The Week That Was (Nov. 4-10, 2013)

By Teron Briggs on November 11, 2013
The Week That Was (Nov. 4-10, 2013)
Rocky had never been dominated like he was against Garcia. (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

Though he hasn’t garnered the same kind of publicity as fellow knockout artist Gennady Golovkin, Garcia is one of the most formidable punchers in the sport…

American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA

Garcia seizes Martinez’s WBO title with a brutal body shot in the eighth

After overcoming an early second round flash knockdown, new WBO super featherweight titleholder Mikey Garcia (33-0, 28 KOs) proceeded to methodically break down Roman “Rocky” Martinez (27-2-2, 16 KOs) before stopping him with a sick shot to the liver in the eighth round of their title fight. The savage yet efficient performance by the Oxnard, California resident upped his knockout ratio to a gaudy 85% and firmly established him as one of the brightest stars in the sport.

“I think I can take his punches. I think I have proven that I am able to take punches,” Rocky Martinez said when asked if he was “worried” about Garcia, who had ruthlessly stopped his previous opponents Orlando Salido and JuanMa Lopez. As the fictional icon Rocky Balboa once said, “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Martinez was able to take some of the punishment that Garcia dished out, however he would eventually succumb to the constant barrage of pressure.

Garcia was forced to face adversity for the first time in his career in June of this year, not in the form of an opponent, but on the scale when he failed to make the 126-pound limit. The WBO unceremoniously stripped him of his featherweight title prior to his fourth round TKO over JuanMa Lopez.

The Mexican-American Garcia received a robust reception from the crowd at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi as he entered the ring. However, in the second round Martinez briefly quieted them when he landed a sharp counter right hand that unexpectedly floored Garcia. “He caught me on the chin. I was fine. I wasn’t dizzy. He just caught me with a good right hand,” Mikey would say after the fight.  After the knockdown, Garcia, who approaches fighting like a blue-collar factory worker that repetitiously clocks in and clocks out, performing his job without much acclaim, went to work. He firmly gained control of the fight by the fourth round as he used a simple one-two jab to set up his power shots. Each shot seemed to take a toll on the Puerto Rican fighter who found fewer and fewer openings for his own offense over the course of the fight.

In the seventh round, Garcia opened up a cut over Martinez’s left eye as it became clear it was just a matter of time before the champion would be dethroned. The time came at 56 seconds into the eighth round when he landed a perfect hook to the body that dropped Rocky to his knees. Unable to regain his composure, referee Laurence Cole counted him out. When it was all said and done Garcia landed 38% of his total punches and a whopping 47% of his power shots.

Martinez didn’t look great in his previous three victories, even though he was fighting top competition. But he had never been dominated like he was against Garcia. Despite the loss he remains a viable contender in the super featherweight division. Mikey Garcia was a huge betting favorite prior to the bout, and you can expect him to be one against any fighter he faces in the near future. Though he hasn’t garnered the same kind of publicity as fellow knockout artist Gennady Golovkin, make no mistake: he’s one of the most formidable punchers in the sport. Up next for him could be a showdown with WBA lightweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa.

Donaire scores late round stoppage victory over rival Darchinyan

“We were doing great up until that point. I felt I was winning the fight. He caught me with a few shots and that’s just the way it goes,” said Vic Darchinyan (39-6-1, 28 KOs) after suffering a devastating loss just minutes away from a career resurgent victory. That “point” was in the ninth round of his ten-round fight with former champion Nonito “the Filipino Flash” Donaire (32-2, 21 KOs) when a left hook separated him from his senses and signaled the end to one of his best performances in recent years.

A little more than six years ago then undefeated IBF flyweight titleholder Vic Darchinyan was shockingly knocked out in the fifth round of his seventh title defense against unheralded Nonito Donaire. Since the loss, the fighters saw their careers go in different directions. Though the now 37-year-old Darchinyan would experience a fair amount of success, unifying the three major featherweight titles, he would also go on to lose four fights. On the other hand, Donaire would become an HBO darling and rise to level of being considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. That was before he was schooled over 12 lopsided rounds in April of this year by Guillermo Rigondeaux in a fight that saw him lose his two world titles. Though a bit past it’s sell by date, the rematch between Vic and Nonito was scheduled on the undercard of Martinez vs. Garcia by HBO as a way to give Donaire an opportunity to restore some luster to his brand. Darchinyan was considered by many to be on his last legs and the perfect opponent for the Filipino Flash to look good against.

