Sandor Martin (38-2, 13 KO’s), double European superlight champion, has an appointment at dawn from Saturday to Sunday (from 01.30 hours) in Fresno (California, United States) in view of Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KO’S) that can make an exponential change in your successful career. The fighter of Barcelona has thoroughly prepared to emerge victorious from a battle that is supposed to be difficult, against a very classy rival, 34 years old, who has been world champion in four divisions, but ‘Arrasandor’ (28 years old) arrives full of morals. He has prepared well and assures that he has traveled to the United States to make a mark. Serves MD from Double Tree by Hilton Fresno before going for a run in anticipation of your appointment with history.
Sandor, how did the possibility of fighting Mikey Garcia come about?
We were in the preparation phase of a fight on September 11 in Barcelona and halfway through preparation they offered us the possibility of fighting Mikey García a week later, what happens is that the date was delayed until October 16. We didn’t think twice and said yes. That I was a Matchroom boxer and double European champion helped.
“SANDOR IS TO BEAT MIKEY”
Maximum confidence in Sandor Martín. In the press conference before the fight, the boss Eddie Hearn, promoter of Matchroom Boxing, made it clear that he is confident in the strength of the Barcelona fighter’s fists. “It is the opportunity of a lifetime for him, for his father, for his family. I have chosen it because it is here to win. He is going to give it his all. I want someone to put Mikey García to the test “
What does this combat represent?
It is a dream come true. I am about to play one of the most important fights for Spanish boxing. Not everyone has the opportunity to box in America. Yes, there are many who have done it, but not with the undercard of the level that my evening will have and not against a boxer of these characteristics, like Mikey García, who has been world champion at four pesos. You can come to America and fight for a world title, but not everyone can box against such a legendary boxer.
How do you get to the big date?
I’m in great shape, exceptional. I have prepared very well and the feelings are good. I have no pressure. I have come to the United States to do my thing, to win the fight. I have very good vibes.
Mikey Garcia are big words.
Yes, he has been a world champion in four divisions and this is not something that any boxer can say. He has a great weight in the world of boxing and was considered one of the best boxers pound for pound, but I am very encouraged. I have to know how to play my cards and take advantage of everything that is in my favor. He is a solid, intelligent, world-class boxer.
They were preparing, but for a different challenge, did the preparation change anything when they learned that the target was Mikey Garcia?
We continue working with the same dynamic as always. We have worked on specific things depending on the rival that has touched us. Due to Covid-19, we were unable to work with certain sparring parties and we did it with people from home, who are of high quality.
Could it be said that you are facing a situation in which you have a lot to gain and little to lose?
Exactly, because he is the champion and the race is played. This fight is my presentation in the United States. By doing a good job I will feel like a winner, but I don’t want to settle for doing a good job, I want to win and anything that is not winning will be a disappointment. I have no pressure, I come as a guest and nobody expects anything from me, but I expect everything.
Going ‘covered’ can be a good one.
THE EMOTIVE ANECDOTE OF THE JOURNEY
In a trip of so many hours, all kinds of situations can happen, like the one Sandor had to experience on the flight from Seattle to Fresno. One of the controllers, who was from China, asked him why his work visit was due and he replied that he was a professional who was going to box with Mickey García. It was saying the name of the Californian fighter and the controller’s eyes were opened. “He was really excited and wished me the best of luck,” Sandor recalls.
It’s a plus, the surprise factor and being the unknown boxer. Here, boxing in the United States is a separate league and they don’t look at Europe much, possibly in this case they were wrong. Also, this is a good opportunity for me and for all Spanish boxers. I am sure that if we do it well they will call us again in the United States. I also want to fight in boxing meccas like Las Vegas, Los Angeles or New York. My fight can be the gateway for other colleagues and in my case to go for a world title
What would a win against Mikey Garcia mean?
It would be like winning a world title. This fight is probably more important than a world title. It is likely that in the future he will be able to dispute a world title and it will be against a rival of less category than the one he has, who is very big.
What can you expect from your rival?
He is a strong, solid boxer, who hits hard, who has a lot of experience, who has found himself in all the possible situations that the sport of boxing can offer him. It will be difficult to catch him off guard, but as a human being he makes mistakes. Champions exist to be defeated and I have come to do so.
How is your day to day in Fresno?
We get up around six in the morning. At this time you can already have breakfast. Usually a latte and a muffin, and I’m going to do my first workout. We go out for a run for about 40 minutes and then we do physical work in the gym, half an hour in which we do sit-ups, work with rubber bands and calisthenics and we’re going to rest. In the afternoon we do the specific boxing part. I do it in a gym near the hotel that has enabled us and I can walk. But it is not always enabled and there are days when I train in the hotel pool.
And how has the adaptation been?
The trip was a bit rough, as it lasted 48 hours. We made a stopover in London and they wouldn’t let us fly to the United States, so we had to spend the night there and had to change the domestic flight to the United States. I have traveled with my coach –Rafa Martín, his father– and Rafa Valle –his second coach. Already in Fresno and at the hotel, the reception has been very good, as well as the treatment. The people in the hotel who recognize me give me a lot of encouragement because I am facing a world-class boxer. The day Mikey García arrived at the hotel, I saw him when I was checking in as I was coming from running. We salute each other. They are good people and the treatment is being very respectful.
He plays away from home and Spanish boxing has not had much luck on the cards in some recent foreign bouts.
Sandor traveled to the United States with everything a boxer needs to face a challenge of these characteristics, with gloves, rope, rubber bands, mittens and the work bib. He traveled with two pairs of gloves, one for rehearsal work and other thicker ones for work with the bib, since combat gloves are worn by the organizer
In the end, the sport of boxing is what it is. People are not stupid and nowadays they have all the information, they know what is happening and they can make an opinion by seeing what happens. I come to play my role and I want to win. I want the whole world to know that here is a man willing to conquer America. I have traveled to the United States to make history.
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Read also Celes Piedrabuena
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