Some fights are so good that they deserve a second act.
It also doesn’t hurt that there remains unfinished business between Miguel Cruz and Alex Martin heading into their 147-pound rematch Tuesday night at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (FS1, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Neither fighter had trouble making weight Monday for the 10-round bout, with Cruz coming in at 145.8 pounds and Martin taking the scale at 146.4.
The rematch provides Martin with the chance to build on his claim that he was robbed of victory in their first meeting in January, when Cruz (15-0, 11 KOs) earned a strangely scored 10-round split decision, winning 96-94 on two scorecards while the third judge gave Martin a wide 99-91 edge.
More disappointing to Martin, 27, than the decision itself was the fact that it cost the Chicago-based southpaw his perfect record.
This time around, Martin (13-1, 5 KOs) doesn’t plan to leave anything to chance.
“This fight will not go the distance,” said Martin, who has not fought since losing to Cruz. “It will end early. He is not as good as his record says.
“Everyone who has seen the first fight knows it was a bad decision. I think even he knows he lost. I will make a more emphatic statement this fight. I will do in this fight what I should have done last fight.”
While there’s no question that Martin, a 2012 National Golden Gloves champion who also won three Chicago Golden Gloves titles before turning pro in 2013, can box with the best of them, a knockout victory could prove a tall order for a fighter whose last stoppage win came in April 2014. Furthermore, Cruz has never been knocked down as a professional.
Naturally, the unbeaten Cruz, who will turn 27 years old Wednesday, plans on making an even bigger statement in the rematch.
“I didn’t have to take this fight,” said Cruz, who resides in the Orlando suburb of Lake Mary, Florida. “I won the first fight fair and square, and had plenty of options for my next fight. I didn’t have to revisit this, but want to do so to prove—again—that I’m the better fighter.
“I'm going to get the win in even more convincing fashion. I'm looking forward to this fight and I'm not planning on letting it go the distance.”
For a complete look at Cruz vs Martin, visit our fight page.