<
>

Desperate KO for Raul Martinez

After 10 months out of the ring, during which he time he changed promoters, longtime flyweight and junior bantamweight contender Raul Martinez of San Antonio returned to action Saturday in Tulum, Mexico, and scored a sensational third-round knockout.

Martinez drilled Juan Jimenez (10-4, 9 KOs) with a flush right hand to the face that decked him and left him with blood pouring out of his nose. It turns out that Martinez (29-2, 17 KOs) was a bit desperate for the early stoppage after injuring his left biceps in the second round.

"In the second round, he threw a punch, sort of a looping punch, and it missed and he said he felt a lot of pain in his arm," manager Michael Miller said. "Raul came back to the corner and told [trainer and former world champion James Leija] that he thought he tore something. Leija said to him, 'If you think you tore something, then you gotta go out there and knock this guy out.' Raul said he knew he had to do something out of desperation because he knew if he didn't get him out of there quickly, this was going to be a long night if he didn’t.'

Miller said the doctor in Mexico diagnosed Martinez, 30, with a torn biceps, but it has not been confirmed.

"He went for some physical therapy [on Monday] and he will have an MRI on Wednesday," Miller said. "He may be out of action for a couple of months. He wants to work through it. I told him if it's screwed up let's just get it fixed. If it's not, you can take a little time off and then we'll move on, but you want to know what exactly is wrong."

Martinez, who unsuccessfully challenged Nonito Donaire for a flyweight title in 2009 and Rodrigo Guerrero for a vacant junior bantamweight title in 2011, is with Golden Boy now after parting ways with Top Rank. Assuming everything is OK with his arm, Martinez probably looms as an eventual challenger for Golden Boy-promoted bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz.