Unbeaten featherweight contender Miguel “Mikey” Garcia dropped Juan Carlos Martinez three times before finishing him at 2 minutes, 46 seconds of the fourth round in Saturday night’s bout before a crowd of 4,425 at WaMu Theater inside Madison Square Garden.
The 23-year-old Garcia rose to 27-0 with his 23rd stoppage, dropping Martinez to 18-13-1, with 6 KOs. The knockout was the sixth straight for Garcia and his 12th in his past 13 fights.
Garcia-Martinez took place on the undercard of a main event featuring THE RING’s No. 4 pound-for-pound WBO/WBC bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) defending against WBO junior bantamweight beltholder Omar Narvaez (35-0-2, 19 KOs) of Argentina.
After a relatively easy first round against Martinez, Garcia received some action from his game Martinez, whose right hand appeared to have worsened a swelling dark mouse beneath Garcia’s left eye.
In the third, however, Garcia rocked Martinez with a right hand and two more left hooks that forced Martinez to hold on. Shortly after action resumed, Garcia dropped Martinez with a straight right that followed his jab. Martinez rose on unsteady legs and was rocked again at the bell with a head-swiveling blow.
The fourth was all Garcia, whose three-punch combination, ending with a right hand floored Martinez yet again. Martinez got to his feet once more, but was down again following a six-punch combination that ended with another right hand.
Martinez again reached his feet only to be battered by a series of blows that forced referee Harvey Dock to step in, protect Martinez and wave an end to the fight.
“In the first round, I caught a punch from him to the eye, but it was mostly the laces on his glove that made contact. And he got me good. But I just took my time and I was able to figure him out,” said Garcia.
“He was coming forward relentlessly and throwing punches, but I was able to stay patient and to get my timing down and to recover after that.”
Garcia was coming off of an impressive fourth-round stoppage of Rafael Guzman, who entered the bout with a mark of 28-2 that included 20 knockouts, and had won four consecutive bouts, including three straight stoppages.
Prior to that, Garcia made his East Coast debut at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, where he finished previously unbeaten Matt Remillard in the 10th, flooring him in both the ninth and final rounds.
Garcia is trained by brother, Robert Garcia, as well as his father, Eduardo Garcia.
Garcia believes he is ready to challenge the name fighters in the division such as titleholder Orlando Salido, former beltholder Juan Manuel Lopez and unbeaten former Cuban Olympic gold medalist Yuriorkis Gamboa.
“A few fights ago, we were being mentioned with those names like Gamboa and Lopez and other champions, but my brother and my dad wanted me to fight a couple of more fights and to get more exposure,” said Garcia.
“Now, we’re there. Now, we’re ready to challenge for a world title fight with the Gamboas and the Lopezs and the Salidos of the division. I believe that I’m ready for any of these guys.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org