HBO Recaps: Garcia, Andrade, and Donaire Victorious in Texas


Fresh off the heels of last weeks action packed broadcast of world championship boxing featuring Middleweight Gennady Golvokin, HBO was back this week with a supersized card featuring Rocky Martinez, Mikey Garcia, and Demetrius Andrade. While many other eyes were focused on another battle taking place on a football field in Tuscaloosa, Alabama the boxing world had its eyes in Corpus Christie, Texas.

The first fight was the twelve round show-case of two Olympians, Vanes Martirosyan, who represent the USA in Athens in ‘04, and Demetrius Andrade, who made his Olympic showing on behalf of the USA in Beijing in 08. Both fighters are challenging for a title for the first time in their professional careers, surprising considering their extensive amateur careers. After a brief first round knock down of Andrade off the left hook of Martirosyan, Andrade was able to recover quickly and win a few of the early rounds. With Martirosyan’s right eye showing signs of damage, Andrade came on strong in the sixth round, hurting his opponent who only started to recover at the end of the seventh round. The eighth round brought a slower pace with Andrade picking shots and Martirosyan looking to counter. Martirosyan started the ninth round looking more than alive than previous rounds, limiting Andrade’s ability to set the pace, however as the round progressed Andrade began landing the more effective shots showing confidence in his ability and game plan. In the fashion that became typical for this fight the tenth round started with lots of movement from both fighters before Andrade settled into his role as the aggressor. Andrade continued to dominate through the eleventh round while Martirosyan looks for the knockout punch he knows he needs to win the fight. The twelfth and final round was more of the same, Andrade knowing he was in control he fought cautiously in his final moments before becoming a champion. This was the first title fight for Martirosyan albeit unsuccessful. As for Providence, Rhode Island native Andrade, he is going back to the smallest state as the new WBO Junior Middleweight Champion.

The next fight was a long awaited rematch, six years to be exact. Australian-Armenian Vic Darchinyan was finally getting his rematch against the “Filipino flash” Nonito Donaire, who had not been in the ring since being brutally out boxed by Guillermo Rigondeaux in April of this year. Donaire admits that going into the Rigondeaux fight there was a “lack of hunger”, feeling invincible coming off of a slew of wins placing him on the top of the pound for pound list. The fight was not for a title, but for redemption for both former champions. The last time these two met in the ring, it ended with Darchinyan on the mat suffering a KO loss.

The first round was a feeling out round for both fighters, Darchinyan looking cautious and Donaire looking for a way to get around Darchinyan’s awkward style. The round ended with Darchinyan landing a few successful shots, including a picturesque overhand left. The slow start to the second round was pretty much a continuation of the first, until Donaire landed some heavy shots in the middle of the round backing Darchyian up. Darchinyan, however, fired back and wobbled the legs of Donaire with just seconds left in the round.

The third round began with Donaire setting the pace, picking his shots but also taking clean shots off the hands of Darchinyan. When allowed, the pace quickly changes to the brawler style that Darchinyan would prefer, but it doesn’t last long and Donaire was able to land several clean left hands before the end of the round.
The fourth round was slow, until Darchinyan caught Donaire with a clean left hand, leaving him wobbling. A slugfest ends the round, with not even the bell stopping the action. The fighters return to their corners after they are ripped apart by the referee.

The action does not flow over into the beginning of the fifth round, but both fighters looked a little more energized, perhaps as though they were looking to end the fight early. The pace is slow, until the sound marking ten seconds left in the round prompts Darchinyan to attack. He lands a flurry of shots, pinning Donaire against the ropes and once again does not stop until the referee intervenes after the bell.

The sixth round makes it apparent that this fight is not the white washing it was projected to be. Donaire, although obviously ahead on the cards, is not dominating as though many would have thought. In the seventh round the fight is closer, it is obvious that Donaire wants to keep the fight in the middle of the ring, as it is the ropes where Darchinyan does his damage. Darchinyan, putting more force into his punches as the fight continues which becomes obvious when he accidentally tackles his opponent to the canvas.

Darchinyan who was more active and initiating exchanges, although the same pace, dominated the eight round. The ninth round gets going when Donaire lands a strong left hook, beginning a flurry that puts Darchinyan on the canvas. He got up from the ten count but is still visibly hurt when Donaire goes in for the finish. After a slew of left hooks and uppercuts off the hands of Donaire, the referee steps in to stop the fight. At the moment of the stoppage, Darchinyan was winning a majority decision on the official score cards. The stoppage was exactly what The Filipino Flash needed to get back in the win column.

The main event was a matchup that many had anticipated. Mikey Garcia, who lost his last belt on the scales in June before winning a KO victory over Juan Manuel Lopez, was once again fighting for a title against Puerto Rican prospect Rocky Martinez. The fight started as the boxing match it was meant to be, but both fighters maintain the ability to make things really interesting really quick. The second round is slightly more active, with Martinez appearing to be the busier fighter. So far the Jab has been the most prominent punch in the round. Garcia is put on the canvas off of a right hand counter from Martinez, who tries to follow up with power shots but fails to land any before the bell rings.

Martinez starts the third round with aggression after the flash knockdown that ended the second round. Although it did not look damaging it should be noted that this is Garcia’s first fight at a higher weight of 130 lbs. About midway through the round Garcia lands a hard right hand on the chin of Martinez that fails to do any damage and is not followed up. At the end of the round it is apparent that a cut has opened on the inner corner of Martinez’s left eye. The cut is most likely the result of Garcia’s overhand right. The beginning of the fourth round shows Garcia being more aggressive with his jab, holding Martinez at a comfortable distance. The rest of the round is an even exchange of right hands and jabs for both fighters.

Martinez starts the fifth round charging towards Garcia and quickly landing a few body shots before Garcia established his jab to put Martinez back at the distance he has been in the earlier rounds. Martinez applying more pressure this round, but few punches are penetrating Garcia’s defense. Garcia ends the round landing good shots, and counterpunching to offset the aggressive Martinez.

Midway through the sixth round Garcia backs Martinez up and gets him to the ropes, momentarily stunning him. With a minute left to go in the round Martinez brings the fight back into the middle of the ring but continues to take power shots until the end of the round. At the start of the seventh round, with the crowd on his side, Garcia picks up where he left off landing jabs and power shots in the center of the ring. Garcia begins to land heavy right hands at the midway point of the round, the crowd roaring each time he does. At the end of the round Garcia lands heavy-handed right hooks before retreating to his corner.

Martinez starts the eight round with a hard right hand but Garcia quickly counters with a shot that starts a series of punishing punches ending with a body shot resulting in a knock out victory. Although this was his first venture in a new weight class Garcia looked comfortable and knew exactly what to do. The new Super Featherweight Champion of the world easily added another win to his resume.

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