By Rick Assad —
Undefeated lightweight Ivan Najera had just enough in the tank to escape with a hard-fought split decision victory over Stan “The Man” Martyniouk in the semi-main event on the Glendale Fight Night card at the Civic Auditorium last Saturday night.
Swinging from the heels, each landed several solid shots in the eighth and final round as a capacity crowd looked on.In the seventh round, Najera (14-0-0 with 8 KO’s) chased and eventually caught Martyniouk, and when he did landed several clean blows.But it wasn’t totally one-sided as Martyniouk (13-2-0 and 2 KO’s) drilled Najera with both hands late in the frame.
The sixth round was filled with non-stop fury from each boxer, but the 21-year-old Najera had the better of it and took the round which also featured a great deal of holding and clinching.
The pace in the opening round was tepid at best, but Najera, from San Antonio, Texas, picked up the action in the middle of the stanza when he drilled Martyniouk with a lively combination.
Najera landed an overhand right early in the second round, and then opted to attack the body and head.
In the third round there was more holding and clinching, along with some levity as Najera, while in a clinch, acted as though he was dancing with Martyniouk, which produced a smile from the eventual winner.
This same pattern unfolded in the fourth round with Najera once again busier, while the 29-year-old Martyniouk, who resides in Sacramento, primarily held and clinched.
The fifth round was somewhat dull, and likely went in favor of Najera, who was more active.
In an earler bout, Brazilian Esquiva Falcao punished and pummeled Malcolm Terry in a middleweight battle as the six-round affair was halted with 43 seconds left in the second round by a straight left.
Left-handed, Falcao (4-0-0 with 2 KO’s), who won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games, began the first round by decking Terry (6-4-0 and 6 KO’s) with a short right hand, and followed that by pounding Terry’s body while he was pinned against the ropes.
Meanwhile, Alex Zubov chopped and battered Harvey Jolly in a six-round cruiserweight confrontation and was credited with a unanimous decision.
Zubov came out with extreme purpose as he struck the head and body beginning with the opening round.
The second round was more of the same, but Jolly (15-20-1 and 7 KO’s) found time to land a couple of well-timed upper cuts.
Zubov’s energy took the third round, but it was also sloppy at times, while the fourth round had Zubov (5-0-0 with 4 KO’s) connecting with a right-left combination, and Jolly was warned after tossing a low blow.
The action-packed fifth round featured Zubov’s right eye getting cut by an accidental head butt, and Jolly tagging Zubov with an upper cut.
Zubov, from Magnitogorsk, Russia, controlled the sixth round as he landed a right hand and also found the mark with a left.
Unblemished Jose Zepeda pounded and backed down Adrian Garza who relented in the third round of their super-lightweight bout scheduled for eight rounds.
The end came at the 2:22 mark when Garza, the Mexico City native, intentionally touched both gloves to the canvas for the second time which forced the stoppage.
Zepeda (21-0-0 with 18 KO’s), quicker and faster, began the assault in the initial round when he clubbed Garza (8-4-0 and 6 KO’s) with a thunderous left hand.
The next round saw Zepeda, from La Puente, find the zone with a wicked left, which solidified that the evening belonged to Zepeda.