Undefeated world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs)put on a show for fans in his hometown Saturday night as he dropped and stopped Colombia’s Samuel Vargas (25-3-1, 13 KOs)on his way to a seventh round TKO victory in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on Spike from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
The dominant performance by Garcia officially setup a welterweight world championship unification showdown in March against Keith “One Time” Thurman, who was in attendance as part of Spike’s broadcasting crew. The two welterweight world champions met in the middle of the ring after the conclusion of the bout and began to set the stage for their explosive showdown.
“I just had to tell Keith that he’s next,” said Garcia. “I’m going to beat him down. There’s not much more to say. Keith is going to get what he asked for and now he’s going to face a big dog.”
“You have two big punchers meeting on March 4,” said Thurman. “I don’t see how the fight can go 12 rounds. I see myself as the best competition that Danny has ever faced.”
Garcia was sharp offensively and defensively Saturday night, making Vargas miss often and countering with powerful shots. He started slow but late in the second round, Garcia delivered an overhand right hand that sent Vargas tumbling to the canvas.
“I felt a little rusty,” said Garcia. “But I started putting my punches together well and came out with the victory. The overhand right knocked him down. It was just a well-timed shot.”
“I got beat up in there,” said Vargas. “It takes a lot of courage to come to North Philadelphia and fight the champ. It just wasn’t my night.”
Vargas continued to come forward and work, but Garcia was entirely in control, making Vargas swing at air while delivering shots of his own that kept him in command. In the seventh round, Garcia began to unload with a series of big shots that hurt Vargas on the ropes. This eventually prompted referee Gary Rosato to stop the fight 2:17 into the round.
“It was great to give back to my fans in Philadelphia,” said Garcia. “It was a long time coming. I’m just happy I was able to give Philly a great night. I’m a Philly champion and it was great to see guys like Allen Iverson and Meek Mill out here supporting. Most importantly it felt great to give back to those in need in my city.”
“Danny is a great fighter and a great person for his city,” said Vargas.
With the March 4 unification fight now set, boxing fans can look forward to seeing two of the best fighters in the sport put their undefeated records and world titles on the line.
“Danny can talk whatever he wants and Angel Garcia can say whatever he wants,” said Thurman. “They can talk smack all day. Danny is real flat-footed. I believe I’ll be able to be on the outside, see the wide punches and counter punch. They said he wanted the tune-up, now he’s ready to see me.”
“On March 4, fans can expect what they always get from me,” said Garcia. “It’s going to be fireworks. I’m a Philly champion. I have the heart of a champion and I’m coming to win and unify titles.”
The co-main event of the evening saw undefeated rising star Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs) stop former title challenger Jo Jo Dan (35-4, 18 KOs)in the sixth-round of their super welterweight battle.
The smaller Dan sought to smother Hurd from the beginning and negate the previously unbeaten fighter’s advantage in reach and height. Hurd was unable to get full power behind his punches, while Dan tried to hit Hurd with short punches, mainly to the body.
“We knew he was a crafty southpaw,” said Hurd. “We wanted to take our time because we didn’t know how he would come out. We felt him out at first.”
“The weight was a big difference,” said Dan. “I took the fight on short notice and I’m a 147-pound fighter. He was too strong for me tonight.”
Things began to open up for Hurd in round two as he began to tee off on the head of Dan, including a thudding left that caused Dan’s nose to bleed. Hurd continued to pummel Dan, mixing in looping shots to the body with his devastating array of hooks and uppercuts.
“My defense was a little off because being prepared for a right hander,” said Hurd. “We fixed that in the last round and got the stoppage.”
The damage continued into the sixth round as Dan kept coming forward but was consistently met with hard shots from Hurd. The fight was finally called at 1:08 into the sixth round, on the advice of Dan’s corner.
“He was wobbly and shaky,” said Hurd. “I probably would have taken him out in the next round. There are a lot of great fighters in this division and whoever I can get in there with next, I’ll be ready for.”
“He’s a tough guy,” said Dan. “I gave him some tough shots and I took some good shots. At the end of the day this is boxing. I couldn’t do enough to get the win.”
The opening bout of the telecast saw former world champion Javier Fortuna (31-1-1, 22 KOs) survive an early knockdown to come back and earn a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Omar Douglas (17-1, 12 KOs) in their 10-round lightweight match.
Douglas got off to the better start, connecting with a straight left hand late in the first round that buckled the knees of Fortuna and sent him to the canvas.
“He got me cold in the first round,” said Fortuna. “I wasn’t surprised that he came out sharp. I worked very hard to come back.”
“The left hand was there for me so I took it,” said Douglas. “I knocked him down based on reflexes.”
Fortuna recovered nicely however, and used his movement and combination punching to fluster the less experienced Douglas. Fighting primarily out of the southpaw stance, Fortuna used his jab and followed up with flurries that score consistently.
