Garcia decisions Herrera, Wilder destroys Scott
WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia (28-0, 16 KO’s) defeated challenger Mauricio Herrera (20-4, 7 KO’s) by a 12 round majority decision on Saturday night at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
The final judges scores were 114-114, 116-112, 116-112.
Garcia, coming off a unanimous decision win over Argentina's Lucas Matthysse in September, looked below par from the off, although Herrera disrupted him with his odd angles, an effective jab and good body work.
Herrera landed more punches, and was the busier fighter by far. Garcia’s nose was bloodied and his eyes swollen up.
Garcia's left hook - arguably his best punch - just was not a factor until the middle rounds, and even then it did not appear to be the weapon it usually is.
The WBC had open scoring in effect, though they kept announcing the scores a full round after it mattered - after round five for the first four, after round nine for the first eight.
Both times, it was clear that Garcia was going to win the fight and he paid credit to his veteran opponent after the bout.
"He's a crafty veteran, and I know every time I step into the ring, every contender I fight wants what I got. He's a good fighter and it was a good challenge," he told Showtime.
"I just had to make adjustments, I just had to push the fight. I'm a true champion. I make adjustments."
Herrera, too, felt he deserved the win, but he handled his loss with dignity, commenting: "I felt I won the fight. I felt I landed more punches.
"A lot of his shots - the crowd was screaming when they weren't landing. I thought it was close, but I won the fight."
This was Garcia's fifth defence of the WBC crown he won by taking a unanimous decision over Mexico's Erik Morales in 2012. It was his fourth defence of the WBA title since toppling England's Amir Khan in the same year.
Also on the card, unbeaten heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder (31-0) scored his 31st consecutive knockout in defeating Malik Scott (36-2-1) courtesy of a first-round knockout.
Deontay landed a left-right combination that put Scott down on the canvas. He tried to get back to his feet but he was too hurt to get up.
In a career-saving win, Juan Manuel Lopez (34-3, 31 KO's) stopped Daniel Ponce De Leon (45-6, 35 KO's) in the 2nd round.
De Leon dropped Lopez with a left hook in the 2nd round. However, Lopez got up and when De Leon opened up and blasted away, Lopez nailed De Leon with a right hook to the head that knocked him down.
When De Leon got back to his feet, Lopez unloaded on him with a flurry of punches that put him down for the second time in the round. After De Leon got back up he was getting tagged by Lopez, prompting referee Luis Pabon to stop the fight.
The fight was halted officially at 2:44 of the 2nd round.
Lopez stopped De Leon in the 1st round in 2008.
Middleweight contender Daniel Jacobs (27-1, 24 KO’s) crushed Milton Nunez (26-10-1, 24 KO’s) in the 1st round.
Jacobs dropped Nunez three times before the fight was halted at 2:25 of the round. With this win, Jacobs could be challenging for the WBO middleweight title against champion Peter Quillin.