Frisco, TX.— Mikey Garcia captured his first win at welterweight and 40th victory this past Saturday night, defeating former two-division world champion Jessie Vargas. The impressive victory came by way of unanimous decision in front of 11,019 boxing fans in the Ford Center at the Star.
Vargas came in with the reach and height advantage over the former four-division world champion and quickly tried to implement them in the early rounds, constantly landing stiff jabs on Garcia and backing him up against the ropes with effective right hands.
Just as Vargas seemed to gain momentum and set his rhythm, Garcia’s right hand found a home in Varga’s face, constantly landing and capturing the bigger man’s attention. In the fifth round, Garcia stunned the Las Vegas fighter with crisps one-twos causing his nose to bleed. In the last minute of the round, Vargas was on wobbly legs after a powerful one-two and was quickly on his ass against a corner following a right hand from Garcia.
As he faced the ref in one knee, Vargas smiled with a right eye nearly shut as the crowd went wild. The last seconds of the round consisted of Garcia throwing massive right hooks, and Vargas responding with left hooks in hopes of turning the fight around. Garcia continued seeking the knockout victory in the sixth round as Vargas struggled to keep the right hand off while he recovered his legs in survival mode.
The middle rounds brought on more right hands landed from Garcia, with Vargas shaking his head after several punches landed, in attempts to appear unbothered by the grueling shots. However, Garcia wobbled him once again with a right hook as Vargas utilized the ropes for support as he tried to avoid Garcia’s attack.
Garcia gave Vargas shakey legs again in the 10th round with—you guessed it—another right hand from a signature one-two punch combination. In the championship rounds, however, Vargas showed his endurance in the championship rounds coming forward and landing hooks of his own regardless of Garcia’s persistence. Vargas managed to land a clean right hand on Garcia right before the bell, but it was still not enough to win the round in any of the judges’ scorecards which all favored Garcia 116-111, 114-113, and 116-111.
At the post-fight press conference, Garcia assured the media he would continue to campaign at 147 and chase the big fights, prioritizing a possible clash against eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and even mentioned an interest in a Spence Jr. rematch.
“I’m ready to fight anybody,” said Garcia. “But a fight with Manny has been talked about for many years. It’s been brought up here-and-there and I think after tonight’s performance, they’ll consider that a great matchup. I think the fans and you guys would consider that probably the number one fight for me. I love the idea of fighting Manny. I think it’s a perfect matchup for my next fight.”
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn entertained the idea of taking the fight to Saudi Arabia, should the fighters agree to fight and should Garcia agree to another fight on DAZN.
“That’s what my attention is going to be turned to over the next couple of weeks,” said Hearn. “You know, Mikey made me chase him around for two years. We worked together for the first time and I feel like we’ve been out on our first date and I really enjoyed it. We’re not officially dating yet, so I want to make sure that I can go maybe for another dinner.”
When asked about the possibility of facing Crawford, Garcia reassured us he’d face anyone with a title, claiming he wouldn’t hide from anyone in the division. Shade? Maybe so.
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez shocked the doubters by becoming Super Flyweight world champion once again, knocking out long-reigning WBA champion and former olympian Khalid Yafai with a ferocious right hand 29 seconds into the ninth round.
Inside the ring, the size difference between the two fighters was an obvious one, which is most likely why Yafai chose to play Gonzalez’s game instead of boxing on the outside as his corner initially instructed him to. The fight was phone-booth action since the starting bell, with both fighters trading in the middle of the ring.
Gonzalez threw shots at both the head and the body of Yafai while he smiled and came back with punches of his own. In the third round, Gonzalez punched Yafai’s mouthpiece out of his mouth and the crowd went wild as he landed signature uppercuts on his U.K. opponent.
An accidental head clash in the sixth round caused a cut to open in Gonzalez’s right eye. As blood dripped from his face, “Chocolatito” responded with right hands and left uppercuts with bad intentions. As the fighters brawled at sho
rt distance in the middle of the ring, Gonzalez began to take over the fight in the eighth round, eventually flooring Yafai after having him hurt earlier in the round.