“Every time that I was aggressive, I tried to follow it up with more punches,” said Fortuna.
Douglas tried to be patient and counter, but too often it led to the fighters getting tangled up instead of inflicting damage.
“He was grabbing me, but that’s the game” said Douglas. “That’s the game I signed up for.”
The final round saw Fortuna come out strong in an attempt to close the show with emphasis.
“I knew in the final round that I had to finish it well to make sure there were no questions,” said Fortuna.
The former champion connected at will on Douglas for much of the round, staggering him near the ropes with successive hooks. Douglas stayed on his feet but was unable to mount enough offense as all three judges gave the final round to Fortuna. In the end, the judges scored the bout 96-93 twice and 95-94 for Fortuna.
“I feel like I won the fight. The decision was absurd. He held me the whole fight,” said Douglas.
“I felt like I won just about every round after the first,” said Fortuna. “I want a rematch with Jason Sosa next. That’s a very big fight for me.”
Salita Strikes Again, as ‘Detroit Brawl’ Leaves Motown Boxing Fans Breathless
Promoter Dmitriy Salita and his matchmaker, Dennis Turner, did it again tonight (Saturday, November 12) with their latest “Detroit Brawl” at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit, as they put on another terrific night of fights.
The left side of the bout sheet is never a haven on a Salita show and tonight was another example of that.
In the six-round bantamweight main event, Detroit’s undefeated James “OG” Gordon Smith (11-0, 6 KOs) put on another of his typical performances, meaning he was in a back-and-forth slugfest, this time against a battle tank made in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, named Olim “The Muslim Warrior” Nazarov (14-3, 8 KOs).
With all the trimmings of a Smith fight: momentum changes and bombs landing to the “oohs and ahhs” of the crowd, Smith managed to outwork Nazarov on his way to a unanimous decision (scores 59-55, 58-56 and 58-56).
Smith tried to jab and move, but can’t resist a good war. After being clubbed by a few of the Uzbek’s powerful shots, it was bombs away for five entertaining rounds of action. The Detroiter deserves plenty of credit for this victory, as Nazarov was a world, Asian and four-time Uzbekistani champion in the amateurs.
In the six-round lightweight co-main event, Muheeb “Flashy” Fazeldin (9-0-1, 3 KOs) from Sheffield, United Kingdom via Yemen, won a six-round unanimous decision over Modesto, California’s Michael Gaxiola (4-9).
Fazeldin landed more punches, compared to Gaxiola’s harder, less frequent offerings. The real story lies in Fazeldin’s thug-like gang of fans, who over-run the ring after all his fights and basically create a serious safety hazard for the rest of the fans in attendance.
Fazeldin’s unjustified showboating, paired with the unruly mob who support him, do nothing for his likeability. Leave it at that.
The scores were 58-56, 60-54 and 58-56.
Toledo, Ohio, welterweight Wesley “Casanova” Tucker (13-0, 8 KOs) made the most of his promotional debut under the Salita Promotions banner by annihilating poor Richard Hall (11-25-3, 7 KOs) in 47 seconds.
What was supposed to be a six-round showcase was over before the ring announcer sat back down, as Tucker went straight for the kill behind blazing fists that pounded Hall into the floor like a carpenter’s nail.
In many ways, things didn’t go according to the usual script in the six-round super lightweight battle between transplanted Georgian Giorgi “Goga” Gelashvili and Detroit’s “Lightning” Larry Ventus.
Ventus came in with an upside-down record of 6-11-1, 3 KOs, and, pre-fight, appeared to be mere cannon fodder for the undefeated Gelashvili… That’s not what happened.
What unfolded instead was a well-trained and highly skilled Ventus putting on a focused and impressive performance, winning a surprise split decision (57-56 Gelashvili, 59-54 Ventus and 57-56 Ventus).
In an entertaining scrap between two foes who seemed to genuinely dislike each other, Ventus’ pinpoint counters and slick head movement overshadowed the work of the more aggressive Gelashvili.
No shame in losing, the always entertaining Gelashvili lost a questionable point in round four for holding, which, per the judges, cost him a draw and his undefeated record (now 5-1, 3 KOs). Ventus, for one fight at least, appears to have been reborn as an ice-cold ring assassin with laser-like accuracy and thudding power.
Detroit’s Zach Shamoun and Dallas, Texas’ Charles Clark went to war for four entertaining rounds in their bantamweight slugfest.
In a back-and-forth battle of attrition, Shamoun (4-0-2, 3 KOs) got the better early with heavy combinations, but Clark (1-1-1, 1 KO) took over in the final two rounds and nearly scored the stoppage.
Credit the local judges for not awarding a robbery to the local. The scores were 38-38, 39-37 and 38-38 for a well-deserved majority draw. Shamoun saved his undefeated record by not going down under heavy fire in round three. These two showed tremendous heart in this this thriller and they should do it again.
