Regardless of what the judges final scorecard said Friday night at the Illusions Theatre at the Alamadome in San Antonio Texas, junior middleweight Steven Martinez of the Bronx won more rounds in his 10-round unanimous decision loss to Chris Pearson. This is boxing and though Martinez admits he lost the later rounds it is still a stepping stone to get better.
Martinez, 15-2, 12 KO’s, heard the final scores: 98-92, and two judges had it 97-93 in a bout that was televised nationally on Showtime. Back home Sunday, at his home off Prospect Avenue and Southern Boulevard, Martinez briefly reviewed the tape. Yes there is is disappointment but the 24-year old will take some time off and prepare for the next one with his promoters.
“I am rested and good,” Martinez said. “I saw the fight. I started strong and in the second half I faded, got tired, and fatigued. I let the fight slip away in the second half.” And he admits, despite the scores, the fight was much closer. So it is back to the drawing board and the second loss of his young career can only leave room for improvement.
Pearson was a tough opponent as he came into the fight undefeated, now 12-0, 9 KO’s. And this was a fight that was originally scheduled in August but Pearson sustained an injury to his ankle. Martinez was ready and put in the proper training before leaving for Texas last week for his first 10-round fight.
There is time to reflect on the loss. Every fighter looks at the mistakes and what can be done the next time, and it became a learning experience as Martinez has now gone that 10-round distance.
“Never been that deep in that war,” he said. “Now I know how it is. Now when I go in the gym I will push that extra mile. It was a good learning experience but was a closer fight that what the judges had it.” The first four or five rounds were in his favor, and as is the case, the complexion of fight can change in the second half.
However, Martinez who sustained his first loss back in June of 2012 via a split decision, strongly believes he won the 8th and 8th rounds. Perhaps he could have threw the jab a little more, something the judges determined. Then again, boxing is such a subjective sport and when the decision goes in the hands of those judges it sometimes can go either way.
Saturday night judges at ringside saw different outcomes of two championship fights in Las Vegas. It was clear that Mauricio Hererra easily won his WBA interim junior welterweight title defense against Jose Benavidez Jr but the judges said otherwise. And Timothy Bradley clearly outpointed Diego Chaves in their 12-round welterweight bout but earned a draw. a fight that was significant for Bradley to gain another shot at the title.
“It was closer,” Martinez commented about the outcome. “The first four could have gone either way. The 8th or 9th, I see I won easily. Could have been a draw. It’s a good learning lesson and I know I am hungry.”
Despite the loss, Martinez gained more fans. The attention and a national telecast will do that which leads to more exposure and opportunity as the progression continues. Showtime has expressed an interest in showcasing Martinez in the new year and his promoters, Salita Promotions and Square Ring ( former world champion Roy Jones Jr.) are anxious to book his next fight.
“Now people know I’m not a little slouch,” commented Martinez. “ I came to win my first 10- round fight. I came into the fight with no pressure. He (Pearson) had all the pressure. I knew what I had to do and I know my ability to execute.”
So what is next for Martinez as he takes some time off to enjoy the holidays with family and friends? He sustained a cut on the top of the head that required four staples. It’s nothing that will impede his progress and there should be a fight on the horizon in late January, or at some point the following month.
He said, “When I first lost I was younger and immature….more depressed knowing it was my first loss. I’m much more hungry and know my capabilities.” And next time Martinez will be looking for the knockout, because when the scores go to the judges it becomes that subjective part of boxing in a close fight.
“No comment on the judges,” he said as the learning experience continues for Steven Martinez.