HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Garcia vs. Martinez, Andrade vs. Martirosyan, Donaire vs. Darchinyan


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night HBO’s Boxing After Dark Series will present a triple header from Corpus Christi, Texas. Top Rank Promotions is presenting this card and there will be two world title bouts as well as the return of the “Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire.

Donaire will look to defeat the man who he knocked out and helped catapult him into the boxing elite, Vic Darchinyan. Mikey Garcia will also be competing on Saturday when he takes on the WBO Junior Lightweight Champion Roman “Rocky Martinez”. The night’s opening bout will be between Demetrius Andrade and Vanes Martirosyann for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Title.

The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.

Demetrius Andrade (19-0) vs. Vanes Martirosyan (33-0-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title

Both Andrade and Martirosyan competed in the Olympics for the United States. Martirosyan competed in the 2004 Olympics and was an eight-time national champion. Andrade competed in the 2008 Olympics and won the 2007 World Championships.

They are both are talented boxers and this is the most competitive matchup of the night, on paper.

Andrade will have a slight height advantage inside the ring and is two years younger than Martirosyan. Andrade has decent power: he has twelve wins by stoppage, and his southpaw style can give fighters’ fits.

Andrade was very active in 2012 and 2011, but he has only fought once in 2013. Four of his last five fights resulted in a stoppage, but he has yet to be seriously tested. Martirosyan, by far, will be the toughest test of his career.

He was last seen defeating Freddy Hernandez by decision in January of this year and has defeated the likes of Angel Hernandez, Rudy Cisneros, and Grady Brewer.

Even though Martirosyan is older than Andrade, he is still in his athletic prime at the age of twenty-seven. The Armenian Martirosyan has decent power, he has stopped twenty one of his thirty three opponents, including three of his last five fights.

Martirosyan, like Andrade, had an active 2011 and 2012, but he has also only fought once in 2013. His toughest test to date was a draw against Erislandy Lara in November of last year. He has defeated the likes of Saul Roman, Ryan Davis, Kassim Ouma, and Joe Greene.

This is a tough fight to call, but I’d have to give a slight edge to Andrade. With two Armenian fighters on the card, it is likely that Martirosyan will have more fans in attendance to support him.

Nonito Donaire (31-2) vs. Vic Darchinyan (39-5-1); Featherweights

Nonito Donaire is an excellent fighter, but he lost some of his luster in April of this year when Guillermo Rigondeaux outclassed and out boxed the Filipino Flash. The fight was much wider than what the scorecards indicated.

Donaire however was in a stylistically bad matchup and Darchinyan has the type of aggressive style that fits in well with Donaire’s counter punching. They fought once before in 2007 when Doniare was able to stop Darchinyan in the fifth round.

Six years later Darchinyan is in the twilight of his career at the age of thirty seven while Donaire is still in his prime at the age of thirty.

They are both small for featherweights, but Donaire will have a reach advantage over Darchinyan.

Donaire has stopped twenty of his opponents while Darchinyan has stopped twenty eight. Darchinyan however has only had one stoppage victory since 2010.

Both fighters are well tested and have fought some of the best the bantamweight and super bantamweight division have to offer. Darchinyan however, has not done very well in recent years. He has lost to Shinsuke Yamanaka, Anselmo Moreno, Abner Mares, and Joseph Agbeko. His notable victories include Yonnhy Perez, Luis Orlando Del Valle, Cristian Mijares, and Glenn Donaire.

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Donaire, Martinez, Garcia, Darchinyan (Photo: Chris Farina, Top Rank)

Nonito Donaire’s career skyrocketed after he defeated Darchinyan and has defeated the likes of Jorge Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka, Jeffrey Mathebula, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Omar Andres Narvaez, and Fernando Montiel.

This fight will likely end similar to their previous fight. Darchinyan had some scary power when he was younger, but that power has seemingly disappeared. As long as Donaire fights smart, he should win.

Roman “Rocky” Martinez (27-1-2) vs. Miguel “Mikey” Garcia (32-0); WBO Junior Lightweight Title

Mikey Garcia has looked like an unbeatable force in 2013. He obliterated Juan Manuel Lopez in June of this year, stopping him in the fourth round, and he knocked down the always tough Orlando Salido three times before winning the fight in the eighth round.

He comes from a notable boxing family and is currently trained by his brother Robert Garcia. Mikey has twenty seven stoppages on his record, and he has stopped his past ten opponents. He’s quick, powerful, technically sound, and looks to be unbeatable in the junior lightweight division.

His other notable victories include Jonathan Victor Barros, Bernabe Concepcion, and Rafael Guzman. This will be Garcia’s third fight in 2013.

His opponent, Roman “Rocky” Martinez, will be slightly taller than Garcia, but will be giving up a few inches in reach. Martinez isn’t as powerful as Garcia; he has stopped sixteen of his opponents, but only one out of his last five.

Martinez isn’t afrad to brawl, but he might be wise to avoid wild exchanges with the heavy-handed Garcia. His biggest, and most impressive, victory to date was a split decision victory over Diego Magdaleno in April of this year in Macau, China.

Martinez has been in several tough battles at this point in his career. He narrowly defeated Magdaleno, as well as Miguel Beltran Jr. He is also willing to travel to fight in his opponents’ backyard. His loss to Ricky Burns in 2010 was close on the scorecards, and he may have been the victim of a hometown decision.

Martinez’s best victories to date were over Magdaleno, Burgos, Beltran, Nicky Cook, and Daniel Attah. Martinez has been in the ring with some good opponents, but nobody near the level of Mikey Garcia.

Garcia should win, and I expect him to win easily. But Martinez is tough and if he can apply the pressure for all twelve rounds, he could make it interesting.

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