Martinez Stops Dzinziruk in Eight, Defends Middleweight Championship
By Stephen Tobey at ringside, MaxBoxing (March 13, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. – The 2010 “Fighter of the Year” didn’t do anything to take himself out of the running for that honor in 2011.

Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez retained his title with an eighth-round stoppage of Sergiy Dzinziruk Saturday at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods.

Martinez, 47-2-2 (26), dropped Dzinziruk five times in the fight, including three times in the eighth, before referee Arthur Mercante stopped it at 1:43.

“I wanted to nullify his boxing, nullify his punches, nullify his jab,” Martinez said. “Little by little, I did that.”

Dzinziruk, 37-1 (23), fought in a tight defensive shell but kept coming forward, while Martinez kept moving around the ring, letting his hands go more often. In the eighth, Martinez dropped Dzinziruk with right hooks three times, with Dzinziruk landing hard on his shoulder each time.

“I had to open up more and I did, but it didn’t help,” said Dzinziruk. “The knockdowns were not hard punches but they were perfect shots.”

After spending the first four rounds in a defensive shell, Dzinziruk opened up more in the fifth and sixth rounds. Martinez dropped him with a right hand near the end of the fifth. Dzinziruk landed the jab and right hook more often, opening a cut on Martinez’s right eye and causing some swelling.

“I got another wind,” Martinez said. “That happens with humans. I got more gas and was able to hit the accelerator.”

In the fourth, Martinez grazed the back of Dzinziruk’s head with a left hand while Dzinziruk was crouching to avoid a punch. Dzinziruk’s knee touched the canvas. Mercante ruled it a knockdown.

Martinez’s next objective is to do what it takes to become the pound-for-pound best fighter.

“It is my obsession,” he said. “I will be the pound-for-pound best fighter. I’ll fight anybody. [Manny] Pacquiao, [Floyd] Mayweather. Put the best fighters in front of me.”

In the co-feature, Andy Lee of Ireland and Detroit knocked out Craig McEwan of Scotland and Hollywood, Calif. in the tenth and final round of a middleweight bout.

With 20 seconds left in the ninth round, Lee dropped McEwan with a straight left hand. In the tenth, Lee came out and landed a hard straight left, forcing McEwan to hold to keep from going to the canvas. With McEwan visibly fatigued, Lee kept the pressure on him and landed another left hand, sending McEwan to the canvas, prompting referee Steve Smoger to stop the fight 56 seconds into the round.

“I knew I was behind on points,” said Lee, who is now 25-1 with 19 knockouts. “I knew I needed a knockout or at least a knockdown in the tenth. He was throwing lots of punches and he caught me relaxing. I like to dominate but I had to make it a street fight. That’s how we do it at the Kronk.”

At the time of the stoppage, Clark Sammartino and Glenn Feldman had the fight even, 85-85. Don Ackerman had McEwan ahead, 86-84.

McEwan, 19-1 (10), controlled the action for the first six rounds, landing combinations to the body and backing up Lee.

“I thought I was winning,” McEwan said. “I just got caught. I adjusted well to him but I just got caught.”

The momentum began to go in Lee’s favor in the seventh round when he landed two solid right hooks at the beginning of the round and opened a cut next to McEwan’s left eye.

Javier Fortuna of the Dominican Republic captured the WBC “Youth” featherweight title with an eighth-round knockout against Derrick Wilson of Ft. Myers, Fla. in a scheduled ten-rounder.

Fortuna, 14-0 (11), put Wilson on the canvas four times, twice in the eighth round. In the third round, Fortuna dropped Wilson with a right hook. In the sixth, he put Wilson on the canvas with a right uppercut. The final knockdown came when Fortuna, a southpaw, landed a right hook at the same time Wilson threw a left hook. Fortuna’s punch got there first and Wilson fell hard to the canvas. Referee Johnny Callas stopped the fight without a count at 2:27.

Wilson dropped to 8-2 (2).

Welterweight Thomas Dulorme of Carolina, Puerto Rico stopped Guillermo Valdes of Miami in the second round of a scheduled six. Referee Richard Flaherty stopped the fight at 2:30. Dulorme is now 10-0 (9); Valdes dropped to 12-3 (3).

In a battle of undefeated female heavyweights, Sonya Lamanokis of Turner Falls, Mass. won a six-round unanimous decision against Tanzee Daniel of Brooklyn, N.Y. The scores were 59-55 (twice) and 58-56. Lamanokis improved to 4-0 (2); Daniels dropped to 4-1 (1).

Seanie Monaghan of Long Beach, N.Y. won a four-round unanimous decision over Billy Cunningham at light heavyweight. All three judges scored it 40-36. Monaghan is now 6-0 (4); Cunningham is 5-9 (4).

Abraham Lopez of Oxnard, Calif. outpointed Andrew Jones of Buffalo, N.Y. over four rounds at junior middleweight. The scores were 39-37 (twice) and 40-36. Lopez is 2-1-1; Jones is 0-4-1.

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