By: Hans Themistode
On paper, it appeared to be a massive mismatch.
As Sandor Martin sauntered his way to the ring at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California, late last night, he was viewed as a sacrificial lamb. Although the Spanish native had amassed an incredible record of 38-2, Mikey Garcia, his opponent in the main event, was considered a cut above.
Martin, on the other hand, ignored the noise and went on to have a career-best performance. A lethargic Garcia struggled with the boxing ability and movement of Sandor. As a result, Garcia found himself on the wrong end of a majority decision defeat. While judges Carla Caiz, Fernando Villarreal, and Zachary Young applauded Sandor for his box-first approach, Garcia is under the belief that the three scoring from ringside got it completely wrong.
“He was running and surviving,” said Garcia during an interview with ESNEWS. “I don’t even think he was being very effective but the three judges thought that he was in control. I thought I was in control for most of the fight but whatever.”
Although Garcia has made routine appearances on several credible pound-for-pound lists, he’s struggled with activity as of late. In each of the past three years, Garcia has stepped inside the ring just once.
After picking up the first defeat of his career against Errol Spence Jr. in 2019, Garcia pulled himself up by his bootstraps. He would immediately follow his wide decision defeat with a fairly one-sided victory against former multiple division titlist Jessie Vargas in February of 2020.
Garcia may have been hoping to piggyback off his victory to land bigger fights and pocket larger wins, he sat on the sidelines. His inactivity was a combination of a worldwide pandemic and his pursuit of a showdown against Manny Pacquiao.
Originally, Garcia was hoping that a victory over Candor could serve as a springboard to matchups against former 140-pound titlist Regis Prograis and undisputed champion, Josh Taylor. However, with his unexpected defeat, Garcia’s path to massive fights will now take an unforeseen detour.
Still, while Garcia was incredulous with the end result, he doesn’t want to take anything away from the performance of Sandor.
“Congratulations to him,” continued Garcia. “He took advantage of his opportunity and he won.”
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