, pummelling the bloodied and reeling titleholder until referee David Fields halted the action at 2:40 of the round.
A full ringside report will be posted later.