Hector Garcia took benefit of the chance of his life on Saturday night time.
The little-known underdog largely overshadowed his 130-pound rival Chris Colbert on his approach to defeating the raucous Brooklyn native and successful a 12-round unanimous choice win in Showtime’s predominant occasion from Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Colbert (16-1, 6 KOs) did not deal nicely with Dominican Southpau stress or physique punches.
Judges Dave Moretti (118-109), Patricia Morse Jarman (119-108) and Steve Weisfeld (118-109) gave Garcia a transparent credit score for his work, which included a seventh-round knockout.
Garcia’s confidence was by no means shaken, as Colbert hit his head and physique in a totally one-sided struggle. Caesars Sportsbook put Colbert because the 22-1 candidate earlier than being teased by Garcia, late substitute for WBA champion Roger Gutierrez.
The 30-year-old Garcia (15-0, 10 KOs, 3 NC), the 2016 Olympian for the Dominican Republic, has fought over 300 beginner fights. His expertise was as clear as his energy throughout his second televised struggle solely in the US.
“After I was advised three weeks in the past that I used to be going to take this struggle, I noticed in my eyes that my life would change,” Garcia advised Showtime’s Jim Grey by an interpreter. “So, I wanted to be at my finest.”
Garcia had the perfect efficiency of his profession with out his head coach, Ismael Salas, in his nook. Assistant coach Bob Santos served as Garcia’s second boss as Salas traveled to Glasgow, Scotland, for two-time Olympic gold medalist Ruby Ramirez within the third spherical to cease Eric Donovan on Josh Taylor’s Jack Caterall card at OVO Hydro.
Garcia added, “I need to give a variety of credit score to Professor Ismael Salas, who gave me the boldness to say, ‘You may win this struggle.’”
Garcia took on this struggle at lower than three weeks’ discover. Colbert Gutierrez was speculated to struggle for the world tremendous featherweight title for Gutierrez, however Gutierrez contracted COVID-19 throughout coaching and withdrew from what was speculated to be a compulsory title protection.
Colbert Garcia was a playoff match, and thus Garcia expects to problem Argentina’s Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KOs) in his subsequent struggle.
Colbert gave Garcia credit score for his accomplishments.
“I need to thank everybody who got here right here to assist me,” Colbert stated. “I am sorry I allow you to all down, however tonight he was only a higher man. I will take my defeats whereas I take [wins], as a person. I’ll hold my head up and wish it again. Let’s do it once more.”
Colbert wouldn’t use a late substitution in his opponents, from the suitable fighter to the south, as justification for his first defeat.
“No no no no. It isn’t a disappointment, nothing like that,” Colbert stated. “There aren’t any excuses. I will take my losses the way in which I take my earnings. He was the perfect man tonight. Let’s convey it again once more.”
Needing a knockout, Colbert tried to hit her with Garcia as soon as the twelfth spherical started. Garcia’s energy quickly made him ponder that technique and compelled Colbert to show away from him.
Clearly nicely forward of the factors, Garcia crushed Colbert throughout Spherical 11 by one. Colbert shied away from him at occasions, when he clearly wanted to assault an opponent who was clearly forward on factors.
Referee Kenny Bayliss blamed Colbert for pushing Garcia 35 seconds into the tenth spherical. Straight left from Garcia shot Colbert into the nook with 1:35 to go within the tenth spherical.
Colbert tied Garcia only a minute earlier than the tenth spherical. Garcia later dumped a lineup on Colbert when he was put into the nook.
Colbert slammed Garcia together with his proper hand throughout the eighth spherical, however Garcia took it nicely. This offered not less than proof that Colbert would struggle onerous to stay undefeated.
After sending Colbert to the board throughout the seventh spherical, Garcia beat him once more throughout the eighth spherical. Garcia threw heavy punches to the pinnacle and physique within the eighth spherical, when he supported a match however outplayed Colbert on the ropes and hit him.
Garcia hit Colbert with two related dribs with simply over 1:40 left within the seventh spherical. Garcia Colbert’s reverse left hand hit the again with 1:15 on the clock in spherical seven.
Colbert had risen from the primary knockout of his profession by the point Bayliss was as much as 5. He caught as soon as the motion resumed and moved his means towards the bell to complete the spherical, however not earlier than Garcia dropped a pair tougher.
Colbert’s reverse proper hand touched down early within the sixth spherical. Colbert took a nook kick later within the sixth spherical and Garcia waved ahead.
Garcia pressured by highly effective pictures to Colbert’s head and physique. He stopped Colbert in his observe with a left hand that landed with 30 seconds to go in spherical six.
Garcia tattooed Colbert’s higher left straight backing him within the ropes with a 25-second clock within the fifth spherical. The underdog had his means with Colbert that spherical when Colbert acquired again on the ropes, though Colbert pulled off early within the fifth when he saved the motion in the course of the ring.
Aggressive Garcia pressed Colbert all through the fourth spherical, as he continued to throw physique pictures and constantly moved Colbert backwards. Colbert waved it ahead, however apparently had a tough time coping with Garcia’s work and dynamism.
Colbert stood again house and hit him with Garcia within the third spherical. Garcia missed lots of his makes an attempt to move Colbert, however continued to hunt Colbert together with his physique.
Colbert Garcia dug proper into his physique by about 35 seconds to go within the third spherical. Garcia landed straight left within the ultimate 10 seconds of the third spherical, re-shooting Colbert together with his proper hand.
Colbert stood and traded with Garcia all through the second spherical, however Garcia managed to high out once more in these three minutes. Garcia continued to chase Colbert’s physique and Colbert grabbed a hook bouncing proper on the finish of the second spherical.
Garcia landed onerous left on Colbert’s physique after which grabbed him with a heavy blow within the first minute of the primary spherical. Garcia continued hitting Colbert with the left within the physique throughout the first spherical.
Keith Edick is a senior author/columnist at BoxingScene.com. He will be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.