Four-weight world champion, Mikey Garcia was dealt a hammer blow in his long-awaited comeback, as Sandor Martin stunned the Californian with a deserved majority decision victory in Fresno.
Garcia was coming off a near 20 month lay-off following his win over Jesse Vargas last February, while Martin had been far more active, coming into this contest as the European champion at super lightweight.
This one was set at a catchweight of 145 pounds, with Garcia looking to get back into world title contention, but the Spaniard simply didn’t read the script.
After a quiet opening round, the lights went out momentarily in round two, before Garcia arguably shaded the session.
The 33-year-old looked like he edged a fair share of the first half of the bout, but the second half belonged to the European, with the sixth round a tide turner as Martin landed with several combinations.
The seventh was a quiet affair, but yet more good combination work in round eight seemed to have banked Martin another round.
Garcia did rally in the penultimate frame, and it looked all to play for going into the tenth and final round, and the pair went for broke, with Garcia landing a couple of flush right hands as the two exchanged to the final bell.
The judges acknowledged the cleaner work of Martin, and two scores of 97-93 made a 95-95 card redundant in a major upset.
“He fought a very good fight,” Garcia told DAZN.
“He was the one running around a lot. He was able to counter a few times, but I was the one actively looking for the fight.
“I thought I was winning the fight in a close match-up, but the judges saw it the other way round.
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“I can definitely consider a rematch. I think two more rounds would probably be more beneficial.”
“It’s the biggest moment of my career,” Martin told DAZN.
“I always said I was going to do it and I’ve done it.”
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If he gave me the opportunity, perhaps I can give him the opportunity [of a rematch].
“Really what I want to do with my career is go back to the 140lbs [division] fight the best fighters, fight for world titles.”
Gonzalez crowned WBO light flyweight champion
Jonathan Gonzalez became the new WBO light flyweight champion, as he dethroned Elwin Soto via split decision.
Puerto Rico’s Gonzalez boxed to orders, and was too elusive for Soto to pin down, with his constant movement causing the champion all sorts of issues.
It shouldn’t have gone to a split verdict, but fortunately two tallies of 116-112 overruled a verdict for Soto of the same score, as Gonzalez was crowned the new champion.
Jarvis survives scare to stop Frias
Brock Jarvis made his US debut, and it nearly ended in disaster for the Aussie before he stopped Alejandro Frias in five to win the IBF Inter-Continental lightweight title.
Jarvis was badly hurt in the second, but Frias just couldn’t find the killer blow to end matters.
The 23-year-old regrouped and eventually found a volley of unanswered punches in round five that had Frias trapped in the corner, and the referee intervened.
Rodriguez KO’s burgos
Jesse Rodriguez shrugged off the disappointment of a world title fight falling through, and he took out his frustration on Jose Alejandro Burgos, scoring a fourth round knockout win.
Rodriguez dropped Burgos in the fourth, and followed with several power left hands that forced the Mexican to the canvas once again and out of the contest.
Wins for Pacheco, Castro, Ababiy
At super middleweight, Diego Pacheco stopped Lucas de Abreu in the eighth and final round, while Marc Castro moved to 4-0 with a one round knockout of Angel Luna.
Nikita Ababiy took an eight round decision win over Sanny Duversonne at middleweight, and at super lightweight, Oscar Alan Perez dropped Raymundo Rios Cardiel in the second on the way to a four round points win.
Charlie Sheehy made a winning debut, and the lightweight took a fourth round knockout win against Luciano Ramos.