Boxing

‘Bascome outmanoeuvred Martínez’

  • Clear winner: Jeff Mayweather, right, celebrates with Nikki Bascome, left, and  Andre Lambe, the Forty Rego's amateur fighter, at the Fairmont Southampton on Saturday night

Jeff Mayweather said he is keen to continue working with Nikki Bascome and believes the Bermudian boxer was the clear winner against David Martínez at the Fairmont Southampton at the weekend.

Bascome claimed the IBA International Welterweight Championship after a unanimous points victory over Martínez, with the judges scoring the eight-round contest 79-73, 77-75, 78-74 in the local man’s favour.

Mayweather, who travelled to Bermuda as part of Bascome’s coaching team, said the 28-year-old fought intelligently from the third round onwards once he started using his footwork and controlling the distance.

“I thought Nikki won the fight by at least three rounds, four rounds,” said Mayweather, the uncle of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“I don’t think the judges made a bad decision at all. [Martínez] did give him a good fight but Nikki did better.

“Most importantly, once he started moving the guy was lost. That’s the one thing that made the fight really solid for him. That’s what made the fight go his way.”

Mayweather, who is renowned for schooling defence, which is arguably Bascome’s Achilles’ heel, spent several months training the Bermudian in Las Vegas in preparation for his ring return.

He said he was encouraged by the technical improvements he witnessed in Bascome’s performance and believes it could have been a much easier night had he not taken so long to get going.

“I thought he showed true grit, a lot of heart and dug down,” Mayweather said. “I was a little worried early on, but with each round he progressed and did better. He showed the few things I’ve worked with him on. He could have made the fight a little easier by just getting in and getting out, getting in and out.

“Maybe he got caught up in the crowd a bit too much. He came out the winner, though, so it was worth it.”

A former IBO super-featherweight world champion, Mayweather said the doors to the Mayweather Boxing Club will be always be open to Bascome should be wish to continue training under him.

“As long as Nikki wants to work with me, I’m available for him,” said the 54-year-old, who sat on a stool outside of the ring in-between rounds.

“We don’t just have a working relationship, we have a friendship. He’s an awesome guy and everybody here knows that because they came out for him. I’m happy I came down here and we got the job done.

“I know I can help him, but at the same time, I’m not the only one.

“Even though I was in the corner, I wasn’t really in the corner because I didn’t want to just outshine everyone just because my name is Mayweather. That’s why I took a back seat and allowed everyone else to do what they do.”

Although the IBA is not one of the major organisations, Mayweather said there is genuine value to the International version of its welterweight belt and believes it will only help enhance Bascome’s career.

“In this sport, as tough as it is, everybody wants a belt,” he said. “When you get one, you can say that your somebody’s champion.

“These belts are not major belts but what they do is get you in the rankings. If you can get in the top 15, you can fight for a [major] title.”