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Charles Martin stops Mike Marrone; Avalos and Rodriguez also win

By Jim Dower: In an impressive win tonight, former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs) made quick work of 31-year-old journeyman Mike Marrone (21-8, 15 KOs) in stopping him in the 1st round on Tuesday night on Premier Boxing Champions on Fox FS1 at the Rapides Coliseum in Alexandria, Louisiana.

The 31-year-old southpaw Marin flattened the big 6’3” Marrone with a left to the body. Marrone went down on his face and spit out his mouthpiece. The fight was then halted by referee Kenny Saintes. Marrone was rushing forward throwing shots at the time he was tagged to the body by Martin. It’s not surprising that Marrone was dropped. He was using the approach to work against a fighter of Martin’s caliber.

The win for the 6’5” Martin was his second consecutive since being stopped in the 2nd round by Anthony Joshua last year on April 9 in London, England. Martin lost his IBF heavyweight title in losing to the young Joshua. Earlier this year, Marin rebounded from his loss to Joshua in stopping journeyman Byron Polley in the 2nd round on April 25. It was a superior performance against a very beatable opponent in 37-year-old Polley.

At the time, Martin had been out of the ring for one year since his loss to Joshua. Martin can’t afford to get caught in fighting too many journeyman level opponents if he wants to turn his career around. Martin is only 31, and he doesn’t need to devote more than a year in fighting journeyman level fighters at this point in his career. Martin already lost a year of his career through inactivity following his loss to Joshua. Martin will only make matters worse if he continues to throw time away fighting 3rd fighters like tonight’s match against Marrone.

For Marrone, this was his 4th straight defeat. It’s hard to believe that at one-time Marrone was highly thought of. His career has just not worked out for him since he turned pro in 2004.

In other results on the card, former super middleweight world title challenger Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (29-2, 20 KOs) defeated an over-matched Melvin Russell (10-2-2, 6 KOs) in a 2nd round stoppage in a scheduled 8 round fight. This was a bad mismatch. Rodriguez was far too good for a limited fighter like Russell. The win for Rodriguez gets him back on the winning track.

Rodriguez was stopped by Thomas Williams Jr. in the 2nd round last year in April 2016. It’s unclear why Rodriguez chose to stay out of the ring for over a year. That probably wasn’t a smart move on Rodriguez’s part. For boxing fans who may have forgotten about Rodriguez, back in 2013, he lost a 12 round unanimous decision to WBA super middleweight champion Andre “SOG” Ward. Since then, Rodriguez has won 5 out of his last 6 fights. He was sloppy in losing to Williams Jr. If Rodriguez had used his boxing skills against Williams Jr., he probably would have beaten him. Rodriguez tried to slug with Williams Jr. and he paid the price in getting stopped quickly.

Rodriguez fights at light heavyweight. He’s in the wrong division in this writer’s opinion. Rodriguez would be better off fighting at super middleweight, where there are fewer big punchers. At 175, Rodriguez is in a stacked division with devastating punchers like Adonis Stevenson, Artur Beterbiev, Sergey Kovalev, and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Rodriguez has talent, but he needs to use more more skills and less slugging if he wants to go anywhere in the light heavyweight division.

In featherweight action, Chris Avalos (27-5, 20 KOs) had to get up off the deck in the 3rd round to come back to defeat favorite Miguel Flores 21-2, 9 KOs) by a 5th round stoppage. The fight was stopped due to Flores having been cut over his left eye. The cut was from a clash of heads. It’s unclear what would have happened had Flores not been cut. He looked good, but Avalos was game and he was more than a handful.

Undefeated light heavyweight slugger Ahmed Elbiali (16-0, 13 KOs) defeated Christopher Brooker (12-4, 5 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout. In getting the stoppage, Elbiali appeared to land two hard rabbit punches to the back of Brooker’s head. It probably didn’t matter. Elbiali was the better fighter and the more powerful guy. He would have likely blown Brooker out of there regardless of whether he landed the rabbit punches or not.


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