Martin and Avanesyan retain European titles in Barcelona

1068800820.jpg.0 - Martin and Avanesyan retain European titles in BarcelonaPhoto by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images

Sandor Martin and David Avanesyan were dominant in Barcelona, retaining their titles.

Sandor Martin UD-12 Joe Hughes

Martin was in firm control pretty much throughout this fight, successfully defending his European junior welterweight title against the always game but here a bit outclassed Hughes, who was the road fighter and just didn’t make anywhere near an argument for himself.

Martin (36-2, 13 KO) took this on scores of 117-111, 119-109, and 119-109. That 117-111 card was as close as you could possibly have had it for Hughes (17-5-1, 7 KO), a former European champ himself who was never able to get his pressure game going consistently, meaning that Martin was able to outbox the challenger and keep him at bay, while landing meaningful shots, too.

The 26-year-old southpaw Martin, a Barcelona native, doesn’t exactly look like a world title type of fighter, but he’s a handful at this level. Hughes, 29, has perhaps seen his best days pass him by, but he can still be a player on the British scene for a bit longer, maybe, but domestically the Brits are crowded at 140 with some good-to-really good fighters, too, and a move up to 147, where the pool is perhaps a bit thinner, could be in order.

David Avanesyan KO-1 Jose Del Rio

Avanesyan is on a roll, this being his third straight stoppage win, all in Spain this year, two over Kerman Lejarraga and now this one over Del Rio, the last two inside of a round. The 31-year-old Russian veteran, now living in the United Kingdom, has looked great at this level, and while Del Rio (29-9-1, 7 KO) was rightly a huge underdog, this is only the second time he’s ever been stopped. Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14 KO) just totally demolished him, landing cleanly to the head and body, finishing to the body to retain his European welterweight title.

Avanesyan probably will get found out again at the higher levels; his two really notable losses were to Lamont Peterson and Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and Kavaliauskas stopped him in six. But he’s earned the chance to take at least one more swing against someone. He’d be a fine opponent for a Sergey Lipinets at the very least, and wouldn’t make the worst next foe for someone like Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman, either.

But there’s once again talk of him defending the European title against Josh Kelly. The two were scheduled to meet in Dec. 2018, but Kelly pulled out on the day of the fight, which didn’t sit well with Avanesyan’s team at all. The EBU ordered the fight again in October of this year, and the two have reached terms, tentatively at least, with the possibility there for them to fight as early as Feb. 2020. Kelly has a fight scheduled for Dec. 20 in Phoenix on the Jacobs-Chavez card against veteran Winston Campos, which shouldn’t be a problem, but even an accidental cut or something would definitely push it past February.

Jonathan Alonso UD-10 Samuel Gonzalez

Alonso is a 29-year-old junior welterweight, challenged for an interim WBA title in his last fight and lost to Alberto Puello by narrow scores in Santo Domingo last time out in July, bouncing back to get the duke here over the 31-year-old Gonzalez, a Venezuelan now based in Italy.

Alonso (19-1, 7 KO) dropped Gonzalez (22-6, 13 KO) in the fourth round but mostly was grinding out the win here, taking it on scores of 97-94, 98-93, and 98-92. It was a bit of a chippy fight in spots, with Gonzalez complaining a fair bit, but the decision was the right one.

Samuel Molina TKO-6 Ivan Tomas

Tomas (9-2-1, 3 KO) was totally out of his depth here in terms of class and skills, but the 26-year-old hometown underdog gave it his very best against Molina (14-0, 6 KO), a 21-year-old lightweight prospect from Malaga. Molina’s no blue chipper, but looks like he has European title potential at least. Tomas went down in the second and got stopped standing, but man did he fight with heart, which Molina acknowledged after it was over.

Artur Kyshenko UD-6 Beibi Berrocal

Kyshenko is a 33-year-old kickboxing veteran with a career record of 73-12-4, won some titles and what have you. The Ukrainian was making his pro boxing debut here, and didn’t step in against a total scrub, either; Berrocal is now 17-6 (16 KO) and has been in the ring with Felix Valera, Patrick Nielsen, Zac Dunn, and Marcos Reyes, all decent fighters. He’s also lost to all of them, mind you. Kyshenko won here on scores of 59-54, 59-54, and 59-53, but it’d be hard to say he dominated, even though he scored a fourth round knockdown and won all but the first round.

Kyshenko looks like he’ll fight at 168/175 if he does stay in boxing, and there might be something there, but he clearly knows it’ll have to come together fast. They could’ve plucked a total goober for this debut if they didn’t care to see at least a bit of what he could possibly have in boxing, but they went with someone who can at least hang around. Now we’ll see if Kyshenko believes there’s a fast-moving future in boxing or not.

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