Norwich fighter Martell takes rise in class in his stride

Iain Martell is about to have his arm raised in victory by referee Lee Cook after beating Ossie Gerv

Iain Martell is about to have his arm raised in victory by referee Lee Cook after beating Ossie Gervier Picture: Chris Lakey - Credit: Archant

Norwich cruiserweight Iain Martell put himself bang into the mix for a Southern Area title fight when he came through the biggest test of his career.

Martell stepped up in class to see off the dangerous Ossie Gervier over six rounds at Norwich's Airport Holiday Inn Hotel on Friday night.

Gervier has mixed it with some of the best cruiserweights in the country, but Martell, in only his sixth outing since leaving MMA for boxing, handled him well.

Martell was well aware of Gervier's punching power - five of his six wins have been by knockout - but the visitor rarely troubled him. Martell's movement frustrated Gervier, who was in trouble in the fourth when his legs wobbled under a big Martell right hand, only for the momentum to be lost when referee Lee Cook spoke to him about a low blow.

There was no doubt Martell wanted to finish it early, but securing a 60:55 win in the manner he did will sound out a warning that the man from Norwich has legitimate claims to a shot at the title.

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Martell was roared on by a packed house which also saw wins for city fighters Owen Blunden and Liam Goddard.

The classy Goddard was fighting over six rounds for the first time in his fledgeling career, but came through 60:54 against the tough as teak Michael Williams. Goddard hit him with everything, but Williams refused to buckle. When it looked like he was hurt, he quickly regained his composure, but Goddard will have been pleased with his night's work.

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Blunden ended his with five stitches in a cut over his left eye, which brought his scheduled four-round fight against Lee Connelly to a premature end. Blunden had trouble seeing through his left eye after a clash of heads in the second round, although it had little effect on his performance.

However, at the end of the third round referee Cook brought a halt to proceedings and, as the fight had passed three rounds, it went to the official's scorecard, which had it as a 30:28 win for Blunden.

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