Sandor Martin shocks Mikey Garcia, wins majority decision in massive upheaval – .

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Sandor Martin shocks Mikey Garcia, wins majority decision in massive upheaval – .


Few boxing experts outside of Spain knew Sandor Martin before he was selected as Mikey Garcia’s return opponent.

Those who knew him gave him little or no chance of what he was able to accomplish on Saturday night.

Spaniard Martin pulled off an unlikely upset, carrying Garcia solidly en route to a majority decision victory in ten laps. Judge Zachary Young even scored the contest 95-95, canceled by judges Fernando Villareal (97-93) and Carla Caiz (97-93) who ruled in Martin’s favor at their DAZN main event on Saturday night from Chukchansi Park. in Fresno, California.

“It’s the biggest moment of my career,” Martin told DAZN’s Chris Mannix in the post-fight interview after his resounding victory. “I always said I was going to do it, and I did. “

Garcia – a titlist in four separate weight divisions – hadn’t fought since a twelve-round decision victory over Jessie Vargas last February. Rust on the ring was noticeable as the 33-year-old from Oxnard, Calif. Was never quite able to set a pace, while Martin offered constant movement and a backlash. superior when it debuted in the United States.

A slow first round was dramatic when the lights went out in the minor league baseball stadium at the start of the second round. Power was quickly restored, but with little offense coming from either fighter. Martin caught Garcia’s attention with a failed right hook late in the inning, as Garcia continued to struggle to find his rhythm.

Garcia found his attack in the third round, enjoying his best moments when Martin’s back was against the ropes. Garcia connected with a right hand and a left hook as Martin was stationary behind a high guard looking to overcome the brief exchange.

Garcia picked up the pace in the last minute of the fifth round, gaining the attention of the crowd. Martin spent most of the frame hitting with his jab and fighting with his back to the ropes, allowing Garcia to work his way inside and connect with the right hand in a loop.

Martin was forced to deal with a cut on his right eye, but didn’t seem bothered by the injury. Garcia hoped to capitalize on the momentum from round five, to spend most of round six following the Spaniard around the ring. Martin was effective in boxing the back foot, staying out of Garcia’s effective hitting range and connecting twice with right counter-hooks after avoiding straight right hands.

Rounds seven and eight saw Martin become more confident in his offense. Garcia continued to come forward but didn’t follow through on anything substantive. Martin took the lead on several occasions, while also showing sportsmanship by allowing Garcia to recover from a trip when their feet got tangled.

Martin enjoyed his best fighting streak at the end of the eighth round, landing a left right hand that froze Garcia in his tracks. The flow of the fight left the crowd stunned in silence after passionately supporting Garcia throughout the evening up to this point.

Garcia enjoyed a more active ninth round after landing just three of 25 punches in the previous frame. Martin continued to prove to be a moving target, with Garcia able to time his fast-footed opponent with his right hand.

Martin offered constant sideways movement in the tenth and final lap while Garcia showed a greater sense of urgency than was the case in previous laps. Garcia tackled Martin against the ropes long enough to launch a flurry of gunfire upstairs. Martin was able to block most of the entrants, without offering much offense in return. Martin continued to move around the ring, circling to Garcia’s right until he got stuck in a corner where he voluntarily traded with Garcia up to the bell.

The late push saw Martin pass Garcia 31-8 by Compubox stats, which surprisingly saw Garcia land as many or more punches in six of ten rounds.

“He had a very good fight, with his boxing,” Garcia confessed. “I thought I did what was necessary to close the gap, apply pressure and look for a fight. It was he who moved a lot in the ring. He was looking to counter a few times, but I was the one who was actually looking for a fight.

Martin was looking for the biggest win of his career. He got it, improving to 39-2 (13KOs) and able to collect a significant salary for at least his next outing.

“I know myself, I know my abilities,” said Martin, who landed 75 of 231 total punches (32%) according to Compubox, including 52 of 111 punches (47%). “I’ve been fighting since I was five and have always believed in myself. “

Garcia falls to 40-2 (30KO), with the two career losses coming in his last three fights. A former featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight title, Garcia was considered for a significant part of his career as one of the best in the sport.

His place among the industry’s elite was slightly affected after losing every round in a failed welterweight title bid to Errol Spence in March 2019. The loss was dismissed by his most ardent supporters as simply having had place outside its most effective weight and against the best. in the division and one of the best fighters in the sport.

However, Saturday marked Garcia’s third consecutive fight above 140 pounds. A maximum catch weight of 145 pounds has been agreed between Garcia and Martin, the latter of which mainly competes in junior welterweight. Garcia entered well below the contract limit looking for lucrative opportunities at 140 if he came out victorious in this fight, which he believed to be the case, but not to the point of discrediting the final scores.

“I thought I was ahead on all three cards,” Garcia insisted, having thrown 87 more punches (318-231) but landing less (60, versus 75 for Martin) and at a connection percentage. significantly lower (19% to 32%). ” It’s like that. That is why there are three judges. They decided he was the one who won the fight.

The difference in level of competition between the two was glaring before the fight, with Garcia as high as the -2000 betting favorite. The difference in activity – and ring rust, in Garcia’s case – seemed to play a bigger role. Martin has fought twice since the pandemic before Saturday, while Garcia had not fought for 20 months and with only two fights in more than three years before that fight.

The old titlist wasn’t ready to admit it, however.

“He didn’t beat me, I’m not bruised or anything,” Garcia noted. “It was a competitive fight, I thought I won the fight in a close game, but the judges saw it the other way around. I knew he was a very good boxer. That’s why I kept coming forward, but I knew I couldn’t be reckless either.

“I always thought I did enough to win. He continued to move around the ring. The judges thought this time he was in control. I thought I was in control.

The predicted ten-round distance was also the first such fight for Garcia since returning to the ring in July 2016 – a fifth-round stoppage by Elio Rojas – after overcoming a contract dispute with former Top Rank promoter for 2 ½ years. The fight with Martin was his first without a title in play or without a twelve-round limit, having traveled that distance in each of his previous five games.

“I can definitely envision a rematch,” Garcia admitted. “I think two more laps will probably be better too. I thought I was doing a little better in the last laps. But it was like that. “

How it will remain for months to come is whether Garcia can turn the clock back at least once more or if Martin’s upset victory signals the end of a multi-year run at the top for a proud former multi-division titlist.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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