Cruiserweight Iain Martell leads winning finale to 2018 on Norwich fight night
- Credit: Archant
Norwich cruiserweight Iain Martell made it four wins out of four on Sunday night – and put paid to a Christmas of over-indulgence in the process.
Martell's points win over Dmitrij Kalinovskij should have signalled some relaxation over the festive period, but the 28-year-old, who has a wealth of MMA experience, is keen to get on the road and find success in the pro boxing ranks.
Four wins from four outings over 18 months have been punctuated by two broken hands, but Martell came through unscathed last night.
'I am looking to a big 2019 now,' said Martell. 'I spoke to my trainer, Graham Everett about a fight up north in January so there are no holidays for me now. But that is what I want – I want to get involved, with no niggles, no injuries and a clean head in the gym and we are going to have a right go.
'At the age I am, in the division I am in, and the abilities I have, I want to get on the road. I don't want to stay at home and have 15 fights at home. I want to find out who I am, test myself. There is more to us than meets the eye – I will never find myself or realise who I am and never go to bed a content man if I don't go and test myself.'
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Martell was discipline itself against Kalinovskij, moving well, forcing the Lithuanian to shoot and miss and then landing well when he wanted.
The Norwich man had said he wanted to get in some minutes and dictate a fight – and that's pretty much what he did.
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A big right rocked his man in the third and although Kalinovskij shook his head in brave defiance, he was clearly rattled. Martell stepped up a gear and was well on top going into the final round when he invited the Lithuanian to come and have a go, but the visitor could see the 40:36 scoreline coming.
'I thought it was a really mature performance from Iain,' said Everett. 'I know Iain really wants to get them out of there always, but that man he fought was very durable, fights all over Europe and hardly ever fails to go the distance.'
Martell's win – at the Airport Holiday Inn – was the finale to a fine night of boxing, with four home wins – Liam Goddard, Joe Steed and debutant Owen Blunden all had their arm raised.
For Everett it was the end of a good year on the domestic front, although 2018 is not yet complete – he will be in the corner for Ryan Walsh's fifth defence of his British featherweight crown against Reece Bellotti next Saturday.
'Owen produced a really mature performance for a young man,' said Everett. 'He did really well against Dylan Draper, exactly what he told. He has worked very hard. It hasn't been easy transforming him from a jerky, jumpy amateur into a more solid professional, but if he keeps working like he has been he has a good future.
'Joe Steed caught his man big in the first round – Liam Griffiths is a very cagey performer and he knew every trick to get through that fight.
'But I wanted him 4-0 by Christmas and we have both kept our side of the bargain and I am looking forward to next year. Joe is a good kid, a very good prospect.
'I told Liam Goddard I didn't want it easy, I wanted a gut check with him to see how he could concentrate in a situation like this. Fonz Alexander is a big puncher, a tough, tough man, so what better opponent to have to check yourself out? Liam has every ingredient to be a very good professional. I was really, really happy with him.'