Unbeaten Argentinian Fernando Martinez ended Filipino Jerwin Ancajas’ long International Boxing Federation super flyweight reign with a 12-round unanimous decision victory in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Martinez pressed the action in a lively bout at The Cosmopolitan, consistently outworking the champion to earn the upset victory, with two judges scoring it 118-110 and a third seeing it 117-111 for the 30-year-old challenger.
Martinez improved to 14-0 with eight wins inside the distance.
Ancajas, who was making his 10th defense of the title he won in 2016, fell to 33-2-2 with 22 knockouts.
Ancajas, also 30, said after the fight he would take advantage of his contractual right to a rematch.
Meanwhile, his plans to take on Japanese WBO champion Kazuto Ioka in a unification bout later this year were blown.
After an 11th round dominated by the aggressive Martinez, Ancajas appeared to need a knockout in the 12th to retain his title.
But he couldn’t hurt Martinez, who continued to land solid punches to the head and body in the final round.
On the same card, super lightweight fighter Gary Antuanne Russell improved to 15-0 with 15 knockouts with a 10th-round technical knockout of former world champion Viktor Postol.
Russell, a 2016 Olympian who is the brother of former WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr, stunned Postol with 29 seconds left in the bout and referee Mike Ortega quickly waved off the fight.
Postol, who held the WBC light welterweight title for nine months in 2015-16, had spoken before the bout of the difficulty of focusing on the task at hand amid the Russian invasion of his homeland.
Russell paid tribute to Postol, who fell to 31-4, for carrying on at such an emotional time.
“I do take my hat off to him,” the American said. “He’s got his family at home, there’s bombings going on. His country is at war.”