With welterweights Antonio “Relentless” Orozco (25-0, 16 KOs) and Giovanni “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (21-0) making headlines, our other San Diego boxing standouts have been getting overlooked. Case in point, the Chris Martin knockout victory on Thursday night, March 23, 2017 of Daniel “Twitch” Franco (15-1-3, 10 KOs) who went down to defeat for the first time.
When asked about the significance of his win, Martin (30-8-3) said, “Of course getting win number 30 was special. Especially after losing three of my last four, I certainly needed this win. I did work extra hard for this fight. And, I have to give credit to my corner. What happened was Franco bull rushed me in round one, throwing everything he had at me. It was basically a flash knockdown. Then, in round #2, after I got settled-in, my second, Ulises Zumaya, who I’ve been sparring with for years, spotted something and between rounds told me, “It’s there, feint with your jab, then come hard with the left. It worked and I had Franco going down twice in round three before the official stepped in to stop the bout.”
Either Franco’s manager or maybe Franco himself underestimated Martin. Most likely they figured the younger Franco would have no problem with an older opponent. ‘After all, Martin has a family, a demanding 40+ hour workweek which means he can’t possibly devote his maximum effort to training for a fight of this magnitude. Martin might be more cunning but in no way is he as agile as our young stallion who is in his prime, five years younger, almost three inches taller and has a four inch reach advantage. And with his three straight losses, surely Martin has gotten use to losing.’ When you are calling out the World Champion, Leo Santa Cruz, it certainly sounds like Daniel “Twitch” Franco had become overconfident.
The same inferences may have inspired the manager of Jhonny Gonzalez (60-10-0) to select Martin to fight his boxer in Mexico City on June 18 of last year for the WBC International Silver Super Featherweight belt. ‘Let’s bring in that part-timer from San Diego to fight for Jhonny’s title. With him being the ‘San Diego Kid’ we know he must be training at sea-level.’ They were right. Fighting Gonzalez at such a high elevation took its toll on Martin who admitted later he did indeed have problems. At the close of round 10 of their 12 round bout, while Martin headed back to his corner, Martin’s corner decided it was time to throw in the towel. With the difference in a boxers’ skill level, his diet, etc. being so minute, each of these managers/trainers are looking harder and harder for an edge.
Fighting out of the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., Martin has now fought more than his share of quality opponents which include world champions Gary Russell Jr. and Jhonny Gonzalez plus top contenders/prospects Miguel Marriaga, Danny Roman, Roberto Castaneda, Teon Kennedy, Luis Orlando Del Valle and Chris Avalos. In the battle with Franco, Martin simply out-boxed, out-foxed and ultimately out-slugged his younger opponent.