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Boxing In Britain: Burns Shocks Martinez To Win WBO Title

Glasgow turned into the UK's boxing capital on Saturday night as super featherweight Ricky Burns turned up with the fight of his life to topple WBO champion Roman Martinez.

Burns was given an early setback when he found himself on the floor in the first frame but the Scot refused to buckle as he beat the count and proceeded to outbox the champion.

By the middle rounds, Puerto Rico's Martinez was getting shaken by the normally light hitting Coatsbridge man but each time Martinez found a way to survive the trouble and battle his way back in the fight.

In the seventh, Martinez turned the tables on Burns, who was hurt but hung on before getting nailed again in the ninth. The next two rounds saw Burns outbox the champion but Martinez again wobbled the challenger but could not put Burns away.

The Scot surprised Martinez in the final round, hurting the champ badly but the Vega Baja man fought back with big shots of his own until the end of the contest.

Burns, 29-2 (17), swept all three cards by margins of 115-113 and 115-112 twice, gaining the WBO title and ending a run of two defenses by Martinez, 24-1-1 (15), who ironically had won the WBO by stopping Nicky Cook on a previous trip to the UK in March, 2009.

Chief support featured a thrilling Commonwealth featherweight clash between titlist John Simpson and challenger Stephen Smith.

The rather inexperienced Smith, 11-1 (6), with just 10 previous pro bouts, upset the far more seasoned Simpson, 21-7 (9), on a hotly contested split decision.

The bout was also a British title eliminator as Smith will now face domestic belt holder Martin Lindsay.

Ex-Interim WBO, European, British and Commonwealth super feather champion Alex Arthur, 28-3 (20), fought on the card as a light welterweight, turning in an eight round points win over durable operator Peter McDonagh, 15-19 (2).

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