For his part, the man nicknamed the Raging Bull, who never misses a chance to talk smack about an opponent, promised to exact revenge on Donaire. “I will come to demolish him. I am coming to destroy him. I made him. I am coming to beat him.” In the early part of his fight with the former pound-for-pound star he did just that. The southpaw Darchinyan, who’s known for his knockout power, outboxed the man seven years his junior despite having an almost four-inch reach disadvantage. Both fighters fought at a career high 125 pounds for the bout, but the weight appeared to negatively affect Donaire more. The Flash was quite dull, as he looked lethargic for most of the fight prompting his trainer Robert Garcia beg him in-between rounds “to do more.”

Arguably Vic’s best round came in the fifth when he knocked Donaire into the ropes with a hard left hand and CompuBox deemed eight of the nine punches he landed power shots. The late rounds saw Donaire’s corner, made up of his estranged former trainer, his dad Nonito Donaire Sr., and the aforementioned Garcia, yell different instructions at him as Vic continued to rack up rounds.  Darchinyan’s southpaw style, much like Rigondeaux, allowed him to land perfectly timed straight left hands against Donaire that the latter seemed incapable of avoiding.

Donaire sensing he was in trouble, he trailed on two judge’s scorecards by four points, finally landed his signature punch, a left hook, in the ninth round that badly hurt Darchinyan. Donaire followed up with a combination that left the Raging Bull down on all fours. Though he got up, Darchinyan was in no shape to continue as he absorbed a number of unanswered punches before referee Laurence Cole waived off the fight.

It was a tough defeat for the underdog Darchinyan who simply had to remain upright for the last round in order to win a decision. He must now determine if he had a good performance because he still has some legs left or because Donaire was simply unfocused. After saying he believed his cheek had been broken at some point in the fight, Nonito admitted that he had the following thoughts: “Is this it for me? Is this it for me? I’m losing the fight. Should I keep going? But I put my heart into it. I will never quit.” That’s not a good sign from a man who admittedly didn’t properly prepare for his last fight and appeared to stop trying to win after falling behind early. Donaire, who just recently had shoulder surgery and experienced the birth of his first child, has discussed the recent difficulty he’s had getting himself mentally prepared to fight. Donaire told Max Kellerman after the TKO win he wanted a rematch with the undefeated Rigondeaux, but unless he can refocus himself we have no reason to believe he has a chance to win this time.

Andrade wins first world title in 12-round decision

Untested former 2008 US Olympian junior middleweight Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (20-0, 13 KOs) won the WBO world title by split decision over Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan in the opening bout of the HBO Boxing After Dark tripleheader. Boo Boo did more than enough to win the vacant WBO belt but failed to give the crowd much to cheer about.

Much of the blame for the lackluster fight must be put on the Nightmare who fought like he was half asleep. Maybe the counter left hook that dropped Andrade in the first round gave Martirosyan too much confidence that he could win the fight without initiating contact. Andrade took the fight to the 2004 US Olympian throughout the night as he repeatedly beat him to the punch. The 6’1” southpaw Andrade worked well off his jab as he kept Vanes at arm’s reach and peppered him with shots for 12 solid rounds.  Andrade would throw five or six punches at a time, only to have his opponent respond with one or two. Maybe the Nightmare lost his fight at the weigh-in the previous day when he and Andrade got into a heated shoving match that saw the two men separated by their respective camps. By the end of the 12 rounds, however, it was evident to anyone who watched the contest that Andrade won the fight…well, evident to everyone but ringside judge Javier Alvarez who somehow had Martirosyan winning on his scorecard 115-112. It was his first notable fight and hopefully his last. The other two judges rightfully had Andrade winning by scores of 117-110 and 114-113.

It was the first career loss for Vanes, who was well on his way to defeat against Erislandy Lara in November of last year before their fight was declared a technical draw after an unintentional head-butt in the ninth round. Not only did Martirosyan lose this one, but he also looked horrible doing so. It was the first time Andrade had been matched with a fighter with a pulse and he passed the test, capturing his first world title along the way. Andrade is only 25 years old and has a bright future in a division full of marquee names.

The “Axe Man” chops down Garza in four

Jamaican born WBA featherweight titlist Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters (23-0, 19 KOs) scored a scintillating fourth round technical knockout over Alberto Garza (25-6-1, 20 KOs) to retain his belt.

