A BRUTAL body shot catapulted Swindon boxer Ryan Martin closer to a crack at the Commonwealth welterweight crown with a stunning victory at the Oasis Leisure Centre on Saturday night.
Taking on South Africa national champion Mziwoxolo Ndwayana in front of a home crowd on the Neilson Boxing-promoted Fight Town 3 show, Martin needed just two of the 10 scheduled rounds to claim victory.
The 25-year-old delivered a crunching blow to his rival’s ribcage, with Ndwayana instantly dropping to his knees on the canvas and not even attempting to beat the count.
The manner of victory for Martin – trained by Paddy Fitzpatrick at his Ferndale Road gym in the town – was highly impressive and initial post-match indications from promoters suggested a final eliminator is now on the cards before a potential shot at the Commonwealth title.
A delighted Martin said: “It is certainly one of the most important shots I have thrown and definitely one of the best too.
“I noticed I hurt him at the start of round two, I saw him take a deep breath.
“I thought I wouldn’t put the pressure on too much but then when we went in for another exchange, he opened himself up again, so I took the chance and it sunk him perfectly. Then it was goodnight.
“I am very happy with that. He is a resilient guy – you can see that from his physique.
“He is strong, fit and he was game. I could see in his eyes that he was up for 10 hard rounds, so I am very pleased to get the perfect shot in.”
Elsewhere on the night, Sam Smith’s tilt at the Southern Area super-middleweight title came up short following a bruising encounter with Germaine Brown.
Heavy punishment dished out by the Londoner left Smith with significant swelling over his left eye and unable to come out for the fifth round.
Like stablemate Martin, Bec Connolly had her own Commonwealth title eliminator, facing off against Rachel Ball in a super-featherweight showdown.
Despite a gritty effort throughout the 10 rounds, Connolly’s hopes came up short as Ball triumphed via a 100-91 decision.
There was further success for Fitzpatrick-trained fighters on the night, though, as welterweights Bradley Townsend, Harry Webb and Jensen Irving all triumphed.
Irving was involved in the opening bout of the night and saw off Qasim Hussain 40-37, with Webb matching that scoreline over the same distance en route to victory over Des Newton.
Facing Richard Samuels over six rounds, Townsend eased to a 59-55 success.
Chippenham super-middleweight Johnny Ward was amongst the most impressive performers on the night, beating Jevgenijs Andrejevs by a second-round stoppage.
Middleweight Vladamir Georgiev and super-welterweight Jay Munn rounded off the evening’s list of winners, beating Geiboord Omier and Kev McCauley respectively by 40-36 margins.