In what was a desultory 12 round affair at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York, Danny Garcia scored a majority decision (that really wasn't all that close) against the hobbled Jose Benavidez. There wasn't much in the way of sustained action, or anything particularly memorable in this junior middleweight contest.
It was akin to seeing two Prius' drag racing.
But it was Garcia who was more willing to step on the gas pedal, and it was he that carried the action. After 12 rounds two judges had him up by the scores of 116-112 (Glenn Feldman) and 117-111 (Tony Paolillo), while Waleksa Roldan inexplicably had this fight dead even at 114-114.
Amanda Wescott for Showtime Sports
For Garcia it was his first outing in 19 months, having been sidelined since his December 2000 loss to Errol Spence. In the post-fight interview, he revealed that he was going through some things internally.
“I did take a break going through mental things, things went dark, I went through anxiety, deep depression, just trying to be strong,” said a visibly emotional Garcia, to Jim Grey of Showtime. “It was the pressure of life, being a good dad, just letting it out right now, because it was all stuck inside. It rained on me for a year and a half and the only way to do better was to fight again. I’m a fighter. If you battle anxiety and depression, you can get out of it, that’s what I did today. I fought.”
It was a solid effort for a fighter who was a unified champion at 140, and captured a title at 147. It's not clear just how effective he is as a junior middleweight. Truth be told he faced a fighter in Benavidez who is certainly on the back nine, and has never been the same fighter since getting shot in the leg several years ago.
Amanda Westcott for Showtime Sports
So what's next for Garcia?
He stated, "I’d like the rematch with Keith Thurman, he took my ‘0,’” said Garcia. “I’ll also take [WBA Middleweight Champion] Erislandy Lara for the middleweight title at 154 pounds.”
Some interesting stuff happened before the Showtime main event, the opening bout featured undefeated junior welterweight, Gary Antuanne Russell, against veteran Rances Barthelemy. What was an interesting fight -- that saw Russell get buzzed more than once -- came to a very unsatisfying conclusion as referee Shada (or is it 'Shady'?) Murdaugh waved off the bout after Barthelemy was knocked down in round six.
Barthelemy got up around the count of three, seemed to follow all the instructions of Murdaugh, and looked ready to move forward. But inexplicably the fight was waved off. Orlando Cuellar, the trainer of Barthelemy was incensed by the decision.
Can't say I blame him. It was an awful decision.
Al Bernsteins tweet
Then in the co-feature, the skid of Adam Kownacki continued as he suffered his third consecutive loss as he was out-worked by the steady and methodical Ali Eren Demirezen over 10 rounds. While Kownacki started quickly in the opening two frames, his work rate declined rapidly and he was consistently beat to the punch time and time again.
There was a time when Kownacki was a rising heavyweight contender, who had a large Polish following. But after going through a 12 round battle against Chris Arreola in the summer of 2019 he hasn't been the same guy. He was then upset by Robert Helenius in his next bout, and then proceeded to get stopped in the rematch last October. Now, after this weekend you have to wonder just where he goes from here.
Amanda Westcott for Showtime Sports
But it has to be asked, does he question the decision of his management to turn down lucrative paydays against Anthony Joshua a few years ago as Jarrell Miller's failed drug tests, and more recently an seven-figure opportunity against Derek Chisora.
Now, he looks like a spent bullet, and those potential paydays in the rear view mirror.
Word came out on Saturday that the bout between Jake Paul and Hasim Rahman Jr. would be scrapped, and with that, the whole event which was to take place at Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple was canceled.
The bottom line is that Rahman Jr. would not be able to make the agreed upon weight of 200 pounds. Which then set off a war of words between the two. But it has to be stated, Rahman Jr. agreed to the weight, nobody put a gun to his head. Yeah, you could argue that Paul was trying to drain Rahman Jr, no argument, but ultimately, it was his decision to put his name on the dotted line.
You had to know what you were getting into.
Now, does the WBC still give Paul a ranking at cruiserweight?
Seniesa Estrada has signed a new multi-fight deal with Top Rank. Look for her to return in the ring in the fall...Alnur Abduraimov, who scored a first round KO of Leonel Moreno on Thursday night at Fantasy Springs Casino, looks like he's going to be a handful at 130....OK, so fall camps for college football teams begin later this week. Yeah, I'm ready....I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org....