Barker edges Geale, Martinez upsets Romero!
In an all action affair at middleweight, Darren Barker 25-1, 16 KOs) edged out a split decision victory over a tough Daniel Geale (29-2 15 KOs) to capture the IBF middleweight championship in Atlantic City on Saturday night.
Barker, 31 of the UK started quick and dominated the opening rounds with quick accurate combinations but Geale rallied back and scored a knockdown in the sixth round.
Geale, 32 of Australia landed a right hand followed by a devastating left hook to the liver that sent Barker to the canvas in agonizing pain. Barker would beat the count and survive the round.
The give-and-take would continue over the next six with Barker seemingly pulling away but Geale rallied back once again and had Barker on shaky legs in the final round.
After 12, the scores would read 113-114 and 111-116 for Barker while judge Alan Rubenstein saw it 114-113 for Geale.
“He caught me right on the solar plexus and completely took my breath away” Said Barker “I knew I was up against it, being the away fighter. Daniel was a terrific champion and he pushed me the all way. I just tried to work my hardest and thank god it payed off”
“I’m not going to whinge and cry or carry on. The thing is, it didn’t go my way tonight.’ said a disappointing Geale “He was throwing a lot of punches. Now whether they were catching me or not is to be said. Darren is a great fighter. I knew it was going to be tight. it was a close fight but i’m very disappointing”
In the co-feature Kiko Martinez (29-4, 20 KOs) upset previously unbeaten Jhonatan Romero (23-1, 12 KOs) to claim the IBF super bantamweight title.
Romero, of cali Colombia came out of the gate jabbing and using every inch of the ring to stay out of reach. Unfortunately for him, Martinez would bully his way inside and do damage late in the first round.
Martinez, 27 would not let up and kept his foot on the gas while dodging wild uppercuts as he powered forward.
Romero’s offense slowed down the stretch while Martinez continued pound away at the head and body of the 26 year old.
The end would come in the sixth round when a barrage of punches prompted referee David Fields to step in and save Romero from further damage. Romero conceded with a head nod as Fields stepped in at the 2:40 mark.
“This is a dream for me” said the Spaniard Martinez “He did hit me but I wasnt hurt. I kept throwing and I knew sooner or later the ref would have to stop it”
Also on the card, Thomas Dulorme (19-1, 13 KOs) stopped Francisco Figueroa (20-6-1, 13 KOs) in the eighth round of a scheduled ten.
after nearly a minute of unanswered shots by Dulorme, referee Ricardo Vera stepped in and waved it off.