BETHLEHEM, PA. (June 28, 2017) – Miguel Cruz (16-0, 11 KOs) earned a unanimous decision to defeat Alex Martin (13-2, 5 KOs) and remained unbeaten in a welterweight rematch that headlined Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes Tuesday night from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa.
After winning a split-decision against Martin in their January showdown, Cruz kept his perfect record intact by scoring two knockdowns before getting the decision in their 10-round matchup.
“I honestly didn’t feel great in our first fight and when I re-watched it, I thought Martin won,” said Cruz. “That made me train ever harder than ever to prove that I have the skills and power to compete at the world class level, and I think I did that tonight.”
Cruz got off to a fast start by landing a huge left hook that caught Martin and dropped him late in the first round. Martin was able to get to his feet and recover just before the bell sounded to end the round.
Martin kept trying to work on the inside but Cruz was determined to push back and consistently landed with big power shots. Another left hook in round four sent Martin to the mat again, although he appeared less effected than during the first knockdown.
“I was fighting his fight tonight,” said Martin. “I just didn’t put on my best performance. The first knockdown was a real knockdown but the second knockdown he hit me in the back of the head.”
Round five saw Martin begin to box more effectively, landing several right hands before a left hook landed low, sending Cruz to the canvas and causing referee Gary Rosato to halt the bout while Cruz recovered.
When the action resumed Martin continued to turn the tide of the fight. His movement was very effective and his success with the left hand was consistent throughout rounds five through eight.
“Martin was super tough,” said Cruz. “I didn’t think he would make it out of the second round but he definitely gave me problems. I was trying to stop him.”
Down on the scorecards because of the early knockdowns, Martin’s comeback effort came up short as Cruz was able to hold Martin off in the final two rounds on his way to earning the decision in the eyes of all three judges by the score of 96-92.
“I knew I was getting back into the fight but I’m not making any excuses tonight,” said Martin. “He won the fight fair and square, congratulations to him.”
“I trained for Martin like he was the champion of the world and that’s how I’m going to train for every fight of my career,” said Cruz. “It was a tremendous fight, I’m glad I got the victory. I just want to go back to Puerto Rico and celebrate my birthday tomorrow.”
Additional televised action saw Clarence Booth (15-3, 8 KOs) stop Puerto Rico’s Anthony Mercado (10-3, 9 KOs) in the fourth round of their welterweight contest.
The taller Mercado had success early in the fight while Booth tried to work his way inside and attack the body. Mercado landed a pair of clean right hands in each of the first two rounds that appeared to daze Booth.
“He was a tough fighter,” said Booth. “I needed to get loose for the first couple rounds. I was tense in the beginning.”
Fighting out of St. Petersburg, Florida, Booth was able to weather the storm in the first two rounds and began to turn the tide in round three with a clean right hand that staggered Mercado.
Booth kept the momentum going and quickly put Mercado on the canvas with a pair of right hands in the fourth round. Mercado was able to get to his feet but eventually Booth broke through again and stunned Mercado with more right hands. The final flurry prompted referee Eric Dali to call a halt to the bout 1:30 into the fourth frame.
“I had a couple of tough losses, but now I am on a major comeback,” said Booth. “I’m so happy to have this opportunity on television and I made the best of it. My promoter Marshall Kauffman and King’s Promotions will get me great opportunities in the future.”
“He hit me with a good shot,” said Mercado. “He jabbed and came with a right hand that I didn’t see coming. I will be back even better.”
In Non-televised action:
Nicholas Hernandez won a six-round majority decision over Grayson Blake in a junior middleweight bout.
Hernandez, 154 lbs of Lebanon, PA won by scores of 59-55, 58-56 and 57-57, and is now 7-2. Blake, 153.4 lbs of State College, PA is 6-5-1.
Jesus Lule scored a 2nd round stoppage over Ismael Serrano in a scheduled four round lightweight bout.
Lule swarmed Serrano and landed a flurry of punches, and the fight was stopped at 2:10.
Lule, 135.7 lbs of Fort Myers, FL is now 11-22-1 with two knockouts. Serrano, 134.5 lbs of Bethlehem, PA is 4-2.
In a featherweight slugfest that was taped for broadcast, Avery Sparrow was able to outlast Isaelin Florian via six-round unanimous decision.
Sparrow decked Florian in round when he landed a hard overhand right and followed it up with two more hard rights. Florian came right back and dropped Sparrow with a left. Early in round two, Sparrow registered a 2nd knockdown when he landed another straight right hand.
Florian fought much of the 2nd half of the fight with an injured left arm, and that hampered him both offensively and defensively as Sparrow was able to hit Florian with regularity.
In round four, Florian drilled Sparrow with an overhand left that sent him to the canvas for a 2nd time.
Sparrow, 127.6 lbs of Philadelphia, took all cards by 58-54 scores, and is now 7-1. Florian, 126.2 lbs of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic loses for the first time, and is now 6-1.
In a battle of Allentown based super lightweights, Jesus Perez won a four round unanimous decision over Christian Molina.
In round one, Perez floored Molina with a right hand. Later in the round, Perez connected with three flush right hands.
Perez, 141 lbs won all cards by 39-37 tallies, and is mow 3-0. Molina, 138.9 lbs is 4-3.
Rick Pyle won a four round unanimous decision over Devin McMaster in a middleweight bout.
Pyle, 150 lbs of Harrisburg, PA won all cards by 40-36 scores, and is now 1-0. McMaster, 156 lbs of Allentown, PA is 1-2.
Dylan Price obliterated Manuel Guerra in round one of their scheduled four round super flyweight bout,
Price drilled Guerra with a perfect right hand that sent him down for the ten count at 1:09.
Price, 117 lbs of Sicklerville, NJ is 3-0 with three knockouts. Guerra, 112 lbs of Reynosa, MX is 1-3-1.
Fans can live stream the fights on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. The fights are available on desktop at FOXSportsGO.com and through the app store, or connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, all programs are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.
For more information visit http://www.premierboxingchampions.com, http://www.foxsports.com/
Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @FS1, @FOXDeportes and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/