CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Garcia and Jennings Wins in The Garden
In a battle of undefeated heavyweights, Byrant Jennings faced Arthur Szpilka and the first round was competitive as Szpilka boxed and retreated, looking for counters whereas Jennings rarely jabbed and look to connect with big right hands. Jennings proved not easy to hit and managed over round two and three to get closer to land some effective two punch combinations but in the third round Szpilka movement did have its moments of confusing Jennings. After three rounds, Jennings landed more punches than his Polish opponent.
Throughout the fifth round, Jennings landed the most effective punches while Szpilka landed some effective counters. Sixth round saw Jennings dominating with combinations and the highlight was a left hook to the mid-section that sent Szpilka down for an eight count. Jennings continued to pressure Szpilka with body shots but Szpilka survived the round.
Jennings continued to assault the body but he added three big rights that hurt Szpilka and Szpilka legs looked weary but his toughness kept him In the fight. Jennings continued to press Szpilka throughout the eighth round but there were occasion that Szpilka threw haymakers but they missed their mark. At the end of the ninth round, Szpilka attempted rally ended as a Jennings left hook stopped Szpilka rally cold. Jennings was dominating the fight in the ring but his corner told him that win the last round or “they will steal the fight,”
Szpilka started the final round quick but his combinations were blocked and at the two minute mark, Jennings knocked Szpilka with a left hook. Szpilka got back up but his legs were rubber and the next four punch combination ended the fight as Szpilka wilted in the corner. Jennings looked impressive for a fighter who had been doing the sport for five years with little amateur experience. He showed smarts when attacking Szpilka and showed power as well in particular with his body shots. Jennings showed himself to be an American heavyweight that might yet challenge for a heavyweight title.
Mikey Garcia faced Juan Carlos Burgos for Garcia’s junior lightweight championship. Burgos started the fight jabbing but halfway through the first round, Garcia left –right combination pushed Burgos back. Near the end of the second round, Burgos nearly sent Garcia down from a Burgos left hook. Garcia returned the favor in round three when he hurt Burgos with a big right and Burgos held on for dear life before the referee broke them up. From there, Burgos moved and boxed out of harm way.
From the fourth through sixth round, Garcia started to gain slight advantages as his punches were showing more pop whereas Burgos became tentative and unable to score effectively.
Garcia managed to get inside Burgos on occasion to land combinations throughout the eighth round and in the ninth round, Garcia landed a body shots in the middle of the round as he stopped a Burgos rally dead. Garcia continued to pursue Burgos throughout the second half of the ninth round as Burgos, who started the round aggressively, ended the round in survival mode.
In the tenth and eleventh round, Garcia walked Burgos down and consistently nailed Burgos with solid combinations but Burgos did managed to connect with an occasional sneak right hand. Garcia continued his business like domination but while Garcia used his skills to defeat a tough Burgos. Part of Garcia problem was that Burgos did not chose to engage but fight a defensive fight while looking for opportunity that never occurred. Garcia won an easy decision in a fight that was hardly exciting but then as Andre Ward observed, you can’t knock everyone out and in some cases, when styles don’t mesh; you end up with a boring fight. Garcia not only is a heavy handed boxer but he showed defensive wizardry to win an easy victory.