In the ninth round, Gonzalez maintained his momentum landing a monstrous right which wobbled Yafai. Before the Englishman could recover, Gonzalez doubled the dose to send him to the canvas once again, this time to be waved off immediately by referee Luis Pabon.
Instead of celebrating, Gonzalez rushed to Yafai’s side and embraced him in a hug before heading to a corner to kneel in prayer as the crowd yelled in pure ecstasy.
“I came back to be king again in this weight class,” Gonzalez said at the post-fight press conference. “But the first thing you need to come back successfully is a really good team. Now there are more good things to come.”
With Gonzalez as champion once again and looking as sharp as he did, Hearn entertained a possible unification rematch with Mexico’s Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada should Gonzalez wish to return to the DAZN platform.
“It all depends on Roman and the team,” Eddie Hearn said. “For me, I love the Estrada fight. You know, you got the Rungvisai trilogy, but it’s really up to Roman, his manager, and his training team. We’ll be there to provide another historic moment and platform for it.”
Julio Cesar Martinez made his first successful title defense against previously undefeated Jay Harris by way of unanimous decision in a 12-round toe-to-toe war.
The action started early in the first round with Martinez immediately overwhelming Harris with thunderous punches throwing him off balance. Harris didn’t shy away from the action, responding to Martinez’s shots with blows of his own to send the message that he was not afraid of the Mexican champion.
Back-and-forth action unfolded throughout the early rounds as Martinez timed Harris to deliver crisper counter-combination causing the crowd to roar in excitement. While the fighter out of Tepito, Mexico City, targetted the body, Harris patiently waited for Martinez to come within reach to punish him as he came in.
Perhaps the most obvious observation was, though Harris was definitely bringing the fight to Martinez, his punches simply didn’t carry the pop of Martinez’s who was also able to absorb the punches better. On several occasions, Martinez would feint, wait for Harris to flinch, and follow up with a real punch that would pop Harris’ head back like a bobble-head.
In the middle rounds, both fighters traded heavy leather in the middle of the ring with Martinez delivering fast combinations to the body of Harris. At the end of the seventh round, Harris stole the crowd’s attention with a perfectly timed punch landed on Martinez right before the round-ending bell.
Every time Harris landed anything of significance, Martinez would make him pay with vicious three-punch combinations both to the head and body as to want to punish him for even thinking about catching him with a decent punch in front of his Mexican crowd. In the 10th round, Martinez finally sent Harris to the canvas with a brutal body shot, and though he was able to get up, Martinez persisted with the bodywork stalking Harris like a predator with his prey.
For the championship rounds, Harris fought back as if he hadn’t tasted the canvas at all, showing the passion and heart with every punch thrown. After 12 rounds of grueling action, Martinez retained his titles with the judges scoring the bout 118-109. 116-111, and 115-112.
In his post-fight interview, Martinez thanked his family and his corner as well as his colonias in Mexico City as the crowd chanted his name in the stands. Though Martinez didn’t call out anyone specifically, he claimed he wanted a unification match next, “Con todo menos con miedo.”
In the card’s heavyweight bout, former heavyweight champion Joseph Parker delivered a marvelous fifth-round knockout victory against Shawndell Winters.
In the early rounds, Parker showed the inactivity would not be a factor using his jab to maintain distance and set up powerful punches both to the head and body of Winters. A massive right hand floored Winters in the third assault, who was able to beat the count and survive the remainder of the round.
The fourth round was more competitive with the U.S. fighter clinching on to hopes of upsetting the former champion; however, Winters would go down and stay down in the fifth round with three vicious right hands followed by a left. Though Winters eventually got up, The ref waved off the action making Parker’s first fight in eight months a successful one.
Slow Motion Brutality. 😨 pic.twitter.com/DfIgGJCyDM
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) March 1, 2020
In a WBA junior middleweight title elimination bout, Israil “The Dream” Madimov earned a TKO victory in minute 2:24 of the sixth round to add Charlie Navarro’s name to his list of victims on his perfect knockout streak.
