MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten boxer Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia recovered from a second-round knockdown to dominate Puerto Rican Roman “Rocky” Gonzales and become the new World Boxing Organization (WBO) super featherweight champion.
Garcia, who was fighting at the weight division for the first time, absorbed a right hand to the chin from Martinez in the second round to taste the canvas for only the second time in his career.
“I got dropped early in the fight. He came in with a good punch,” said Garcia. “I wasn’t hurt. I winked at my corner to let them know I was okay.”
Garcia showed no ill-effects of the knockdown, and soon took over the bout en route to a stoppage victory in the eighth round.
He took control of the bout in the sixth round, landing several shots that staggered his Puerto Rican opponent. Martinez refused to go down, however, and even goaded Garcia into landing more shots.
Garcia continued hammering Martinez in the seventh, and finally ended the bout in the eighth round when he landed a huge body shot that crumpled Martinez to the canvas.
“I had him hurt earlier with a right hand on top, and he was covering up, so I went for the body and caught him on the liver,” said Garcia. “He was pretty hurt.”
Garcia has now won 33 consecutive fights, with 28 wins coming by way of knockout.
Martinez’s record dropped to 27-2-2, with 16 stoppage victories.