Ex-heavyweight titleholder Charles Martin stops Devin Vargas in 4 on Ruiz-Ortiz card

LOS ANGELES – Heavyweight contender and former world champion Charles Martin stopped Devin Vargas in the fourth round Sunday afternoon at Crypto.com Arena (formerly known as Staples Center).

Martin, who hails from Saint Louis, Missouri, is 29-3-1, 26 knockouts.

Despite earning his third consecutive knockout win, Martin hit a rough patch in the third round when Vargas stunned him with a right hand to the head. Martin was able to hang on and get through the round to recover from the hit.

The southpaw Martin hurt Vargas about a minute into the fourth round. Martin continued to pummel Vargas in the ring until referee Jerry Cantú stepped in and stopped the fight at 1:59.

Martin was fighting for the first time since January 1, when he knocked down Luis Ortiz twice, but was unable to finish him off. He was knocked down twice in the sixth round by Ortiz and was stopped.

The 36-year-old won the IBF world title in January 2016 by stopping Vyacheslav Glazkov, but would lose the title to Anthony Joshua less than three months later.

Vargas, who resides in Toledo, Ohio and represented the United States at the 2004 Olympics, falls to 22-8, 9 KOs.

Junior featherweight Anthony Garnica of Oakland, California defeated Juan Lopez by majority decision.

One judge scored the fight 57-57, while the other two judges scored the fight 59-55 for Garnica, who improves to 10-0-1, 5 KOs.

Lopez, who resides in Dallas, Texas, falls to 17-11, 7 KOs. He has lost four of his last six fights.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County, California, Star newspaper. He can be contacted by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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