In the early rounds, Madrimov landed massive left hands which sent Navarro back against the ropes. Though Madrimov displayed superior agility and footwork, his wild wide swings made him miss and even stumble at times, giving Navarro the opportunity to land his own punches.
In the fourth round, Madrimov unraveled a fury of punches as Navarro crouched over for cover like a rollie pollie. Failing in his attempts to land anything to earn Madrimov’s respect, the middle rounds unfolded with Navarro being the victim of Madrimov’s relentless attack.
The end came in the sixth round with a tremendous body shot from Madrimov which sent Navarro squirming to the canvas. Almost immediately after getting up, Madrimov landed another body shot to send Navarro to the canvas for good. With the ref waving the fight off, Madrimov did his usual backflip in the middle of the ring in celebration.
Body shots & backflips, that's how Madrimov does it. 😱 pic.twitter.com/aQqqm0WNCC
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) March 1, 2020
Fast-rising South Central LA prospect Diego Pacheco scored a dominant unanimous decision over Texas Native Oscar Riojas, remaining undefeated but breaking his six-fight knockout streak.
Always the taller fighter, Pacheco immediately put his height and reach advantage to use, jabbing away at Riojas to establish his rhythm. Rioja’s legs buckled as Pacheco delivered stiff jabs and powerful right hands on the more seasoned fighter.
Though Riojas was visibly bothered by Pacheco’s heavy hands even with the simple jabs connected, Pacheco remained calm instead of getting reckless with his shots. Refusing to fold, Riojas continued to come forward and look for openings to the body to slow down his attacker.
In the fourth, Rioja found himself staggered once again against the ropes, managing to step away from the one-two’s to survive the round. In the fifth assault, Riojas attempted to rush Pachecho with a set of punches, only to be reminded of Pacheco’s power being sent back to bounce off the ropes.
Unable to finish his opponent, Pacheco scored perfect scorecards of 60-54 in all three judges scorecards. Post-fight, Pacheco told Xicana Boxing he suffered a hand injury.
“[My corner] wanted me to get some rounds,” Pacheco told Xicana Boxing. “I hurt my hand really bad in the second round, but I kept pushing it and I tried my best. My main thing was not to get hit, because I felt his punch and he was pretty strong. He didn’t catch me with any good punches and I felt pretty good all around.”
Las Vegas super middleweight prospect Alexis Espino delivered an entertaining performance overcoming Delvecchio Savage by unanimous decision in a six-round super middleweight bout.
In the first two rounds round, both fighters landed significant punches, though Espino’s quicker hands earned him the better of the exchanges. In the third round, Savage picked up his aggressiveness though Espino effectively countered and maintained his composure.
Delvecchio persisted in his attack in the fourth assault, landing head-shots which turned Espino’s cheeks red. The young prospect, however, cornered Delvecchio and landed a clean uppercut that got the crowd chanting his name. The action continued in the sixth round with both fighters exchanging punches, with Espino having more success at breaking in his opponent’s guard.
Espino continued to impose his dominance in the final round but got a warning from the ref for pushing Delvecchio against the ropes. After the warning, Espino went right back to his attack, targetting the body of the Alabama Native. In the last ten seconds, an explosive back-and-forth ensued with both fighters landing impressive punches as the crowd cheered around the arena.
After six rounds of action, Espino came on top in all three judges scorecards 60-54 and 59-55 x2,
Leo Ruiz Acevedo earned a stoppage over Dennis “Pawnee Express” Knifechief at 1:44 seconds of the third round. Acevedo took control since the opening bell, delivering heavy punches over his the Oklahoma fighter who kept coming forward regardless of the punishment. Though Knifechief was most efficient trading in the middle of the ring, Acevedo eventually cornered him against the ropes and pummeled away causing the ref to step in and put an end to the action.
In the first fight of the card, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez out of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy scored an eighth-round TKO victory over Marcos “El Lobito” Sustaita to keep his undefeated record intact. The San Antonio fighter improves to 11 victories and seven knockouts as he continues his journey in the junior flyweight division.