Not the Average Joe: Sandor Martin is a “difficult” opponent for the Haney-Garcia winner

Regular Boxing News columnist and former European super-lightweight champion Joe Hughes looks ahead to tonight’s WBC title clash in Brooklyn and reveals plans for the next chapter in his career as a trainer.

DEVIN HANEY and Ryan Garcia are set to battle it out tonight (April 20) for the WBC super-lightweight title. It should be a pretty entertaining matchup.

Haney, the former undisputed lightweight champ, captured the WBC version of the 140lb title last time out from Regis Prograis in a very dominant display. I expect Haney to be in a similar position later tonight and win widely on points or maybe even by late stoppage.

Garcia has acted pretty bizarrely in the build-up, with some questioning if the fight should even be going ahead due to concerns about his mental health. Is he just trying to put on a show and be entertaining and controversial to sell the fight or are there some genuine issues there?

Haney will be looking to win in convincing fashion to try and stake a stronger claim atop his new division. Teofimo Lopez is the current consensus number one after his win over Josh Taylor and the Haney-Garcia winner will no doubt be looking towards a possible unification against Lopez.

The WBC super-lightweight mandatory challenger Sandor Martin, a former opponent of mine, will have other plans. He was paid to step aside to let Haney-Garcia happen. I imagine it’ll take a huge amount to get him to step aside again and let the winner face Lopez. Martin would prove a very difficult match for either in my opinion. When he fought Lopez in December 2022, he didn’t get the decision but in the eyes of many he won the fight by out-boxing Lopez for long periods and also putting him down twice even though only one of those was scored.

This week I have decided to apply for my professional trainer’s licence with the British Boxing Board of Control. I got my amateur coaching licence back in the late 2000’s with Malmesbury ABC and have been heavily involved in coaching at Paddy Johns ABC for the last five years or so.

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but not while I was still boxing myself. Now I’ve finally decided to properly retire it’s a logical next step for me and something I’m looking forward to.

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