In what some considered a do-or-die fight even though he is undefeated, Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia out-pointed Robert Guerrero over 12 rounds to capture the vacant WBC welterweight championship. His triumph headlined the Premier Boxing Champions on Fox card from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and placed him smack dab in the middle of a plethora of super fights in the division.
Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) took a few rounds to get warmed up and figure out the lankier, much more aggressive Guerrero, but when he did, “The Ghost” couldn’t regroup and wound up losing badly toward the end. Garcia boxed beautifully when he needed, and when “Swift” decided to oblige the Gilroy, Calif. fighter in an inside brawl, his hands were too quick and his movement was superb.
Garcia nearly swept the second half of the fight on all the judges’ scorecards as his lethal left hook was disguised almost perfectly behind his sneaky lead right. Guerrero (33-4-1, 18 KOs) had tremendous difficulty in timing Garcia’s leads and counters and by the time the championship rounds rolled around, the former 130-pound champion had to go for broke.
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Garcia disallowed Guerrero the opportunity of a dramatic come-from-behind shocker and opted to slug it out toe-to-toe with Robert for the final 10 to 15 seconds of the fight. In the end, Garcia was too sharp with his shots and won a unanimous decision via tallies of 116-112 on all three official scorecards. Sherdog.com also favored the Philadelphian by the exact margin.
“I knew Guerrero is a warrior,” said Garcia after his conquest, though he never took his opponent off his feet. “I knew he would come to fight. I thought I won the fight clearly and the judges thought the same thing. I’m a two-division champion.”
Garcia scooped up the title that was vacated when Floyd Mayweather retired from boxing. His new WBC welterweight title is now added to the WBC and WBA titles he won at junior welter and now he stands firmly at 147 pounds surrounded by multiple potential mega fights with some of the sport’s best.
“I want to fight the best,” he barked. “Whatever my team wants, I want the best. Tonight I showed that I could fight a tough veteran, stand toe-to-toe and win the fight.”
Welterweight contender Sammy Vasquez was able to remain unbeaten with a dominant performance against Aron Martinez, stopping him after six rounds had concluded. Vasquez was sharp throughout the matchup as he boxed beautifully on the outside with movement and his jab, and when Martinez tried to slug it out, “Sergeant” obliged and beat him to the punch repeatedly.
Though neither man was ever knocked down or even rocked, Martinez had to bow out of the fight on his stool before the seventh round began. At some point in either the fifth or sixth, Martinez suffered a badly injured hand and quit on his stool between rounds. Vasquez, who did two tours of war in the Middle East while with the Army Reserves, improved to 21-0 with 15 KOs with the win. Martinez dipped to 20-5-1 (4).
In the opening bout on the telecast, heavyweight prospect Dominic Breazeale was able to survive a knockdown in the third and a surprising pounding at the hands of Amir Mansour before clubbing his way to a TKO victory. Breazeale was rocked repeatedly in the contest as the ultra aggressive Mansour swarmed him throughout. But when the much taller 2012 U.S. Olympian cracked Mansour with a brutal right to the jaw in the fifth, that was all Amir could take.
Between rounds, Mansour told his corner that he couldn’t close his mouth and opted out of the fight due to what was later reported as a fractured jaw. Breazeale was able to remain unbeaten but he looked sluggish and vulnerable several times; he rose to 17-0 (15) nevertheless. Mansour fell to 22-2-1 with 16 KOs.