By Marc Livitz: Aalan Martinez defeated Charlie Serrano by unanimous decision this evening in Tampa, Florida. The interim WBO Latino Featherweight title was at stake only for Serrano, as Martinez weighed in at six pounds over the 126 pound limit. The contest at the A La Carte Event Pavilion was billed as a "Mexico versus Puerto Rico" affair.
Serrano (15(4)-4(2)-1) came out firing in the opening round. He got Martinez’s undivided attention very early when he connected with a strong overhand left in the commencing seconds. He had Aalan against the ropes and almost out, but his opponent from Jalisco wisely held on and regained his footing. Martinez (15(10)-2(1)-1) began to fire back at Charlie but he wasn’t connecting. The referee warned each fighter throughout the final minute to ease off on the unnecessary amounts of holding of which they were both involved. Much of this continued on into the second. Both boxers were holding and hitting. A straight right was quickly followed by a left hook and Martinez was on the winning end this time with around one minute to go. The bout seemed to be on an even playing field.
About midway through round three, Aalan Martinez was once again on the ropes, only this time he landed two consecutive uppercuts with opposing gloves and connected with a few more head shots. Serrano tied up once more and he sought to turn the tide in the third. The seven year pro tried to stalk Martinez but was usually stopped in his tracks whenever he got too close in. The crowd inside the pavilion was getting tired of having their sweet science served to them so sour and they were letting their feelings be known in round four. The tying and punching continued. Charlie threw a body attack at Aalan about ninety seconds into the fifth, to which Martinez answered with a few more connects to the head. Each fighter seemed to be punching just a bit wide in round six. Much of the jabbing was gone and each man looked somewhat winded.
The orthodox (Serrano) versus southpaw matchup was a bit more exciting in the seventh as both combatants threw their own respective attempts at haymakers. Martinez was trying to keep Serrano at arm’s length and utilize his three to four inch height advantage. He landed a crisp right to open round eight. The two remained at close quarters throughout the period, although Martinez managed to connect once again with a sound right with about thirty seconds to go. He appeared to be holding a slight lead over Serrano into the ninth. He snapped Charlie’s head to the side with another right as the stanza opened, yet Serrano kept on coming. Aalan landed an audibly painful left to the chin of his foe but it didn’t do much more than energize him. Still, the holding continued and as before, the referee beckoned both men to "stop wrestling".
Charlie Serrano was much more the aggressor as the championship rounds began. He threw punches in bunches at Martinez, who himself landed a few uppercuts of his own whenever they closed in on each other. Serrano’s corner attempted to contain a cut under his left eye between the tenth and eleventh. Neither fighter showed much in the eleventh until Martinez caught Serrano coming in with a straight right to the chin to end the round. The tying didn’t stop in the final period.
Serrano caught Martinez with a straight right at the halfway point. For the first time in nearly thirty six minutes of boxing, Aalan Martinez actually began to box. The time expired and the decision was left to the judges. Their cards read as follows: 115-113, 117-111 and 115-113 for the winner by unanimous decision, Aalan Martinez. The title will remain up for grabs, as Martinez did not make weight for the bout.