Sandor Martin seemed eager, though in a good way ahead of the most difficult test of his pro career.
The reigning European junior welterweight titlist steps up in weight—and well up in competition level—for his upcoming showdown with former four-division titlist Mikey Garcia. The bout will take place at a maximum catchweight of 145 pounds, to air live this Saturday from Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California.
The minor league baseball stadium served as the hosting site for the final pre-fight press conference Thursday afternoon, where Martin sent a message to his heavily favored opponent and the rest of the top players in and around the junior welterweight division.
“Another 48 hours is how long I have to wait to introduce myself to the world and for all of the world champions to be put on notice,” Martin claimed through translator Gabriel Rivas during the outdoor press session. “Once we are in the ring, the whole world will know who I am.”
Martin (38-2, 13KOs) fights for just the third time outside of his native Spain and the first time in his career in the United States. The 28-year-old southpaw from Barcelona has largely competed on the European level, having lost in his most notable fight—a 12-round, unanimous decision to Anthony Yigit in a fight that was closer than suggested on the final scorecards when they met four years ago in Yigit’s Sweden homeland.
Nine straight wins have followed, with Martin ranked among the Top 15 in the most recent ratings provided by the WBC, WBA and WBO. A steady diet of European title-level competition has kept Martin active and in the win column, though also longer for a stiffer challenge.
He will have no shortage of that on Saturday. Oxnard’s Garcia (40-1, 30KOs) has won titles in four separate weight divisions and was considered among the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters prior to his one-sided loss to Errol Spence in their March 2019 welterweight title fight. Garcia has fought just once since then, a twelve-round decision victory over Jessie Vargas in their entertaining battle of former titlists last February in Frisco, Texas.
“It’s a great opportunity to face a great champion like Mikey Garcia,” notes Martin. “I have to take advantage when these opportunities are presented to me. It’s why I became a boxer, to accept these challenges and to realize my dreams.
“It’s very important for my U.S. debut to come against a fighter like Mikey Garcia. It’s a great challenge that I need. I need exposure on the world level so that after I win on Saturday, I can go on to face all of the big fighters. That’s why I came here. Mikey Garcia is a great fighter, that’s what I want is to face the very best.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox