Sandor Martin stuns boxing world by outpointing Mikey Garcia

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Say hello to Sandor Martin. He might be around for a while.

The obscure Spaniard turned in the performance of his life Saturday in Fresno, Calif., outboxing and ultimately defeated former four-division titleholder Mikey Garcia by a majority decision in a 10-round welterweight fight.

And it wasn’t controversial. Martin won by scores of 97-93, 97-93 and 95-95, the last of which is disputable. Boxing Junkie also has Martin winning 97-93, seven rounds to three.

Martin’s victory is one of the biggest upsets in recent years. And it was historic from the underdog’s perspective.

“I know myself, my capabilities. I’ve been doing this since I was 5 years old,” Martin said through a translator. “I said I would go and out do this, go out and beat the best fighters in the world. And that’s what I’ve done.

“… I’m very happy for what I’ve done. I’ve done something nobody has ever done from my country, to defeat someone who was a four-division world champion like Mikey Garcia.”

Garcia (40-2, 30 KOs) hadn’t fought since he outpointed Jessie Vargas in February of last year, almost 20 months ago.

Still, one of most accomplished boxers in the world wasn’t expected to have a hard time against a relative unknown who had never faced anyone near Garcia’s ability and was fighting outside Europe for the first time.

Surprise, surprise.

Garcia stalked Martin (39-2, 13 KOs) from the beginning but was never able to land punches consistently, as his slick, athletic opponent spun out of dangerous situations or clinched when Garcia got too close. At the same time, Martin countered beautifully or caught Garcia coming in before slithering away.

The American had his moments, including a handful of flurries with Martin’s back against the ropes. However, it wasn’t enough to sway two of the three judges.

Garcia thought he, as the aggressor, did enough to earn the victory.

“I was looking for the fight,” he said. “He was running around a lot. He was able to counter a few times but I was the one actively looking for the fight. I thought I was ahead on the cards.

“It is what it is. That’s why they have judges. They decided he was the one winning the fight.”

The stunning victory was a gigantic step in the career of the 28-year-old from Barcelona, who presumably will get more important opportunities. Could the first be a rematch with Garcia?

Martin said he’s willing to give Garcia a second chance but expects to conduct business at a more natural 140 pounds, not 147, going forward. He and Garcia fought at a catch weight of 145 pounds.

“He gave me this opportunity,” Martin said. “Perhaps I can give him an opportunity. What I really want to do is go back down to 140 and fight the best fighters, fight for titles.”

Meanwhile, Garcia’s plans were blown up in central California. He had hoped to face Regis Prograis and then possibly challenge undisputed 140-pound champ Josh Taylor. Now, after Saturday night, he’ll have to take a step back.

He likes the idea of a second fight with Martin.

“I can definitely consider a rematch,” he said. “I think two more rounds would be beneficial. I thought I was coming on better in the later rounds. But no excuses. That’s the way it is.”

Also on the card, Jonathan Gonzalez (25-3-1, 14 KOs) defeated Elwin Soto (19-2, 13 KOs) by a split decision to take Soto’s WBO 108-pound title.

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