‘Swift’ Garcia surives Herrera

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Updated: March 17, 2014

Unified WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs)survived the stern challenge of rugged Mexican Mauricio Herrera (20-4, 7 KOs) with a majority 12-round decision last Saturday at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Although the judges scored the bout 116-112 (twice) and 114-114 (even), a lot of people thought Garcia lost.

Garcia-Herrera was the featured main event televised on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing.  

Garcia, entering the fifth defense of his 140-pound titles, has acquired increasing popularity following two victories against Erik Morales, a spectacular knockout of Amir Khan, a gutsy decision-win over Zab Judah, followed by a possible career-defining victory against Lucas Matthysse last September. Having headlined a fight card in his parent’s birth-place of Puerto Rico, Garcia, a native of Philadelphia, PA of Puerto Rican descent, was anxious and excited to be fighting home.

Perhaps the excitement of fighting in Puerto Rico with his longtime girlfriend singing the Puerto Rican national anthem became a heavy distraction, as Garcia was getting tagged more often against Herrera than in any other fight he has been in. Garcia, recognized for his signature left hook, couldn’t thwart the challenge of Herrera, who simply kept coming forward by attacking the champion.

While Garcia landed 150 power punches to Herrera’s 82, the champion was outworked by his challenger in the total punches landed throughout the fight. Herrera landed 221 to Garcia’s 204. Unlike his previous bouts in which he was more efficient and technical, Garcia really wanted to knock Herrera out.

“I wanted to knock him out in front of my fans but he was tough. I know nothing is going to be easy from this point on for the rest of my career. I thought I won the fight. The Puerto Rican fans here support me. I love them.”

Garcia added:  ”He is a crafty veteran and I know every time I step in the ring, every fighter wants what I have. So I expect them to bring everything. I had to make adjustments and I had to push the fight. He is a good fighter but I am a true champion. I had to make adjustments and pull it out. I needed to find my comfort zone but once I adjusted and got him on the ropes I knew I was doing good. I had to keep my composure and use my power shots. He came to fight and he did and it was a great fight.”

Garcia, who was mentioned as an eventual opponent for undefeated five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather, may have to wait a while longer before challenging the world’s best to a boxing match. Garcia may contemplate a move up to the welterweight division.

Meanwhile, Herrera believed that he actually beat Garcia and deserved the decision.

“I thought I was fine-tuned,” Herrera said. “I came perfectly prepared for this fight. I was trying to push the fight. I came to box but he wasn’t making a fight so I am the one that had to make the fight. I was the one putting the pressure on to make the fight. I feel like I won the fight. I thought I finished strong at the end too. I thought I won the fight.”

Deyontay Wilder wins by knockout – again!

Undefeated American heavyweight contender, Deontay Wilder maybe the breath of fresh air that fight-fans were looking for. The last American world heavyweight champion when Shannon Briggs held the WBO title for one unsuccessful title defense in 2007.

The 6’ 7,” Wilder kept his professional knockout-victory percentage at 100% by earning a powerful first-round KO of Malik Scott (36-2-1, 13 KOs) in just 96 seconds. Wilder landed a left-right combination that put Scott on the canvas without any desire to resume fighting.

“I’ve got power,” Wilder said. “I’ve got natural power. This is something that you can’t buy. This is something that you can’t enhance and put in your body. This is all natural pure Alabama power. The left hand was right to the temple, to the head, and that is a soft spot. My power is crazy. I go through the gloves. Even though he had his gloves, there is nothing stopping that. Even though it went through his glove it still hurts.”

Wilder, who is a former Olympic bronze medalist, has a considerable amount of experience training with unified IBF/WBA/WBO and IBO/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

“All the testing is done in the gym. I bust my butt off in the gym to come here and perform for all the people and I make it look easy. I don’t care if I don’t go past four rounds or solve all the questions that people have about me. I have one mission and it is to unify all the heavyweight belts.”

Wilder’s victory positions him for a shot at the winner of this summer’s rematch between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne for the vacant WBC heavyweight title.

Juanma’ saves career with repeat KO of Ponce De Leon

Former WBO featherweight and super featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez (34-3, 31 KOs) saved his career by knocking out Daniel Ponce De Leon (45-6, 35 KOs) in the second round in a rematch from their 2008 clash.

Lopez was about to go after De Leon knocked him down early in the second round. De Leon, who fights only one way going forward, was knocked flat on his back before Lopez hammered him again against the ropes to force a stoppage to the fight at 2:44 seconds of round two.

Lopez entered the bout having been knocked out three times in his previous six fights dating back to 2011. Lopez, once recognized as one of the best fighters in the world pound-for-pound, was considered to be a shot fighter. But his credit, Lopez fought De Leon realizing that one more loss in front his friends and family in his native Puerto Rico would spell an embarrassing end to a once terrific career that consisted of twelve world title fights.

In April 2011, Lopez was ahead on the judges’ scorecards before a resurgent Orlando Salido stopped him in the eighth round to win the WBO 126-pound crown in Puerto Rico. One year later in March 2012, Salido was losing to Lopez once again before knocking him out in the rematch. Last year, Lopez was used as a stepping stone for Mickey Garcia and was stopped within four rounds.

Lopez saved his career and may have one or two great fights left within, but is clearly one borrowed time and that’s sad considering he’s only 30.

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