Fighting in America for the first time the Axe Man made an impressive debut as he jumped on Garza in round one and didn’t let up until he starched him in the fourth. The time of the stoppage was one minute and fifty-seven seconds of the round. It was the ninth time in his last ten fights Walters has knocked out an opponent. Though his fight wasn’t televised by HBO, with sparkling performances like this it’s just a matter of time before they will be.

Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa

Oosthuizen retains IBO title with lackluster win at home

Fighting in front of an unhappy hometown crowd, IBO super middleweight titleholder Thomas “Tommy Gun” Oosthuizen (22-0, 13 KOs) barely retained his title against unknown contender Ezequiel Asvaldo Maderna (20-2, 13 KOs) by majority decision. Final scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 114-114.

Oosthuizen unjustly walked away with his belt after being awarded a dubious draw in his last fight against Brandon Gonzales in June of this year. Apparently Oosthuizen didn’t feel like he needed to return with a statement win, as he showed up to the weigh-in an hour late then almost failed to make the 168-pound limit. The fight didn’t go much better for the undefeated South African as he allowed Maderna to outwork him for much of the fight. Maderna almost dropped Oosthuizen with a big right hand in the third round and hurt him on several occasions thereafter. Local Johannesburg website reported the “majority of the fight fans in attendance clearly did not agree with the judges and many jeered Oosthuizen after the announcement of the verdict.” It was the fifth straight fight to go the distance for Tommy Gun, who had previously knocked out 13 of his first 17 opponents.

Aviator Sports Complex, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Bracero beats Salita in front of raucous hometown crowd

Brooklyn-born Puerto Rican welterweight Gabriel “Tito” Bracero (23-1, 4 KOs) recorded the biggest win of his career when he beat former title challenger Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita (35-2-1, 18 KOs) by unanimous decision.

Fighting in front of boisterous sold-out crowd just miles from his home, Bracero dropped Salita and dominated him for 10 rounds. Salita, born in Ukraine but now fighting out of Brooklyn, is known most for his first round blowout loss to Amir Khan in 2009. With the fans in attendance chanting “Tito, Tito, Tito,” Bracero dropped Salita in the eighth round with a left hand and bloodied his face in the ninth. The tenth was arguably the best round of the fight for Salita. Unfortunately for him it was too little too late. The final scorecards read 100-89, 99-90 and 97-92.

Bracero is a limited fighter, with almost no punch, he has just four knockouts in 24 fights, but he has a fun fighting style and a nice fan base in Brooklyn. This victory should set him up for a nice payday.

Follow Teron on Twitter at twitter@teronbriggs.

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Nicholas Walters vs. Alberto Garza

Ezequiel MADERNA vs Tommy OOSTHUIZEN - IBO - Full Fight - Pelea Completa

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  1. Ted 08:34pm, 11/11/2013

    Lots of great stuff here bk don. Lots of effort and it shows. Thanks.

    By way, I have trouble sleeping , but watching Oosthuizen fight might be a remedy. I thought Molina and Ishe were helpful, but this guy is just plain boring.

    The Axe Man is a good nickname for a guy from Jamaica!

  2. bk don 04:09pm, 11/11/2013

    Thanks IFC - I agree that Nonito should chill on that rematch, for now at least. I doubt TR is in a rush to put them in the ring together this soon anyway. A blind man wouldn’t want to see if it meant watching that 1st fight.  I was disappointed w/VAnes performance. I expected more & you would think that the opportunity to win his first world title & get into the mix for a big payday would’ve been enough motivation for him. Tommy Gun seems to have run out of bullets. When I saw him at a Broadway Boxing show he didn’t impress me at all. Gambao will get ko’d by Garcia. No doubt about that to me. 50 cent had just better make sure he gets him paid.

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:41pm, 11/11/2013

    Teron Briggs-Another great round up….which reminds me…Nonito needs to forget Rigo for now, Walters looks like a better deal (probably why he was on the card anyway)....Martirosyan indeed appeared to be sleepwalking through a nightmare….it might have been the white gloves, but it did seem as Max was pointing out that Boo Boo wasn’t closing that fist even on impact….if this is all he has to offer Oosthuizen should consider a nice long leave of absence….and Gamboa should probably pretend that he doesn’t know that Mikey even exists because though he will make some coin that night, it will be Mikey’s coming out party for his P4P ranking.

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