Mikey Garcia made his way to the ring on Saturday night in Fresno, California, riding on a flatbed trailer as fireworks shot off around the arena. Unfortunately for Garcia, he was unable to produce any fireworks in the ring, dropping a decision to unheralded Sandor Martin in an upset that ranks among the biggest in recent memory.
Garcia’s footwork was slow as Martin made good on pre-fight talk that he would take away Garcias’s normally effective aggression. Martin slid along the outside of the ring, popping off quick punches, including repeatedly connecting with a hard overhand left.
By the late rounds of the 10-round fight, Garcia seemed hesitant to come forward, potentially worried about the speed and clean punching from the Spaniard as the Fresno crowd’s enthusiasm drained.
Martin was the fresher fighter at the final bell, even winning one of the first true wild exchanges of power shots along the ropes in the final seconds of the fight.
Boxing judges often turn in scorecards that seem out of line with what all other observers witnessed, lending tension to the reading of the totals. In the end, the scorecards read 95-95 and 97-93 twice, awarding Martin the majority decision victory.
“I know myself and I know my capabilities,” Martin said after his victory. “I’ve been doing it since I was five years old. I said I was going to come out and beat the best in the world and that’s what I’ve done.”
Martin entered the fight upward of a +1200 underdog, meaning a $100 bet paid out $1,200.
All but two of Martin’s fights have taken place inside his native Spain, with Saturday marking his first trip to North America. He is now riding a 10-fight winning streak.
“I thought it was a good fight,” Garcia said after the loss. “He fought a very good fight with his boxing. I thought I was doing what was necessary to close the gap. … I was the one looking for the fight and thought I was ahead on the cards.”
Garcia suffered only the second loss of his professional career, having lost to Errol Spence Jr. in 2019.