Dunne masters Martinez to continue winning streak

Bernard Dunne gradually wore down American fighter David Martinez to rack up his 21st straight pro win at the National Stadium last night.

Bernard Dunne gradually wore down American fighter David Martinez to rack up his 21st straight pro win at the National Stadium last night.

The talented Dubliner scored an eighth-round stoppage to maintain his unblemished record and edge a little closer to a shot at European super-bantamweight champion Michael Hunter later in the year.

Martinez, who had only lost once in his previous 18 bouts, lasted just 57 seconds of the eighth round as his corner threw in the towel with Dunne attacking at will.

The New Mexico native, whose face was beginning to show the effects of a bruising encounter, had more than held his own during the previous rounds. But 26-year-old Dunne was never going to let the scheduled 10-rounder go the distance.

After his third victory of the year and fifth in the capital since his return home from Santa Monica, Dunne admitted: "He was a tough, tough fighter.

"The punches I was throwing were ones that would usually knock an opponent out but he took them well and came back at me. He deserves credit for that.

"There was a good bit of banter between during the fight too, all good-natured stuff, and that added to the occasion. I thought the crowd were brilliant again. It makes winning all the more special when I can do it in front of a full house in my home town."

Martinez, nicknamed 'El Finito', was so enamoured with Dunne's voracious support that he countered that he would like nothing better than to fight at the stadium again.

While Dunne's European campaign is gathering momentum, something a little closer to home will command his attention for the next few weeks.

He said: "My wife Pamela is due to give birth to our first child in about three weeks' time. I'm just glad she didn't pop it out tonight!

"Honestly, I can't wait for it. All those sleepless nights!"

Also on the Brian Peters-promoted bill last night, Jim 'The Pink Panther' Rock dismissed Slough's Kevin Phelan in the seventh round to claim the vacant Irish middleweight title.

Arklow light middleweight James Moore stopped his French opponent Salaheddine Sarhani in the fourth round to chalk up his seventh pro success, and his first outside America.

Lightweight Andrew Murray from Cavan took his record to 7-0-0 (2 Kos) with a third-round stoppage against another Frenchman, Tony Jourda.

Completing a clean sweep of wins for the home fighters, Dubliner Paul Griffin out-pointed Bulgarian Wladimir Borov in a featherweight contest and Oklahoma-based Dub Oisín Fagan scooped the vacant Irish light welterweight title, defeating Jeff Thomas of England.

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