SAN DIEGO, June 15, 2013 – The WBO featherweight title remains vacant despite Mikey Garcia’s crushing fourth round knockout defeat of Juan Manuel Lopez in Dallas. Garcia’s failure to make the 126-pound weight limit for Saturday’s fight in Dallas meant he lost the title before he stepped in the ring.
But Garcia’s weight was a non-issue and not the reason for Lopez’s loss. The veteran Puerto Rican fighter was off balance and overmatched throughout the fight. It was his third loss and an especially ugly one.
Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs) put Lopez (33-3, 30 KOs) on the canvas in the second round, but remained patient and let Lopez get a little more worn down. When I dropped him, he wasn’t hurt that bad,” said Garcia. “He was still fresh, still hungry. I didn’t want to risk getting knocked out myself. So I waited a few rounds.”
Two rounds to be exact. In Round 4, Garcia unleashed a series of punches capped by a right to the head and a left hook that should be used by trainers as a demo video for young fighters. Lopez went straight back onto the canvas. He got up, but referee Rafael Ramos took a good look and stopped the fight at 1:35 of Round 4.
Garcia said he had been sick earlier in the week but didn’t want to let anyone know because he didn’t want to risk a cancellation. “Not what I wanted, not what I expected. It does suck … I did all I could to shrink down to 126, it was impossible.”
Is it time for Garcia to move up to the 130-pound weight class, where there are several intriguing opponents waiting for him? “I think I can still fight at the featherweight limit,” said Garcia. “It was just one of those things … I had a few days off last week, I got sick. I wasn’t going to tell anybody. I didn’t want to risk cancelling the show, cancelling the fight.”
But Garcia said 130 pounds is still an option; he said he would like to try it out and if it works out, stay there.
While I get irritated when fighters don’t make weight, a one-strike policy is too harsh. Fighters who don’t make weight should be put on notice that if they fail to make weight a second time, they must move up in weight class. Garcia should seriously consider moving up now. We will find out what he decides when he names his next opponent.
On Twitter, Abnes Mares tweeted how eager he was to fight Garcia. Fans responded with their enthusiatic support. Forget the weight issue for a minute, it’s never going to happen unless there is detente in the Golden Boy/Showtime vs. Top Rank/HBO war.
On the undercard, Omaha’s Terence Crawford (21-0, 16 KOs) remained undefeated with a sixth round TKO victory over Alejandro Sanabria (34-2-1) of Mexico. Perhaps the most important milestone of the fight for Crawford was proving that he could take a punch. Sanabria was game but fell victim to a left hook 17 seconds into the sixth round. He got to his feet, but referee Laurence Cole stopped the contest. Crawford is still untested but he’s a fighter to watch in the lightweight division.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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