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Bethesda resident Marin stops Ruiz in second round, title shot looms

  • Published in Sports

boxing gloves1Romanian-born Alexandru Marin of Bethesda scored a second-round knockout of Michael Ruiz Jr. on Saturday, ending their junior bantamweight (115 pounds) bout at the 44-second mark at the Masonic Temple in Norfolk, Virginia, and setting himself up for a potential July title shot against left-handed International Boxing Organization champion Gideon Buthelezi.

The 26-year-old Marin (16-0, 11 knockouts) registered his sixth stoppage victory in his past of eight bouts, flooring Ruiz (12-5-3, 4 KOs) in the final round. Ruiz, 28, was knocked out for the only time since January 2012, when he was TKO’d in the seventh by undefeated Matthew Villanueva.

“It’s not just Alex won, but the way he won that was impressive, stopping a guy who had gone the distance in draws against top 20 guys and who was peaking in his own career,” said Bruce Babashan, who trains Marin out of the Rockville-based Champion’s Boxing & Fitness gym.

“Some guy make leaps in their careers, and for Alex, this was a step up in the way that you want to see a fighter step up. We would have been happy with a convincing win, but this was an exceptional performance at a very high level against a tough opponent.”

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Unbeaten Alexandru Marin returns on Nov. 4, title shot on horizon

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Bethesda resident Alexandru Marin will return to the ring against an opponent to be determined on Nov. 4 at the Silver Eagle Arena in Ashburn, Va., said Bruce Babashan, the fighter’s trainer.

A native of Romania who went 150-10 and twice won national titles as an amateur, Marin (14-0, 10 knockouts) was last in action on Aug. 12 at the Masonic Temple in Norfolk, Va., weighing 118 pounds (bantamweight) for a second-round technical knockout victory over 122-pound junior featherweight and former two-time champion Juan Palacios of Nicaragua.

Marin, 25, fought at the sold-out MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill in May, when he shut out German Meraz over six rounds, but will pursue a world championship as a junior bantamweight (115 pounds). Marin’s run of four straight knockouts ended against Meraz.

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“Me Champion,” Romanian transplant pledges after latest win

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Alexandru Marin had been on U.S. soil from his native Romania for nearly two months when trainer Bruce Babashan first tested his revolve.

The scene was the Headbangers’ Boxing Gym in Washington, D.C., four years ago. There, Marin sparred with Baltimore’s Gervonta “Tank” Davis, a prodigy considered an heir apparent to his mentor and promoter, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“He had an uncle in Silver Spring who recommended Alex before he arrived. I’d seen him on video, but we wanted to see how tough he was. Alex displayed some exceptional talent and un-teachable gifts,” said Babashan of Marin, who went 150-10 as an amateur and twice won national titles. “He came here with the specific goal of becoming a professional boxer, and I agreed to train him with very little expectation. When he arrived, he knew two words of English: ‘Me champion.’ I said ‘We’ll see.’”

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