Julio Martinez stops Charlie Edwards but a foul overturns the decision!
After an upset victory over Cristofer Rosales in December 2018 made Charlie Edwards the new WBC flyweight champion and defending his title once, he now looked to make it two defenses against #1 contender Julio Cesar Martinez.
Martinez’ only loss was his pro debut in 2015. Since he registered fourteen wins, although, all of his fights were in Mexico.
The bout that elevated him to top contender status came in March when he stopped the brother of former IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby, Andrew in five rounds.
Controversy in the O2
Edwards had trouble adjusting to the awkwardness of Martinez early and often! The Mexican fighter has no distinct style, he’s not well versed in the basics, doesn’t exude any patterns primarily because he has no style and he is unorthodox as hell!
The champion attempted to keep his aggressive fighter at a distance behind the jab but could not find his rhythm as the aggression from his opponent was too much.
In the third round, an ~eighteen-punch combination started with a liver shot overwhelmed Edwards as he took a knee. While down, Martinez landed a final blow to the liver with guaranteed the knockout as the champion rolled across the ring in extreme pain!
Watching the fight live, it was clear Edwards was down before the final punch was delivered. In fact, a good half-second passed before the final shot came!
Initially the bout was ruled a third round knockout with Martinez becoming the new WBC flyweight champion.
Not So Fast!
As the replay continued to loop on the jumbotron in the O2, fans booed loudly as they witnessed the obviously late shot!
Edwards seemed to be gracious in defeat, even raising the hand of Martinez after the latter was formally announced as the new champion.
Shortly after, however, in the ring came WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman. During the interviews with both fighters, Sulaiman can be seen discussing things with officials.
Martinez acknowledged the last punch was late but stated the referee officially ruled the fight a knockout. therefore, he was rightfully the winner.
Futhermore, the BBBofC which is the commission sanctioning the fight, does not use instant replay. However, since the bout was also sanctioned as a WBC title fight, the organization over-ruled the BBBofC!
Seconds later, a new ruling would be announced! After seeing countless replays on the jumbotron, Sulaiman would have the official decision overturned to be a “No Contest!” Edwards, although on the verge of losing, escaped a knockout to retain his title!
Run it Back!
Sulaiman’s explanation was that he understood the BBBofC didn’t use instant replay, however, thousands of fans could see what happened over and over again on the jumbotron. Therefore, he felt he had to make the right decision.
What would follow was a impromptu ordering of an immediate rematch to take place.
Remember in 1997, Roy Jones Jr was disqualified against Montell Griffin in a fight he was winning handily before landing a final hook while Griffin was down in the ninth round. There was an immediate rematch in which Jones would win by knockout in the first round.
While it would be premature to say Martinez would get a first round knockout of Edwards in a rematch, we can say he understands where he can start to get there…the body!
By: EJ Williams