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Eddie Hearn explains why Mikey Garcia is fighting Sandor Martin

Mikey Garcia boxing photo

By Dan Ambrose: Eddie Hearn expects Sandor Martin (38-2, 13 KOs) to give former four-division world champion Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) a tough 145-lb catchweight fight this Saturday night on October 16th at the Chukchansi Park, in Fresno, California. Mikey vs. Martin are headlining live on DAZN in a 10 round bout.

(Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom or Melina Pizano/Matchroom)

Sandor has a chance of winning if he can push a fast pace for the entire fight against the ring-rusty Mikey. If Sandor can force Mikey to fight hard, he’ll likely gas out quickly.

Hearn promotes the 28-year-old Spanish fighter Martin and thought he would be a good opponent for the ring-rusty 33-year-old Mikey, who hasn’t fought in 18 months since his win over Jessie Vargas in February 2020.

Martin wasn’t the first choice for Mikey’s fight on Saturday. Hearn wanted Regis Prograis, but the financial restraints and scheduling made that fight impossible for now. Hearn says he wants to put together the Mikey vs. Prograis fight for early 2022.

Sandor has headlined some of Hearn’s shows on DAZN in Spain, and he says he’s a big star in that country.

Although Sandor hasn’t beaten anyone notable during his ten-year professional career, he’s the EBU light welterweight champion; He’s had that title for two years since beating Andrea Scarpa in 2019.

Hearn promotes Sandor Martin

I would have preferred the fight, of course. I think everybody would have,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on the Mikey Garcia vs. Regis Prograis fight that fell through. “It didn’t present itself for a number of reasons.

Mikey Garcia boxing photo

There’s financial requirements for both of those guys [Mikey and Prograis] that didn’t make sense at the time or wasn’t the perceived value of the fight or didn’t fit in the scheduling at the time.

“He’s [Mikey] fighting Sandor Martin. Sandor Martin is a guy that we promote; he’s headlined a lot of shows in Spain,” said Hearn. “I needed an opponent at 140 or 147 for Mikey Garcia to come back after 18 months out of the ring.

“When I look at the rankings, and Sandor Martin is at the top of all those rankings. He’s a European champion, he’s one of our fighters, and he’s a big star in Spain. He’s headlined all of our shows over there. So it’s great for DAZN over there as well.

“I thought it was a decent choice. I’m not saying he will go in there and be a favorite against Mikey Garcia, but he will come to win.

“He’s going to need for Mikey to be a little bit rusty, which he might be, and he’s going to need Mikey to overlook him a little bit, which he might be,” said Hearn.

It’s good that Hearn uses one of his own Matchroom stable fighters for Mikey to use as a tune-up opponent. U.S boxing fans might not care too much that Mikey is fighting a guy they’ve never seen or heard of before.

They want to see Mikey back in action because he’s been out of the ring for a considerable amount of time.

Mikey has become more known for his YouTube videos with him talking about cars and sitting in a barber chair for his frequent haircuts with all the inactivity.

Mikey has lost a great deal of weight recently, and there’s no way of knowing if he’ll be drained for the fight.

His weight had gotten a little too high during the pandemic, and he was no longer looking like an athlete. It’s unknown if Mikey was exercising during the last year half.

If not, we could see him gas out on Saturday if Martin can take him into the second half of the contest.

Mikey vs. Prograis targeted for early 2022

A lot of people see this as a routine win for Mikey Garcia, but I know Sandor Martin will give it everything,” Hearn said.

“If we’re going to give anyone an opportunity, I’d rather give it one of our own,” said Hearn in giving his rationale for selecting the little-known Sandor to face Mikey on Saturday.

“It’s going to be a good night of boxing,” said Hearn. “To be honest, Mikey Garcia is top 1o biggest stars in the U.S.

“So to get him back on the platform, we know he delivers big numbers, and we know he drives subscribers as well.

“So it’s a good coup for DAZN to have him back on. He’s a free agent. He chose out of all the offers to work back with Matchroom and DAZN, which is very kind of him and flattering.

“Hopefully, he can continue to work with us if he gets through on Saturday night. I think the Regis Prograis fight in the early part of 2022 is a great fight to make,” said Hearn.

Prograis might be a step too far for Mikey because he’s in his prime, a natural 140-pounder, and he’s not someone who bulked up to that weight class as Mikey has.

The Mikey that we saw lose every round against Errol Spence Jr. would likely be over his head against Prograis. But now that Mikey has been sitting idle for almost two years, it could be a mistake to put him in with Prograis.

Mikey Garcia vs. Sandor Martin full undercard:

  •  Elwin Soto vs. Jonathan Gonzalez
  • Brock Jarvis vs. Alejandro Frias Rodriguez
  • Jesse Rodriguez vs. Jose Alejandro Burgos
  • Diego Pacheco vs. Lucas de Abreu
  • Nakita Ababiy vs. Sanny Duversonne
  • Marc Castro vs. Angel Luna
  • Khalil Coe vs. Aaron Casper
  • Charlie Sheehy vs. Luciano Ramos
  • Oscar Alan Perez vs. Raymundo Rios Cardiel

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