By Derek Bonnett: Some boxing fans viewed the first full week of February as an early lull in the 2013 calendar and, while few SecondsOut ranked fighters were scheduled to do battle, they were pleasantly surprised with what is arguably the best day of boxing this year. Yes, February 9 was the date SecondsOut ranked Carl Frampton warred with Kiko Martinez in a nip and tuck battle worthy of early Fight of the Year candidacy. It was, possibly, the best fight of the day, but there were several others, including two bouts on the same card, which also fell into the same category of FOTY candidates. Previously SecondsOut ranked middleweight Andy Lee moved closer to re-entering the top ten with a ten round war against Anthony Fitzgerald in Ireland. Although both fighters showed tremendous sportsmanship toward the other, Fitzgerald fought with every intention of upsetting his more famous countryman. In addition, Welshman, Lee Selby put himself on the SecondsOut radar and could soon be entering the top ten with another performance such as the one he put in against Ireland’s Martin Lindsay. Both fights looked like dark horse contenders for FOTY given their heated exchanges and high volume attacks. Also in the running for best fight of the day, was Alexander Miskirtchian’s last round TKO of Andreas Evenson in a bout separated by a maximum of two points going into the last round. Both fighters fought with the fervor of a man on the cusp of a SecondsOut world ranking and it would not be a surprise to see either man claim a spot in the featherweight division down the line. Ranked or unranked, boxing’s bravest also hope to be On the Move.
On Saturday, February 9, at Arena Itson, Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, Julio Ceja remained unbeaten with a fifth round KO over Henry Maldonado in a bantamweight bout. Ceja improved his dossier 24-0 (22). Maldonado fell to 16-2 (11).
Ceja retained his number eight bantamweight ranking at SecondsOut.
Also on this date, at Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Carl Frampton produced a ninth round TKO of Kiko Martinez in a Fight of the Year candidate. The end came at the 2:46 mark after Martinez hit the canvas following a right hand. Frampton captured the European super bantamweight title and raised his record to 16-0 (11). Martinez dipped to 27-4 (19).
Frampton rose from seventh to sixth in the SecondsOut super bantamweight rankings.
Also on the move, both Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez have bid farewell to the featherweight division and plan to campaign at 130 pounds. Both remain unranked at super featherweight for the time being. Replacing them at featherweight are Abner Mares, who vacated his super bantamweight title to campaign at featherweight. Also, Mares’ stable mate, Ronny Rios claimed his first SecondsOut featherweight ranking at number ten based on his recent win over Rico Ramos.
Also on the move, Cristian Mijares climbed into the super bantamweight rankings at SecondsOut to fill the void left by Abner Mares. Mijares jumped into the ten spot after a commendable run which includes a stoppage victory over Rafael Marquez.