Focused on the Present: Chris Martin

Chris "S.D. Kid" Martin, photograph credit: Carlos Baeza and Thompson Boxing Promotions
Chris “S.D. Kid” Martin, photograph credit: Carlos Baeza and Thompson Boxing Promotions

Our one-on-one interview with local fighter Chris “S.D. Kid” Martin who fights August 16 on “Path to Glory” presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions.

A fighters ability to mentally focus on the task in front of them has long been considered one of the hardest things to achieve in a sport that always seems to ask the question, “who’s next?” From the media to the fans to the industry experts, speculation of what the future holds for a rising star always seems to creep into the conversation.

Fair or not, the question has to be asked. It is up to the fighter to put the question and answer out of reach, away from the task at hand, and remain focused on securing the victory in front of them.

“To stay undefeated,” says Chris Martin in response to my question about what is next for him after his upcoming fight with Mexican slugger Giovanni Caro. Martin, or the “S.D. Kid,” will fight Caro on August 16, 2014 in the co-main event of “Path to Glory” presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions live from Harley Davidson San Diego.

“In my first loss I looked way past my opponent and it showed in my performance,” says Martin, who is currently preparing for his bout with Trainer Joe Vargas at Undisputed San Diego. “In my second loss to Luis (Martin lost a unanimous decision to Luis Orlando Del Valle in April 2012) it was a tough fight and I felt it was very close,” says Martin. “In the end it is still a loss…and a loss that should not have happened. I was looking past the guy in front of me again,” Martin adds.

Martin (27-3-3) started his career fast, at a young age, turning professional at 20 years old and amassing four wins in a row before his streak was interrupted by a draw against Daniel Quevedo in 2007.

After the draw, Martin continued winning and went 19-0-2 from 2006 to 2011 before tasting defeat for the first time against Jose Angel Beranza by split decision on October 1, 2011.

As Martin continued to develop inside the ring, learning from his mistakes and capitalizing on his natural talents as a technical boxer, he cracked the top 15 rankings in the four major boxing organizations and appeared on Showtime ShoBox against Luis Orlando Del Valle on April 27, 2012. After a short time with Showtime and rival promotion Top Rank, Martin finally signed with Thompson Boxing Promotions.

Chris Martin and trainer Joe Vargas, photo credit: Carlos Baeza and Thompson Boxing Promotions
Chris Martin and trainer Joe Vargas, photo credit: Carlos Baeza and Thompson Boxing Promotions

After his first loss to Beranza, Martin quickly jumped back in ring and fought a tough bout against Teon Kennedy that ended in a majority decision draw. A year-long absence from the ring, following the Kennedy fight led to a comeback in 2012 where Martin was handed his second loss.

Despite a rough patch in 2011 and the early part of 2012, Martin remained focused and determined that the only way to get back on track was to be better at focusing on the task at hand.

“The main thing is figuring out what happened and how to fix it,” Martin explains. “I needed to make adjustments during the fight (Del Valle fight) that I couldn’t make because I wasn’t focused on the fight in front of me,” Martin adds.

In the second half of 2012, Martin’s hard work paid off as he was able to string together four quality wins, including a victory over Roberto Castaneda in Corona, California on June 29, 2012.

Unfortunately, in October 2013, Martin was faced with another tough opponent in Enrique Quevedo that ended in a unanimous decision loss. Again, Martin admits that he lost focus during that fight.

“In my most recent loss against Quevedo it was the same thing. I was looking past him and I couldn’t make adjustments in that fight that I needed to make,” says Martin. “That can’t happen again,” he adds.

Martin took a short break from the sweet science after his 2013 loss to Quevedo and was scheduled to return to the ring against Efrain Esquivias on July 25, 2014 on a fight card presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions. An unfortunate illness saw Esquivias backing out of the fight on very short notice after Martin was already in camp training for his much anticipated return to the ring. For Martin, the long camp may have been a blessing in disguise.

“Camp is going really good,” Martin explains. “I think this may be the longest camp I have ever had, but it is going especially well…my timing is there and my conditioning is great so I feel really good,” he adds.

Lucky for Martin, and his hometown family and friends, he was added to the Thompson Boxing Promotions “Path to Glory” in the co-main event on August 16 from Harley Davidson San Diego in a highly anticipated night of fights that features several local fighters. For Martin, this fight is very special, as he is afforded the opportunity to fight in front of the city he was born in, where he currently raises his family and where he started his career as a fighter.

“I’ve missed fighting here honestly…it is fun to fight here,” Martin explains. “The crowds are always so great and they are always in your corner…you feel the crowd…the family and friends…it helps me focus and gets me excited,” Martin adds.

Martin will face hard-hitting Mexican fighter Giovanni Caro (24-14-4) who was once on the path to stardom within the boxing landscape in what has the makings of an exciting fight. Like most veteran fighters, Martin is looking to take on the tough opponents and continue to challenge himself in the second half of his career.

“I like the challenge of the sport and the tough fights that are out there,” Martin explains as we discuss Caro and the challenges that lie ahead. “I am excited for the Caro fight because I know he is tough and has a reputation for being a good fighter…and that is who I want to face,” Martin adds.

“I know he is a come-forward style fighter. He had a period in his career where he won 9 fights in a row and was ranked top 5 in the world. He’s been up and down but I know he is a fighter and he will continue to come at me,” Martin explains.

As is with most fighters, Martin has been able to develop his style over his eight-year career and change his approach from time to time. Known in the early part of his career for being an outside, technical boxer, Martin began to move towards the pocket in the middle part of his career, finding both success and some disappointment.

Photo Credit: Carlos Baeza and Thompson Boxing Promotions
Photo Credit: Carlos Baeza and Thompson Boxing Promotions

In the end, Martin’s willingness to branch out and learn has helped him develop a very well-rounded style that should benefit him against Caro on August 16.

“My style is a combination of boxer-puncher. I always tried to maintain that balance, but it came very natural to be a boxer so I stuck with that early in my career,” Martin explains. “I know people want to see knockouts and exciting fights so if the opportunity is there I can use my power,” he adds.

With Giovanni Caro opposite him, Martin knows it will not be long before he tries to take the fight on the inside. Martin is ready for that and knows that following his game plan and listening to his corner will be the keys to victory.

“That style plays in my favor because I can use my counter-punching skills,” Martin explains. “In the end it is important for me to remember how to box. I have to be true to myself…to my style,” he adds.

One thing is clear when talking to Chris Martin. He is grateful for the journey he has taken so far. He understands that his future in boxing will be dictated by how he handles the fight in front of him and that looking past any opponent at this point of his career is not acceptable.

“I want to stay undefeated. I want to challenge myself. Whatever comes after the fight, it doesn’t matter. I want to win on Saturday,” Martin explains.

San Diego fight fans can see Chris “S.D. Kid” Martin take on Giovanni Caro in a bout on August 16, 2014 live from the San Diego Harley Davidson showroom in central San Diego. Visit Thompson Boxing Promotions online at http://www.thompsonboxing.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thompsonboxing and on Twitter @thompsonboxing. Tickets are going fast and this show will surely prove to be an exciting night for San Diego, the fighters and the fans.

Chris Martin would like to thank his family and friends for their support, Undisputed Gym, Thompson Boxing Promotions, and Coach Joe Vargas.

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