When anticipation is met with a let-down due to injury sustained in a highly sought after bout – that is where most tapped in viewers are after what had taken place. WBC Flyweight titlist 🇲🇽Julio Cesar Martinez (18-1-0, 14KO) found himself in an early scare in the 1st round, but returned the favor against 🇵🇷McWilliams Arroyo (21-4-0, 16KO) as they both hit the canvas in the opening frame. A headbutt however, and the effects of it unfortunately reared its ugly head at the end of the second round, when Arroyo couldn’t continue, thus this contest being ruled a “No-Contest”.
The fight was interesting from the get-go. The switch-hitting Martinez started off right handed, and Arroyo dug his front foot, and was adamant on taking advantage of Martinez’s wide punch system, and boy did he strike first. He landed a sharp left hook that shook the legs of the titlist, and worked him down to the mat in the opening stanza.
Martinez got up, but was shaken from the impact of the punch, but held his own during that time. Late in the round, Martinez landed a wide left hook to the jaw that dropped Arroyo down to the mat for the big knockdown. Hurt, and a bit bewildered, he got up, and was fortunate that the bell sounded before Julio Cesar could get back on top of the action to capitalize on the moment.
There was a nasty cut that presented itself over Arroyo’s right eye in the second round that began to bleed out profusely, the belief of it being that it was caused by a headbutt that occurred earlier. There was an exchange where Martinez partially landed a right hand, although it was moreso Arroyo losing his balance by being pushed, but acting Referee John Callas called it a knockdown.
After the round ended, Arroyo was complaining in his corner that he had high difficulty in seeing, and with ongoing discussion by the corner, Referees and Ring-Physician, the fight was called off after the second.
Martinez celebrated, thinking that he got a stoppage victory, but of course with the rule being if an injury is caused by an accidental headbutt before the end of the 4th round, it will be rendered a “No-Contest”, and that is what happened here. This one stings as a watcher, as this bout had been widely anticipated by hardcore pundits, as a can’t miss firefight since 2020, but with the multiple delays putting this one on the shelf, a “No-Contest” ruling will have the fandom feeling some sort of letdown given the anticipation.
With that said though…what can you say about injuries in boxing but to respect it Arroyo never complains, and something was off there, and action was being taken to prevent real damage done. We certainly hope that these two will run it back one more time without interference.