Boxing Garcia vs Martinez preview: The question Mikey Garcia needs to answer

Mikey Garcia vs Juan Manuel Lopez, 2013 - Tom Pennington

Tonight, Mikey Garcia takes on Rocky Martinez live on HBO. Does Garcia have the grit to become a pound for pound great? And will we see that grit tonight? Fraser Coffeen answers the question in this Bloody Elbow preview.

Saturday, November 9, Bloody Elbow presents live fight coverage of Mikey Garcia vs Rocky Martinez, live on HBO. HBO Boxing After Dark Martinez vs Garcia airs live this Saturday, November 9 with a fight time of 9:30 p.m. ET / PT. Bloody Elbow will have live fight coverage, including results and discussion, right here.

Mikey Garcia is having a good year. The undefeated boxer is 2-0 in 2013, with wins over big name opponents in Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez. He's shown a lot in both fights, combining a patient, high-level technical boxing approach with an ability to pressure an opponent and close the show when the time is right. He became the #1 Featherweight in the world, and a fighter just on the cusp of the pound for pound top 10.

But for all those successes, two big moments stand out in this year - his inability to make weight against Lopez, and his somewhat questionable decision to have the Salido fight stopped due to a broken nose. Neither incident was particularly damning, but when looked at together, they paint a picture of a fighter who maybe is missing something.

More Garcia vs Martinez coverage:
Bloody Elbow | Bad Left Hook

Grit. The ability to take a shot but just keep on coming - to push through the hardest points of a boxing fight. Think Miguel Cotto here. Mikey Garcia? Maybe he has that same grit. But his actions this year have made it a question worth asking. Saturday night, we may get our answer. Because Rocky Martinez is a tough fighter who does indeed possess that grit. He also is a fighter with something to prove himself, as his 2013 (1-0-1) has its own controversial moment - a draw with Juan Carlos Burgos that everyone felt was a Burgos win. So both men come into the fight with a strong resume and a good year, but also something to prove on the year.

For this fight, the question becomes if Martinez can indeed prove his status, forcing Garcia to account for his grit. Not to discredit Martinez, but I suspect the answer to that question is no. Martinez may be a talented fighter, but Garcia is a level above and should be able to implement his game with relatively little trouble.

So in the end, this question - does Mikey Garcia have the grit? - is likely to remain unanswered. For now at least. If it does get answered, and the answer is yes, then prepare for Mikey Garcia to have a potential superstar year in 2014.

Join us here at Bloody Elbow for HBO Boxing After Dark Martinez vs Garcia results, discussion, and live fight coverage this Saturday November 9.


Mikey Garcia (32-0; 27 KOs) vs. Rocky Martinez (27-1-2; 16 KOs) - Junior Lightweight (130 lbs)

Nonito Donaire (31-2; 20 KOs) vs. Vic Darchinyan (39-5-1; 28 KOs) - Featherweight (126 lbs)

Demetrius Andrade (19-0; 13 KOs) vs. Vanes Martirosyan (33-0-1; 21 KOs) - Junior Middleweight (154 lbs)

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