MANILA, Philippines – Aston Palicte was duly rewarded for all the hard work and sacrifices he put into his fight against Jose Martinez on Thursday night, January 31, (Friday, February 1, Manila time) at Viejas Casino and Resort in Alpine, California.
Using his length and power, Palicte decked the Puerto Rican twice in the 2nd round and was going for the kill when the referee stopped the world junior bantamweight title eliminator at the 2:18 mark.
In total, the 5-foot-8 Palicte needed only 5 minutes and 18 seconds to post his 21st knockout in 25 victories aginst two losses and forge a rematch with World Boxing Organization champion Donnie Nietes, whom the pride of Bago City, Negros Occidental fought to a split draw last September 8.
Nietes went on to beat Japanese Kazuto Ioka by decision for the 115-pound crown in Macau, while Palicte was relegated to a tussle with the erstwhile unbeaten Martinez, now 20-1-2 with 13 knockouts. (READ: Before year ends, Nietes captures 4th world title)
Having blown his first title crack, Palicte exerted extra effort in training under the guidance of former world champion Rodel Mayol.
Palicte spent Christmas and New Year training alongside Manny Pacquiao, who dominated Adrien Broner to retain the World Boxing Association welterweight crown on January 19, at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood and celebrated his 28th birthday on January 25 away from his family.
Now, Palicte is just one win away from realizing his ultimate dream of becoming a world champion.
That it will again be Nietes blocking his path toward stardom hardly concerns Palicte, who enjoyed a 2 1/2 height and 4-inch reach advantage over the 26-year-old Martinez.
For Palicte, it’s purely business. He’ll have to tackle Nietes, who hails from Murcia, Negros Occidental, just 24 kilometers away from his hometown.
Confident of his own punching power, Martinez opted to rush in in the 2nd round. It was a costly mistake as Palicte jarred him with a left uppercut.
Palicte then went on attack mode, landing straights, then a left hook to the body that evntually floored Martinez. Giving his opponent no chance to recover, Palicte unloaded another flurry of punches, forcing the referee to stop the scheduled 12-rounder. – Rappler.com