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Burns Delivers Huge Upset

In a sensational start to the new Boxing Season, 3/1 outsider Ricky Burns pulled off one of the shock upsets of the year scoring a unanimous decision victory over Roman Martinez. The fight will go down as a certain contender for fight of the year.

Burns, a man who has struggled at times at domestic level, came good on his big night. In previewing this fight I discussed the role homefield advantage can play for an underdog challenger, and this bout was the perfect blueprint of it. This was Ricky Burns’ cup final. He rose to the occasion, and he just wasn’t going to be beaten tonight.

Martinez laid out his cards early. He was loading up on looping wide shots from the opening bell. It looked to all be going asunder for Burns when after a positive start, Martinez dropped him towards the end of the first, forcing him to concede the round 10-8.

Burns maintained his composure, got right back to his boxing, and started to put rounds in the bank. Martinez was made to look crude and clumsy missing shots and being caught off balance. There was still this sense of foreboding that once the pace slowed down, Burns was going to get chewed up. That was what made this fight so captivating; Burns was thoroughly outboxing Martinez for the most part, but the champion had the ability to change the entire complexion of a round with one big flurry. Never was that more apparent than in the 7th, when he trapped Burns against the ropes and was pounding away with vicious shots, nearly prompting the referee to step in.

Both guys were exhausted from the 8th round on and it just became a matter of who could dig in and grit it out. Martinez, even fatigued and with weakened legs, maintained the ability to summon big power in to his punches. But what surprised me was how physically strong Burns was on the inside. He pushed the champion back in the clinch, and punished him with sharp uppercuts right to the chin.

I expected this fight to play out as a game of cat and mouse, but Burns showed that he could impose himself on the fight. He was able to box and fight when necessary, and Martinez never truly came to terms with it. Martinez set out his stall looking for a big KO shot, he overexerted himself trying to make it happen, and when it didn’t he had nothing to fall back on. The judges all scored it in favour of Burns 115-112, 115-112, 115-113. I had it 115-113. Congratulations to Ricky Burns on becoming the 12th Scottish world champion. It was a performance few believed he had in him.

This was a tremendous fight to kick off the new series, and we have another cracking championship bout next week when Jason Booth will try duplicate Ricky Burns heroics when he challenges Steve Molitor for the IBF super bantamweight title.

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2 thoughts on “Burns Delivers Huge Upset

  1. You do know that not many sites have both decent coverage of the big American fights and the fights overseas as well right?

    Nice job here.

  2. Yeah, I hadn’t been writing so much lately, so I wanted to get back into it, There’s a lot of big stuff happening in the next few weeks, so I will be kept busy.

    I’m really looking forward to Booth getting his chance this weekend.

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