8CN Interview: Chris Martin

8CN’s David Hopper got a chance to speak with super bantamweight contender Chris Martin (27-2-3, 9 KOs). The 27-year-old will fight Enrique Quevedo (14-6-1, 9 KOs) on Friday, Oct. 18 at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.

DH: You will fight Enrique Quevedo on Oct. 18.  What do you know about Quevedo? Have you watched any film?

CM: I’ve seen just short clips on YouTube. I fought his twin brother in my fifth fight. They have very similar styles. I had a draw with his brother. In my opinion, I won the fight. For whatever reason, we never got a rematch. I kind of let it go and moved forward. This will be kind of like a rematch.

DH: What kind of fight do you think the fans can expect on Friday?

CM: Quevado always comes to fight, definitely an exciting fight. I keep that always in the back of my mind to put on a good fight for the fans. He brings the pressure. I’m going to box him early and try to stay in the pocket and try to take him out basically.

DH: You knocked out Raul Hidalgo in the fifth round in your last fight. What did you think of your performance in that fight?

CM: I read a few articles that said he was up on the cards. Whether he was or not, I felt an urgency to push more and I felt I was in control of the fight since Round 1. I felt good.

DH: Three of your last four wins have been by stoppage. But you just have a total of 9 KO victories in 32 fights. Do you feel like you’re becoming a harder puncher? What would you attribute stopping more opponents lately to?

CM: Just going for it. I always felt that hit I hard. If you look at my record, I have a lot of knockdowns. I knocked down a lot of guys, but I really didn’t go in for the kill. It’s something that comes with experience or something is just clicking. I can’t really explain it. I’m just going for it more now.

DH: This will be your fourth consecutive fight at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. Do you like fighting there? What’s in like in terms of the atmosphere?

CM: I feel like they’re starting to get to know me there. In my first fight there I knocked the guy out. Then I had the rematch with Veranza. Even though I put him down, he finished strong in the seventh and eighth round, basically because I was sitting in there with him. He connected a few shots. After the decision, which I felt I knew I won, we got a few boos. The next fight was mixed here and there. We bring a few people from San Diego but not everybody can make the trip. Hopefully it will become a home away from home but, for now, it’s kind of mixed feelings.

DH: How would you describe your fighting style?

CM: I like to mix it up between boxing and pressure depending on my opponent. I feel that I put on a good show and, like I said, I keep that in the back of my mind. People go there to watch a good fight.

DH: Guillermo Rigondeaux and Nonito Donaire are two of the top rated fighters in your division (122 lbs.). Do you see yourself getting a crack at one of them if you continue to win?

CM: Definitely, that’s what I’ve been wanting for a while. I feel that I can give Rigondeaux a good fight and pull it out. I want to fight Leo Santa Cruz, who is also in my weight and just got a title. Those are all guys that I am eyeing and have been eyeing for a while. Right now we’re fighting on small cards, getting my record back up and getting my confidence back. Whoever the top guy is, I want him. Right now, I think it’s Guillermo Rigondeaux. I want him.

DH: I was very impressed with Rigondeaux’s dominating win over Donaire. I think a lot of people didn’t expect that to happen as Donaire had been so dominant for so many years. What do you see in Rigondeaux in terms of his style and technique?

CM: He’s a very slick boxer. He looks like he hits hard when he throws. I honestly thought Nonito was going to do better when they fought. But one thing he didn’t do was jab. A shorter guy like that, yeah, he does have speed and power, but if you keep a jab in front of his face, it’ll definitely complicate his whole night. Establish the jab, that’s what I thought Nonito should have done.

DH: You are a corrections officer for the County of San Diego. Talk about what your job entails and how you fell into that.

CM: I have my family to support so boxing really doesn’t pay the bills as much as people think it does. I started there about five years ago. People are starting to get to know me within the system, the inmates and detainees, because I’ve been on TV quite a bit. It’s a very easy job.

DH: Is it a county jail?

CM: It’s a federal detention center. For immigration, for ICE, and U.S. Marshals waiting to get them. We have a lot of people behaving because they don’t want their cases messed up. There is our mishaps with fights, but it’s not that big a deal.

DH: Like you said, it’s not often, but riots and fights do break out in prisons and jails. Did they see that you were a professional boxer and see that as a strength in dealing with inmates?

CM: It certainly brings a certain level of confidence that I can talk to anybody. The way I talk to people, the way I present myself, demands respect. Even though I’m a small guy, people still respect me and don’t ever get out of line, for the most part.

DH: You have this full-time job, you’re a pro boxer and you have a family. I imagine you don’t have much free time. What’s it like balancing all that?

CM: It’s hard. It’s everyday life. My wife, for a while, didn’t work but she went back to work for a few hours. She’s a big time supporter. She takes care of the kids and watches my diet also. She’s very supportive. She really is.

DH: Anything you want to add or say to the fans?

CM: Just watch out for Chris Martin. I want big fights. I have absolutely no problems fighting anybody. The guys on my list, starting with Guillermo Rigondeaux, I want Leo Santa Cruz, the guy that just beat Jhonatan Romero, Kiko Martinez, I’d take a stab at him too. I just want to fight the best.

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