The background match at the Fresno evening, courtesy of Matchroom Boxing, faced the American world champion in four categories at an agreed weight within the welterweight category. Mikey Garcia (40-2, 30 KO) against the Spanish Sandor Martín (39-2, 13 KO).
Martin had a good staging, with an American who seemed to have been inactive for a year and a half without appearing in the ring, in contrast to the high activity of the Catalan with two fights in the last twelve months. The former European champion was agile in the dodges in this first phase of the fight, perhaps missing some aggressiveness that took advantage of the initial moments of greater rust and lack of distance of a fighter without a ring habit like the Californian; Anyway, Sandor’s attitude was good, with all five senses in García’s actions, always very attentive to get out of the ropes when he tried to lock him up to act as an aggressor. The four-time world champion seemed uncomfortable, even nervous at times, as the rounds went by without being able to shorten the centimeters that separated him from his rival in each exchange, without making his combat plan materialize.
Cunning and speed were two of Sandor Martín’s best qualities throughout the contest, knowing how to get out of tight situations, few, and taking advantage of his shooting and physical condition to never be a static target for Mikey García. Likewise, he worked well with his forward hand in constant motion to disorient an American who seemed like a shadow of the athlete we remembered and did not know how to decipher our boxer’s defense, always with poise between the sixteen strings. The only question that crossed the minds of almost all of us was whether the judges would be fair and would see that Sandor was the one who took the best part after many of the chapters of the ten agreed. Martin also did not refuse the short distance in some moments like the middle of the ninth round, with more ideas, more legs and more boxing than the favorite theoretician. And they concluded the ten sets with the assurance that victory would come for Spain, after having won at least six of them the Spanish boxer.
The judges offered their verdict: 95-95, 97-93 and 97-93, majority decision in favor of Sandor Martín, which astonished the world and showed that the health of Spanish boxing, despite pandemics, lack of support from generalist televisions and little capacity to mobilize large sponsors is made of iron.