By Marc Livitz reporting from ringside. Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia moved up in weight and moved on with a championship belt this evening with an eighth round knockout victory over Roman "Rocky" Martinez at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The orthodox versus southpaw bout featured plenty of jabs from each side in round one. In the second, Garcia found his rhythm and caught Martinez with a few straight rights. "Rocky" however scored a knockdown towards the end of the round and sent Mikey to canvas for the first time in his career via a short right to the bridge of the nose. Garcia basically walked right into it. He controlled most of the third. His jab as well as follow up right was connecting and he sent Martinez into a slight stumble at one point.
Martinez was a bit more active in the fourth, but this only meant Garcia would turn up the heat as well. Roman threw several shots at a crouched Mikey and missed all of them. Shortly thereafter, Garcia caught him with a quick left/right combination to the head to end the round. Martinez spent much of the fifth becoming acquainted with Mikey’s accurate punches and this trend continued in round six. He wobbled Rocky with about a minute to go courtesy of a thudding left hook.
Roman Martinez’s face was visibly reddened when the seventh commenced. Garcia got his undivided attention with another solid right hook. These types of shots as well as Mikey’s elusiveness in the ring were beginning to tire his Puerto Rican opponent. Towards the end of the seventh, Garcia got in yet another left/right head combination.
Less than a minute into round eight, Mikey was at his best yet again. The Oxnard, California boxer got Martinez onto the ropes thanks to his left/right style of work and subsequently tagged Rocky with a straight on left hook to the liver. The Vega Baja, Puerto Rico fighter slumped to the canvas and made no signs that he’d beat the ten count.
Referee Laurence Cole reached the full count and the knockout win for Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia gained him the WBO Super Featherweight title. His first bout in the division was a successful one. His undefeated record now stands at (33-0, 28 KO’s), while Roman "Rocky" Martinez lost his championship belt and fell to (27-2-2, 16 KO’s). The announced attendance this evening was 5,124.