Diaz halts Gethin in seven
Martin Gethin (24-4-1) was stopped in seven rounds by Ammeth Diaz (32-11) in the IBF lightweight title eliminator on Friday night at Walsall Town Hall.
The 29-year-old's hopes of landing a world title shot was shattered after he was outclassed and then bludgeoned by the Panamanian, who will now get another crack at Mexico's Miguel Vazquez a year after losing to the champion.
Diaz dominated the opening round with power behind his jab, opening a small cut near Gethin's left eye.
The local man fought back well in the 2nd round and after Diaz took the 3rd, Gethin turned in a good show in the 4th, landing some good combinations, hurting his opponent with a powerful left uppercut.
Gethin landed two good shots in the 5th, both of which had Diaz reeling, but the South American began to take control thereafter.
The Walsall man was down in the 6th, after Diaz landed a crunching right which Gethin acknowledged as he took a knee. The punch may have broke his nose.
In the 7th, Gethin came back with a spirited, if ultimately unsuccessful attempt to get at Diaz, who patiently picked shots that forced the Black Country man onto one knee a minute into the round. Gethin rose and started throwing back, but after a hook put him down again, he shook his head and stayed there while referee Howard Foster counted him out at 2:53 of the round.
"Credit to Diaz he's a very good fighter," said Gethin. "He can punch and my ear was perforated in the fifth and it knocked me and the gameplan went out of the window to an extent. It's all come very quickly - I only won the British title in my last fight - so my head isn't dropping too much."