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Sandor Martin Fashioned the 2021 TSS Upset of the Year

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  • Sandor Martin Fashioned the 2021 TSS Upset of the Year

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    By Arne K. Lang

    When Mikey Garcia moved up two weight classes to challenge IBF world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr, it provided to be a bridge too far. Spence won a lopsided decision, saddling Garcia with his first defeat. But Garcia, who won his first 39 pro fights while gathering in titles in four weight divisions, was still considered a Hall of Fame shoo-in.

    He rebounded from his loss to Spence with a 12-round decision over Jessie Vargas and was then inactive for 20 months as the boxing world was roiled by the pandemic. When Mikey returned to the ring this past October against hand-picked opponent Sandor Martin, it was merely designed as a tune-up for the likes of Devin Haney and other heavy hitters in the rich 140-pound division.

    Barcelona southpaw Martin was 38-2, but with only 13 knockouts to his credit it was plain that he didn’t pack a hard punch. He had fought all but two of his fights in Spain where the competition was substandard and would be making his first U.S. appearance in Fresno where California’s Garcia would have a distinct home field advantage. A betting man inclined toward the unheralded Spaniard could have obtained odds as high as +1200.

    Mikey Garcia’s extravagant ring entrance, complete with fireworks, bore witness that he was the showpiece. But in a true shocker, Sandor Martin spoiled the soup. A cut over his right eye in round five did not deter him from sticking tight to his game plan and he out-boxed and out-hustled Garcia to win a majority decision (97-93, 97-93, 95-95). Garcia let it all hang out in an action-packed final round, but Martin fought him on even terms in the final frame and although one of the judges had it even, the decision in Martin’s favor was well-deserved.

    “Mikey is a legend. It’s a pleasure to share the ring with him,” said Martin through a translator in his post-fight interview with Chris Mannix.

    Pleasurable indeed. It was a mammoth upset and Sandor Martin was likely still on cloud nine when he returned to his home in Barcelona.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Hmmmm. Lopez upsets Loma!! Then George Kambosos Jr. beats the brash Lopez.. How can the Aussie not get this award? Garcia was and is done.

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    • #3
      I was thinking Usyk over AJ but this one is a good choice. 👍

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