Photo: Naoki Fukuda
In what was his first real test at welterweight, Danny “Swift” Garcia (32-0, 18KO’s) showed he can bang with the very good as he grinded out a close unanimous decision win over Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero.
Guerrero started strong, winning most of the early rounds with ‘The Ghost’ landing big right hands to the pro Mexican-American crowds delight.
Garcia would find his timing after the fourth round as he started landing big right and left hooks to the chin of the mauling Guerrero.
Going into the tenth round it appeared Garcia had begun to take over until Guerrero caught a second wind and land some big shots of his own. Going into the twelfth round the fight appeared to be up in the air and the two delivered a spectacular ending as they stood center ring exchanging punches without taking a step back until the final bell.
With scores of 116-112 on all three judges scorecards, Garcia gets a win in Los Angeles where he was booed even after a great performance. Ever the villain for knocking out Rod Salka, Garcia said after the victory, “I never ducked nobody, I showed I can go toe to toe with a great fighter like Robert Guerrero”.
The build up to the fight featured their fathers jawing back and forth, Angel Garcia said after the fight, “I knew Robert was going to be at 100. It was a world title fight. Anytime it is a world title fight, no one is going to slouch. When you come to fight a former champion or champion, it’s going to be a battle. These are elite fighters and there is always going to be a great fight.”
Guerrero along with much of the crowd believed he won saying, “I want a rematch and that’s it.”
“Not one person out there thought Danny won, but his team.”
“I pressured him, I nailed him, busted his body up. I out-jabbed him.”
“The Who Can Mexican” and two time Iraq war veteran Sammy Vasquez (21-0, 15KO’s) put an end to the semi-Cinderella run of East Los Angeles native Aaron Martinez (20-5-1, 4KO’s) after Martinez retired on his stool citing an injured elbow at the conclusion of the fifth round.
Vasquez boxed well and pushed the usually forward moving Martinez backward the whole fight in what was a bit of a coming out party for the Pennsylvania Soldier. Following the fight Vasquez said, “A victory feels good of course, but I wanted more. I wanted to go 12 rounds, if it would have lasted that long. I wanted a very decisive win. Unfortunately, he got hurt, but every fight is a learning experience for me.”
The injury and loss put an end to Martinez’s stretch of good luck in which he gained notoriety in a loss against Robert Guerrero, only to capitilize with a victory over former champion Devon Alexander.
Following the fight Martinez said, “I hurt my elbow. I couldn’t throw my jab. I started to feel it in the third round. The doctor stopped it.”
“I was doing okay. Not my best. I tried, but once I hurt my elbow, I knew it was going to be tough to continue.”
Vasquez gave Martinez fits with his southpaw stance, angles, and deceptive hand speed. The victory throws Vasquez’s name in the welterweight cauldron managed by superpower Al Haymon, to create some intriguing future matchups.
In his toughest test yet Dominic Brezeale (17-0, 15KO’s) won via technical knockout over tough veteran Amir Monsour (22-2-1, 16KO’s).
Monsour rocked Brezeale early and often as the two exchanged leather throughout the entertaining heavyweight matchup. Brezeale tried to get his jab going but often opted to exchange often leaving himself open.
The fourth round saw Mansour land a huge shot that put Brezeale down hard. Mansour moved in for the kill but was unable to get the huge California heavyweight out of there. Brezeale came out for the fifth and landed a huge combination at the end of the round that appeared to buckle Mansour’s legs.
In between rounds referee Raul Caiz waived the fight from Mansour’s corner citing that he was unable to continue.
Brezeale puts his name on the roster of Al Haymon managed heavyweights that could make interesting matchups with eachother including current WBC champ Deontay Wilder and IBF champ Charles Martin.
After the fight Brezeale said, “I’ve been on the canvas before. I just had my hand in the wrong place. I knew I could get back up. I’m in great shape. It happens to the best of us.”
Alejandro Luna (20-0, 15KO’s) stopped Alan Herrera (34-8, 22KO’s) after Herrera failed to answer the bell to start the ninth round.
Luna blistered Herrera with a brutal body attack that wore him down to a nub.
Picking up a good victory over the faded Herrera Luna takes a step toward getting some televised tome on a future PBC card.