Alex Martin hopes to find himself in Ryan Garcia Sweepstakes

Social media can be a lot of things – good, bad and bad. For Alex Martin, it was an unexpected relief when his career needed it most.

“I saw Alex on YouTube and he fought Miguel Cruz and completely dominated him, but he lost,” said Long Island coach/manager Joe Zagarino. “It was a crazy robbery. I said this kid is special, but super small for its weight. I have a gut feeling about him. I will reach out and I will train him and bring him back. “

Chicago’s Martin is a highly regarded former amateur star who charted 176-35 and several titles before turning pro in 2013. He won a 13-0 record first. having lost a controversial split to Cruz in January 2017, then dropped the rematch five months later more convincingly, being dropped twice en route to another losing point. By December, Martin’s 13-0 record had turned to 13-3 after being decided by Bryant Perrella, and suddenly a promising career was not only in trouble, but nearing its end.

Martin said: “I was thinking about leaving. “I was thinking of hanging it up and just getting a regular job or going back to school. But the love for boxing was still there, and I was hoping for a miracle. And then a guy from New York caught me on Instagram. ”

It’s a story that can only happen in boxing and one that could be a Hollywood document if the 32-year-old gets to where he wants to be in the sport, but how do some Are street smart people from Chicago and New York really connected through Instagram?

It’s not easy.

“Not at first,” laughed Zagarino. “He blew me away a few times.”

Martin admits: “At first, I thought it was a setup. “I won’t lie. But then he kept hitting me. ”

The pitch just before Christmas 2018 is simple and proper. But it will require a leap of faith of epic proportions.

“I contacted him and said, ‘Let’s move to New York; I will train you,” Zagarino recalls. He then asked Martin what he weighed at the time, a year out of the match against Perrella.

145.6 pounds. Zagarino couldn’t believe it.

“How stupid is it to fight at heavyweight? I said, ‘Who is telling you this? You are a gentle person. ‘ He thinks I’m completely out of my mind talking about moving to 135. He thinks it’s not even possible.”

Martin remained skeptical until he heard a quote that changed everything.

“I remember him saying, ‘By this time next year, you’re going to give your son a Merry Christmas.’ That’s all I remember, and right there it drove me down there. I was thinking to myself, should I go? What do I have to lose? I have nothing to lose, so I try to move on. ”

Providing a better life for his son, Alex III, was all it took for him to agree to come to New York to start working with Zagarino. Now his new coach and manager must find a way to get him there.

“At a time when we weren’t overheated, me and my cousin, and we spent like our last dollar getting him there,” laughs Zagarino, who welcomed Martin to Empire State on January 9, 2019, a day stuck in the mind of a boxer who still has something to offer in the sport he grew up in.

“I know I’m still young, and I know I still have a lot to develop, a lot to learn on and off the court,” Martin said. “So all I had to do was give myself a break and figure out what I really wanted to do and if I really wanted to get in and put one hundred percent into the sport. When I took those three losses, I didn’t put one hundred percent into the sport, and in practice, I sagged. I was staying up late, playing video games, and I just wasn’t doing the right things an athlete would do. Three days before the fight, I shouldn’t have woken up at three in the morning. ”

That won’t happen on his new digs, but that doesn’t mean he’s picked up where he left off in the gym. There was some rust to shake off before he returned to the ring.

“The first time I went to the gym, I had a lot of rust stains that I wanted to knock down because I had a long break,” says Martin. “I look worse than when I was in the loss. I had a lot of tweaks to make. I made a lot of mistakes and went around in the ring, dropping my hand, so I needed to fix all of that.”

In September 2019, he returned, defeating Marlon Lewis in a single round. Less than four months later, he handled Angel Fierro’s first professional loss 16-0-1. In March of last year, the “0” of Luis Hernandez’s 21-0 record disappeared to Martin, and last August he defeated Josec Ruiz 23-4-3 after ten rounds. Four battles, four wins and a contract with Golden Boy Promotion will begin.

You can call it a comeback. Ask Martin if he thinks he’ll be here in 2022 after everything he’s been through in 2017, and he says he absolutely will.

“The reason why I say that is that I don’t give up,” he said. “I knew something good was going to happen. Something has to be given away because I’ve just had a lot of bad luck, a lot of stress in my life, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. And that’s what finally happened. ”

Zagarino hopes to have Martin back in the ring in April, and he didn’t say much when asked who he hopes to fight – Golden Boy of the Golden Boy, Ryan Garcia.

“We’re hoping to fight Ryan,” he said, respecting the California phenom, but fully confident that Martin could get an extra “0” on the night of the fight.

“He will have to fight completely differently,” said Zagarino. “We will take him out of his element. Plus, Alex can take a punch – he gets hit in the heavyweight category. I had to scream at Alex because when he got home in Chicago he was always fighting for the middleweights. I told him, ‘You can’t do that. There is no benefit to your career in competing for the middleweights. ‘ I know Garcia can’t hurt him, so what does Garcia do when he can’t hurt someone and they have the boxing skills to keep up with him? ”

As for Martin, he’s going all out for a match against Garcia, you guessed it – on social media to make his case for the biggest payday and battle of his career. that.

“That’s the fight we want,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been waiting for.”

But does he think he has a shot at achieving it?

“I hope so too. I’m probably the best pick on paper if you look at it. I’m a male idol, and I think he’s trying to adjust to Tank (Davis), so who’s going to do that? better than me?”


“He’ll think I’m the right guy,” laughs Martin, who knows where he sits in the 135-pound caesarean order. And now. Because he knows that if he gets the big skirmishes he wants, he has the skills to be the B-side fighting back.

“I’ve been the B-side in the last six games, so I’m fine with that,” he said. “I got used to it.”–163537 Alex Martin hopes to find himself in Ryan Garcia Sweepstakes

Dustin Huang

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