Sandor Martin Shocks Mikey Garcia

By Mark Elezaj

Chances are Sandro Martin is not a name you’re familiar with. Actually, not many boxing fans outside of Spain were familiar with Martin prior to him being picked as the comeback opponent for Mikey Garcia.

Mikey Garcia who has not fought in nearly two years before stepping into the ring, for what was supposed to be a tune-up fight, Saturday in Fresno, California, against Martin.

But for the second time in his last three fights, Garcia was outboxed and went down to defeat.

He lost a majority decision Saturday, as judge Zachary Young scored it 95-95, but judges Carla Caiz and Fernando Villareal saw it 97-93 each for Martin.

The Fighting Voice had it 96-94 for Martin.

Garcia (40-2, 30 KOs) pressed the action but showed no urgency throughout the fight.

The ring rust was apparent, Garcia was never able to establish a rhythm, while Martin offered constant movement and counterpunching in his U.S. debut.

A little bit of drama added to the fight as the lights went out in the minor league baseball stadium at the start of round two.

Power was restored quickly, though with little offense coming from either fighter. Martin caught Garcia’s attention with a check right hook late in the round, as Garcia continued to struggle.

I’m the third round, Garcia found his offense, enjoying his best moments when Martin’s back was against the ropes. Garcia connected with a right hand and a left hook.

Garcia picked up the pace in the final minute of round five. Martin spent most of the round fighting off of his jab with his back against the ropes, allowing Garcia to work his way inside and connect with looping right hands.

Martin was forced to deal with a cut over his right eye, although it did not seem to bother him. Garcia looked to capitalize on the momentum from the fifth round, but spent most of round six following Martin around the ring.

Martin was effective while boxing off of his back foot, remaining outside of Garcia’s range and connecting with counter right hooks after avoiding straight right hands.

I’m rounds seven and eight, Martin grew more confident. Garcia continued to come forward but was unable to land anything of substance.

Martin enjoyed his best action of the fight in round eight, landing a straight left hand that stopped Garcia from coming forward.

Garcia was more active in round nine, landing his right hand with ease in an flat footed opponent.

Round ten, Garcia showed a greater sense of urgency. Garcia pushed the action and pinned Martin against the ropes while throwing punches looking to knock Martin out.

Martin was able to block most of the punches but had no answer for them. Martin continued to move around the ring until he was pinned in a corner and forced to trade with Garcia until the final bell.

Garcia felt that that the judges got it completely wrong.

“He was running and surviving,” said Garcia during an interview with ESNEWS.

“I don’t even think he was being very effective but the three judges thought that he was in control. I thought I was in control for most of the fight but whatever.”

Garcia also said that his layoff did not impact him and insisted that he won the fight.

“I’m fine. I’m not bruised up and he didn’t put a beating on me,” Garcia said. “It was a good fight, a competitive fight. I thought I was winning the fight in a close match-up, but as I said, the judges saw it the other way around.

“No, [I didn’t underestimate him], not at all. I knew he was a very good boxer. I’ve seen some of his films. I knew he could box. That’s why I kept being the aggressor, coming forward, but I couldn’t be reckless, either, because he was looking for those counters. I still believe I did enough to win the rounds, seeing as I was the aggressor [who was] looking for the fight.”

Martin who looked to outbox Garcia from the start, was countering effectively and giving Garcia fits with his movement and his angles.

“It’s the biggest moment of my career,” said Martin, who entered the welterweight bout with a 38-2 mark but not a single notable win. “I always said I was going to do it and I’ve done it.”

“I know myself and I know my capabilities,” Martin said. “I’ve been doing this since I was 5 years old. I said I was going to do this, to go out and beat the best fighters in the world, and that’s what I’ve done.

“I knew I had to frustrate him. He’s a complete boxer. He’s not a natural 140-145 pounder and so we had to use that to our advantage.”

Garcia falls to 40-2 (30KOs), with both career defeats coming in the span of his last three fights.

Garcia said that he would like a rematch, one that goes 12 rounds and not 10 as it did Saturday night. Martin said Garcia had given him an opportunity so he is willing to give Garcia the same courtesy.

~ The Fighting Voice ~

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