Photos: Chris Farina / Top Rank
Unbeaten former WBO featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (33-0, 28 KOs) got off the canvas to dethrone WBO jr lightweight champion Rocky Martinez (27-2-2, 16 KOs) by eighth round KO on Saturday night at the American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas. Martinez dropped Garcia with a short right hand in round two, but Mikey recovered and proceeded to methodically break down Rocky as the fight progressed. A left hook to the body finished the job at :56 of round eight. Martinez, entered the ring as Puerto Rico’s only world champion, and was attempting to avenge Garcia’s KO win over his stablemate Juanma Lopez.
In a grudge rematch, Nonito Donaire (32-2, 21 KOs) scored an exciting ninth round TKO over arch rival Vic Darchinyan (39-6-1, 28 KOs). After a cautious round one, both fighters rocked each other with big shots in round two. Tremendous toe-to-toe action in rounds four and five with Darchinyan getting the better of it. The end came in round nine when Donaire dropped Darchinyan with a left hook to the jaw and got the stoppage with his follow up barrage. Referee Laurence Cole waved it off at 2:06. At the time of the stoppage, Darchinyan was ahead by 78-74 on two cards with the other card at 76-76.
In a clash for the vacant WBO jr middleweight title between two unbeaten U.S. Olympians, Demetrius Andrade (20-0, 13 KOs) won a twelve round split decision over Vanes Martirosyan (33-1-1, 21 KOs). Martirosyan dropped Andrade with a left hook to the jaw in round one, but Andrade outworked him in every round. Andrade had a big round six, and went on to win 114-113, 117-110 on two cards. Martirosyan somehow was ahead 115-112 on the third card.
Undefeated WBA featherweight champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters (23-0, 19 KOs) scored an explosive fourth round knockout over Alberto Garza (25-6-1, 20 KOs). Walters was aggressive from the beginning and finally laid out Garza with a flush right hand to win his U.S. debut and first title defense. Time was 1:57.
Junior lightweight Erick De Leon (6-0, 2 KOs) hammered out a four round unanimous decision over Jesus Aguinaga (1-2, 0 KOs). Scores were 40-36 on all cards.
Two-time Mexican Olympian Oscar Valdez (8-0, 7 KOs) was impressive as he dominated Jesus Lule Raya (6-7, 1 KO) and stopped him in round five of a jr lightweight bout. Valdez looks like a future world champion.
In a clash of unbeaten bantamweights, “Little” Oscar Cantu (6-0, 1 KO) scored a six round unanimous decision over Roberto Ceron (3-1, 1 KO). Cantu dropped Ceron in round four. Scores were 60-53, 59-54, 59-54..
Unbeaten welterweight Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo (11-0, 8 KOs) scored an impressive third round KO over Steve Hall (6-5, 6 KOs). Saucedo dropped Hall at the end of round two and immediately finished him 11 seconds into round three.