In the telecast opener, undefeated 115-pound world champion Fernando “Puma” Martinez (16-0, 9 KOs) delivered a dominating performance to defend his IBF title by 11th-round TKO over the previously unbeaten Jade Bornea (18-1, 12 KOs).
“I said before the fight that the tougher, stronger fighter was going to win and that was me,” said Martinez.
Martinez, who is promoted by fellow Argentine and former two-division champion Marcos Maidana, used an aggressive, blitzing style to batter the Filipino challenger on his way to his second successful world title defense. A steady diet of hooks caused a large welt to form on Bornea’s left cheek early in the fight, with the accumulation of punches eventually causing Bornea to bleed badly from his right ear.
“I definitely saw the injury in the ear,” said Martinez. “The inflammation was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I hit him with a left and it popped, exploded. I even told the referee to be cautious, I think he’s really hurt. That’s when I just kept going at the ear and trying to finish this fight.”
“The first seven rounds were pretty even, but then I had the injury to my ear,” said Bornea. “It’s unfortunate, but it happens. I tried to keep fighting to the end.”
Bornea had some success in out-landing Martinez in jabs (33-13) and body shots (42-22). . However, Martinez dominated in power punches landed (124-84), including landing 20 power shots in each of the crucial ninth and 10th rounds.
Martinez began to pull away in rounds nine and 10, connecting even more regularly with his power shots, as Bornea offered little return fire despite showing his heart by hanging tough. Early in round 11, Martinez continued to tee off on Bornea and forced referee Charlie Fitch to call the fight 29 seconds into the round.
“It’s time, I’m ready to face the other world champions,” said Martinez. “We had it evident that we’re better than the number one contender. Now it’s time to get the truly big fights and show that I belong at the top.”