Beaten Cook pleads for a title re-match

Nicky Cook made a return plea this week after losing his WBO world super-featherweight title when he was stopped in round four by Roman Martinez at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Saturday night, writes LEN WHALEY. The 29-year-old fighter suffered a shock

Nicky Cook made a return plea this week after losing his WBO world super-featherweight title when he was stopped in round four by Roman Martinez at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Saturday night, writes LEN WHALEY.

The 29-year-old fighter suffered a shock defeat after dominating the early exchanges against his Puerto Rican opponent, who he nearly put on the canvas with a powerful left hook in round two.

"We are talking to promoter Frank Warren this week and Nicky would love a return chance against Martinez - he knows where he went wrong and is very confident he could win a return," said his father-trainer Paul Cook, a former West Ham pro fighter, on Monday.

"He made the mistake of trading punches instead of sticking to the gameplan that enabled him to control the contest in the earlier rounds - and paid the price."


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The champion fell awkwardly and suffered a shoulder injury that prevented him from holding on to his opponent when he climbed up and needed hospital treatment after the bout.

It had all seemed so different a few minutes earlier, as Cook made a confident start and then turned on the power in the second round, with a fine combination that sent his challenger spinning.

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The world champion looked set for victory as he landed with a decent right in the third and looked to be hurting Martinez with a series of body shots in the fourth.

But out of the blue, the challenger landed with two quick left hand uppercuts that sent Cook to the canvas in an untidy heap.

The title-holder hauled himself upright and just about beat the count, but Martinez seized his chance and produced more powerful hooks for another knockdown.

Although the champion made it to his feet, referee Dave Parris rightly stepped in to end the contest - and Cook's title reign.

The unbeaten Martinez, dropped his poker face to celebrate his 22nd straight victory - and the world title - while most of the 15,000 crowd, like Cook, were stunned by the sudden ending.

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