It wasn't a matter of if, but when Julio Cesar Martinez would stop Joel Cordova on Saturday night.
Cordova hung in there early, but Martinez made sure the fight didn't go longer than it had as he knocked Cordova down to the canvas at the beginning of the sixth round and closed the show moments later at the 1:00 mark to retain the WBC flyweight title from the Domo Alcade - Code Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. DAZN News had the fight scored 48-47 for Martinez at the time of the stoppage.
"He was tougher than I expected. We are all here to win," Martinez said through an interpreter in his post-fight interview.
Martinez and Cordova had trained together in the past. And it showed in the early stages of the fight, as Cordova was able to avoid many of Martinez's power shots and connected on power punches of his own, including clipping Martinez in the third round.
- Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk rematch likely to occur in February or March, says Eddie Hearn
- Jaime Munguia vs. Gabe Rosado clash set for Nov. 13
- DAZN's men's pound-for-pound boxing top 10 list: Oleksandr Usyk surges upward after heavyweight title win vs. Anthony Joshua
- What next for Anthony Joshua after heavyweight title loss to Oleksandr Usyk? Rematch? Other fights? Retirement?
But the champion showed what he was made of, starting in the fourth round by switching stances seamlessly and landing power shots with each hand. That started to confuse Cordova as he was getting hit harder and harder. Even though Martinez was having success, Cordova was still standing right there and fighting back.
Martinez had enough of Cordova hanging around. He came out and went right at Cordova. Martinez sent him to the ropes and then dropped Cordova with a thudding left hand. Martinez didn't waste any time and refused to let Cordova hang around. He stalked Cordova and got him to the ropes. From there, Martinez uncorked a flurry of shots and wasn't going to let Cordova out of the corner. The referee sensed the same thing and stepped right in and waved the fight off.
What is next going forward for Martinez (18-1, 14 KOs)? He plans on sticking around at flyweight to collect some more gold and unify the division.
"We’re trying to stay at the same weight," Martinez said when asked about unifying the titles.
Here is what happened at the Martinez-Cordova main card.