Fighting at the preliminary level, it’s hard to get a read on fighters like Detroit’s Ja’Rico “Great Lakes King” O’Quinn because they tear through their opposition too quickly to show their true mettle.
The former amateur standout O’Quinn, now a professional bantamweight, stayed undefeated (4-0, 3 KOs) by tearing up Wilson, North Carolina’s Robert Allen Jr. (0-2) in 1:30 of the first round. So far, the talented O’Quinn looks like the real thing, but only stronger opposition in the future will tell the true tale.
In the four-round welterweight opener, Detroit’s Raphael Sinegal pitched a shutout against Flint veteran Darryol Humphery, winning a unanimous decision (40-35 X 3).
Aside from going down in the first for an eight count, Humphery (2-7) used his veteran tricks to stay out of danger, but didn’t mount a consistent offense. Sinegal (now 2-1, 1 KO) clearly wanted to fight, but didn’t have a willing enough dance partner.
Lopez stops Valcarcel in 8th and final round
Adam Lopez remained undefeated with a 8th and final round stoppage over Carlos Valcarcel at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
The show was promoted by GH3 Promotions and Victory Promotions.
Lopez of San Antonio, Texas,dominated the action over the crafty veteran, and systematically broke down Valcarcel. Lopez, who is coming off a controversial draw with Roman Reynoso in July, won each round and, started to really get to Valcarcel in the 6th frame. In round eight, Lopez landed a huge left to the body that sent Valcarcel down for the 10-count at 1:47.
Lopez, who is ranked number-4 by the WBA is now 16-0-1 with 8 knockouts. Valcarcel of Miami, Florida is 14-9-3.
“It was a tough fight, but I knew what I had to do,” said Lopez.
“I was sick with a virus last week, so it got to me in the later rounds. I knew that I had the power and I just set up the knockout punch. I knew that I started to hurt him in the last few rounds, and I would be able to get him out of there. My corner knew it too, and told me to get him earlier. Right now I will fight anyone my teams tells me to.
Welterweight prospect Ed Brown won a workmanlike 8-round unanimous decision over Albert Mensah in a junior welterweight bout.
Brown of Chicago won two cards 80-72 and 79-73 and is now 20-0. Mensah of Accra, Ghana is 29-6-1.
Jaron Ennis stopped Chrisshawn Alexander after round four of their six round welterweight bout.
Ennis scored a knockdown in round four from a straight left from the southpaw stance. After the round, Alexander could not continue.
Ennis of Philadelphia is 7-0 with six knockouts. Alexander of Norfolk, VA is 4-4.
Kenneth Sims, Jr. won a 6-round unanimous decision over Jonathan Dinong in a junior welterweight bout.
Sims of Chicago, IL won all cards 60-54 and is now 10-0. Dinong of Monterey Park, CA is 5-2.
Perennial spoiler Taneal Goyco withstood an early storm from Jerry Odom, and came back to stop the big punching Odom at the end of round five of their scheduled eight round super middleweight bout.
Odom rocked Goyco several times over the first two rounds. The bout turned when Goyco started to land hard shots that began to snap the head of Odom back. Goyco had Odom in trouble several times and ultimately Odom could not continue after the 5th frame.
Goyco of Philadelphia is now 9-9-1 with 4 knockouts. Odom of Washington, DC is now 14-3-1.
Emmanuel Folly destroyed Tibor Nadori inside of a round of their scheduled 4-round junior featherweight bout.
Folly scored 2 knockdowns and the bout was stopped at 2:02.
Folly of Philadelphia is now 8-0 with 6 knockouts. Nadori of Leeds, England is 9-7-1.
Joshua Jones remained undefeated by winning a 4-round unanimous decision over Corey Edwards in a lightweight bout.
Jones of Philadelphia won by score of 40-36 twice and 39-37 and is now 3-0-1. Edwards of South Carolina is now 2-2.
Derrick Webster stopped Zoltan Sera in round five of a scheduled six round super middleweight bout.
Webster dropped Sera seconds into the fight with a right hook. In round two, Sera was cut over the right eye. In round four, Webster scored a second knockdown with a hard combination.
In round five, Webster dropped Sera with a left hand and the fight was stopped at 1:28.
Webster of Glassboro, NJ is now 21-1 with 11 knockouts. Sera of Hungary is 26-11.
Hushiddek Noratov won a 6-round unanimous decision over Lenwood Dozier in a junior middleweight bout.
Noratov of Andijan, Uzbekistan won by scores of 60-54 on all cards and is now 3-0/ Dozier of Suitland, MD is 10-14-2.
LeRoy Davila remained undefeated by scoring a 4-round unanimous decision over Damon Simon in a bantamweight bout.
Davila rocked Simon in round three with a heavy combination.
Davila of New Brunswick, NJ won by scores of 40-35 twice and 40-36 and is now 4-0. Simon of Beaumont, TX is 0-5-1.