The 27 year-old, who lost to Carl Frampton earlier this year, took full advantage of his surprising opportunity to break down the taller Colombian in six bruising rounds in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Martinez came straight out of the blocks throwing hurtful power shots and almost took Romero out in the first round with his relentless pressure. Romero, 26, came back in the second round and used his jab, although it didn’t last and Martinez continued to push the title holder back over the course of the next few rounds.
Romero had no answer to the determination of Martinez and after a sustained onslaught in the sixth, referee David Fields called off the bout with no complaints from the fallen champion.
In the first of the three main bouts, ‘Aussie’ Joel Brunker, now 27-0, scored an unconvincing eight-round win over Mike Oliver – despite adopting some questionable tactics throughout the contest.
The undefeated featherweight proceeded to maraud forward for the duration of the fight as Oliver picked him off on the counter, although ultimately the 27 year-old’s all-action style saw him though – with the all three judges awarding Brunker the fight 78-74.