Cook wants redemption shot after Roman conquest

Nicky Cook has pleaded for a chance to avenge his WBO world championship defeat by Roman Martinez

By LEN WHALEY

Nicky Cook is desperate for a chance to avenge his world championship defeat by Roman Martinez after losing his WBO super featherweight title at the MEN Arena on Saturday night.

The 29-year-old Stepney-born fighter suffered a shock knockout defeat in Manchester after dominating the early exchanges against Puerto Rican challenger Martinez, who Cook nearly put on the canvas with a powerful left hook in round two.

Two savage left hands floored the East London fighter in the fourth round as Cook relinquished his WBO belt in his first outing since winning the title from Alex Arthur last September.


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But Cook has now issued a plea for a rematch with Martinez after insisting he has what it takes to regain his championship.

"We are talking to 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 father-trainer Paul Cook.

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"He made the mistake of trading punches instead of sticking to the gameplan - and he paid the price."

The champion fell awkwardly and suffered a shoulder injury that prevented him from holding on to his opponent when he regained his balance and Cook 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.

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 Martinez launched a shock recovery, landing with two quick left-hand uppercuts that sent Cook to the canvas in an untidy heap.

The titleholder hauled himself upright, but Martinez seized his chance and produced more powerful hooks for another knockdown, forcing referee Dave Parris to end the contest.

The unbeaten Martinez dropped his poker face to celebrate his 22nd straight victory and a maiden world title win while most of the 15,000 crowd, like Cook, were still coming to grips with the sudden ending.

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