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Results from Leeds where Hometown Hero Josh Warrington Regained His Title

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  • Results from Leeds where Hometown Hero Josh Warrington Regained His Title

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    By David A. Avila

    Josh Warrington regained the IBF featherweight title with a blistering opening attack to win by technical knockout of Spain’s Kiko Martinez on Saturday.

    Warrington (31-1-1, 8 KOs) ambushed Martinez (43-11-2, 30 KOs) and never let the Spanish fighter get his footing in front of more than 3,000 fans at First Direct Arena in Leeds, England.

    Martinez was making his first title defense after ambushing Kid Galahad this past November by knockout. Matchroom Boxing orchestrated that former champion Warrington get first crack and the tall featherweight proved ready.

    Fighting in front of his hometown fans Warrington immediately attacked the shorter Martinez and floored him with a two-fisted attack in the first round. The Spaniard beat the count and was a bloody mess from that point on.

    Although Martinez refused to quit, he never could seem to regain balance and was forced to the ropes where Warrington bored into him like a madman seeking revenge. The more Martinez tried the harder Warrington punched. It looked like the British fighter might tire himself out but that never happened.

    Just when it looked like Martinez had a good moment, Warrington regained it with another furious attack that led to the referee stopping the fight at 2:12 of the seventh round. Warrington was the IBF featherweight titlist again after more than a year beltless.

    It was the second time they had met. Warrington had won their previous fight in 2017 by majority decision. This time by stoppage.

    “I hope I did you proud,” shouted Warrington to the boisterous crowd.

    Lightweight Title

    IBO lightweight titlist Maxi Hughes (25-5-2, 5 KOs) out-boxed Ryan Walsh (27-4-2, 12 KOs) to win by unanimous decision after 12 rounds. It was his first title defense after capturing the title from Jovanni Straffon last September.

    Hughes, a southpaw, was just too clever and too quick for Walsh who tried various moves including switching to southpaw. Nothing worked very well and Hughes was able to out-maneuver and outwork Walsh. Neither fighter was ever hurt. All three judges favored Hughes 120-108, 119-109, 118-110.

    Aussies win

    Australia’s Ebonie Bridges (8-1, 3 KOs) eager to prove her mettle, quickly gained the upper hand and defeated Argentina’s Maria Cecilia Roman (16-6-1) to win the IBF women’s bantamweight toitle.

    It was Roman’s sixth defense of the title she won in 2017 against fellow Argentine Carolina Duer who was in her corner.

    Known as the “Blonde Bomber,” Bridges jumped out in front quickly in the opening round as Roman stood in front behind a high Winky Wright guard. It allowed Bridges to unload with a variety of combinations that pierced the defensive guard of Roman.

    One judge scored the fight 100-91 and two others 97-93 all for Bridges, the Aussie schoolteacher from New South Wales.

    “I’m very proud of myself,” said Bridges. “It means everything I sacrificed has been worth it.”

    Australia’s other representative Skye Nicolson returned to the boxing ring in less than a month after her pro debut in the USA, and in that meager time showed off a much- improved fighting style.

    The southpaw Nicolson (2-0) battered Bec Connolly (3-12) six rounds in a fenatherweight fight that showed off a more pro-style. Unlike her pro debut that saw the tall Aussie fighter slap and run, in this fight she shot ramrod jabs and punishing lefts through the guard of the British fighter.

    It was riveting stuff and showed off Nicolson’s athleticism and power. No need to run around the ring with that kind of ability. Nicolson won 60-54 and showed she can make big waves in the featherweight division.