THE HEIGHT OF SUCCESS FOR RYAN MARTIN
lofty lightweight prospect from Cleveland Ryan Martin stopped his much shorter opponent, Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz, with an eighth-round TKO, to successfully defend his WBC Continental Americas lightweight title.
He was fighting on the televised undercard of the main event at Madison Square Garden, the middleweight unification bout between Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs. Referee Harvey Dock stepped in, as Martin was constantly landing combinations on Cruz’s head and body, to wave it off at 45 seconds of the eighth round. With this victory, 24-year-old Martin remains undefeated with a pristine record of 18-0 with 11 KOs.
The 5-foot-11 Martin came out swinging from the opening bell, throwing effective combinations and counter-punching his opponent, who conveniently stood in front of him the entire fight, often finding himself trapped against the ropes, as Martin used his noticeable reach advantage. Cruz, who hails from Port Chester, N.Y, gamely fought back for seven rounds, refusing to go down, until Dock mercifully stopped the clock a round later.