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Booth hopes to reign in Spain *Spoilers*


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Booth hopes to reign in Spain


NOTTINGHAM'S Jason Booth makes his fourth attempt to win a European title, in Spain tonight.


He takes on former super-bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez for the vacant title at a bull ring in Leganes.


It appeared for a time that the fight might fall through after a lack of television coverage.


Indeed, Booth's team only got flight and hotel details earlier this week. It is fair to say that they were not too happy with the arrangements.


"They have held back all the info and at one stage it looked as though the fight might be off," said Booth's trainer Tony Harris.


"They've messed us about over the flight, but if they are trying to rattle us it won't work."


Harris says Booth is fighting fit and raring to go.


"He's looking sharp and feeling good," said Harris. "We've seen what Rendall Munroe did to Martinez, so we are confident.


"But we will also be cautious. There is no way we are going to underestimate him, because he is a dangerous, big puncher."


Previously, Booth was out-pointed by David Guerault in France and Alexander Makhmutov in Madrid for the EBU flyweight title.


He was heading for victory when he took on Mimoun Chent in Le Harve, but lost on a technical decision in the eighth when Chent was cut in a clash of heads.


Experienced Booth, 33, has 315 rounds under his belt and his 42-36(15)-6 record includes a remarkable 20 major title fights.


Martinez is having his seventh European title fight, but is still only 25.


He has won 24 of his 27 fights, 17 wins coming inside the distance. He has lost only three fights and two of those were against Booth's local rival, Munroe.


But, if Booth can avoid the big bombs from Martinez for the first two rounds, he should dance his way to a points win.




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Big-Hitting Kiko Martinez Becomes The First Man To Stop Jason Booth, Wins Via 10th-round TKO In Spain


By James Slater:


Last night in his homeland of Spain, former European super-bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez regained the title via an impressive 10th-round stoppage over former British and Commonwealth 122-pound boss Jason Booth. Dropping the 33-year-old with a left hand in the 10th, Martinez, who had hurt “2-Smooth” a number of times in earlier rounds, got the TKO win when referee Luigi Muratore decided Booth had had enough.


Now 25-3(18) “La Sensacion” has won his last five fights. For Booth, who was coming back after a hard-fought split decision win over Jamie Arthur, in which he defended his British and Commonwealth belts, last night’s loss marked the only time he has ever been stopped as a pro. Booth is now 36-7(15).


One of British boxing’s most amazing comeback stories, Booth’s return from serious alcohol problems to regain past glories earned the Nottingham warrior much praise and respect. The return to winning ways that began in 2006 also eventually earned Booth a shot at the IBF title. Losing a close, gutsy affair against the classy Steve Molitor last September, Booth had the satisfaction of crossing the finishing line and remaining on his feet. Now, in light of being stopped by the Spaniard who is known to Irish fans for his brutal and quick KO of Bernard Dunne (TKO 1 in 2007), Booth may have a good long look at what his options are. Could the 43-fight veteran even decide to call it a day?


Martinez, a naturally heavy-handed fighter, hurt Booth in the 5th-round, and he caught him with more heard head shots in the 8th and 9th-rounds. On top in a big way and surely well ahead on points at the time of the stoppage in the 10th, Martinez finished things with a big left hand to the head. Booth showed guts, as he always does, in getting back up, but the ref had seen enough. No-one could complain about the stoppage.


Martinez - twice out-boxed by Rendal Munroe, the talented southpaw Booth was perhaps looking at facing one day - can now look ahead to some big paydays. The 25-year-old has proven he is unafraid to travel to fight, and maybe he will return to the U.K for another fight soon? A genuine danger man, Kiko is now a three-time champion (Euro Union and full-Euro champ). Maybe a shot at one of the various world titles will come for him next?




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