Martino Jules remains undefeated after surviving Aleem Jumakhonov
Empty arena or no empty arena, the lights can be ultra-hot under the national spotlight, and it is what southpaw Martino “Titan” Jules faced Thursday night in the co-feature on ESPN from the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Complicating that was Aleem Jumakhonov, the best fighter the 23-year-old from Allentown, Pa., would be facing to date, in an eight-round featherweight fight.
Jules (10-0, 2 knockouts) survived to pull out a majority decision, winning on Max DeLuca and Julie Lederman’s scorecards. Each had it 78-74 for Jules, while Adalaide Byrd scored it 76-76.
Punchstats revealed Jules landed more than double what Jumakhonov did, connecting on 217/565 (38%) to Jumakhonov’s 91/406 (22%). Jumakhonov did land 49 body shots, to Jules’ 16 body connects. But that may have had more to do with Jules’ penchant to fight inside in the opening rounds.
Early on, Jumakhonov, 27, Reseda, Calif. by way of Horog, Tajikistan, was forcing the action. In the third, Jumakhonov, who last fought 10 months ago, bloodied Jules’ nose.
Jules, standing straight up, didn’t help his cause. With less than :30 left in the third, there was splash of red across his face.
Through three, Jumakhonov (8-3-2, 4 KOs) appeared to be slightly ahead.
In the fourth, Jules pressed Jumakhonov. He got inside and began banging away at the body. Jumakhonov, his guard up high, was not very active. Jules, it appeared, was finding his rhythm.
Through four, Jules had landed 105/314 total punches (33%) to Jumakhonov’s 52/227 (23%).
In the fifth, Jumakhonov landed a big right hand. But Jules came back in the sixth, coming forward and pushing back Jumakhonov.
By the seventh, Jules used distance and pecked away from the outside.
In the end, Jules’ superior boxing skills and work rate proved to be the difference.
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.
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