Even under unique circumstances, Mikey Garcia impressive in American Airlines Center main event.
By STEVE HUNTFS Southwest
DALLAS -- Some might have thought Mikey Garcia didn't have much to fight for in Saturday night's main event with Juan Manuel Lopez. But that didn't stop the unbeaten Oxnard, California native from sending Lopez packing in short order before a live television audience on HBO.
Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs) was forced to vacate the WBO Featherweight Title at Friday's weigh-in when he didn't make weight. Lopez (33-3) could have captured the belt by winning Saturday's main event outright, but almost from the opening bell, it was clear that the Puerto Rican fighter was more than a bit overmatched in downtown Dallas.
After winning the opening round, Garcia began imposing his will on Lopez in the second, knocking his opponent down midway through the round with a strong one-two featuring his jab and a hook to the face of Lopez.
The California native delivered another strong performance in the third, setting the stage for an impressive final display midway through the fourth. That was when Garcia blistered Lopez with a left jab before stepping back and then finishing his opponent with a straight right to the face, ending the fight 1:35 into the round.
According to Robert Garcia, Mikey's older brother that final sequence went off exactly like he and the rest of the Garcia camp had been practicing for some time. "We practiced that stuff over and over-jab, step back and right hand," Robert Garcia said.
Famed ring announcer Michael Buffer introduced the evening's final two fights, which were called by the HBO boxing crew featuring the likes of Max Kellerman and Jim Lampley. Final attendance for the nine-bout card was announced at 5,605.
Crawford Captures NABO Lightweight Title in Sixth-Round Knockout
However, before Garcia and Lopez hit the ring for the night's main event, Terence Crawford remained unbeaten in capturing the NABO Lightweight Title with a sixth-round knockout of Alejandro Sanabria.
After feeling out Sanabria for most of the opening round, Crawford (21-0, 16 KOs) launched his offensive almost from the opening bell of round two. Early on, the native of Omaha, Nebraska seemed content to let Sanabria expend considerable energy and tire a bit before he went on the offensive.
Crawford, who softened up his foe with a hearty left jab, which was often followed by an equally formidable left hook and several other offerings in his arsenal, continued his offensive to start the third round.
The Nebraska product was also quite strong in the fourth, but delivered his best round of the night in the fifth round, when he punished Sanabria time after time, leaving the Mexico City native wobbling and poised for a knockdown or even a knockout.
And that exit came just 17 seconds into the sixth. Crawford attacked his opponent from the opening bell, drilling him with a left jab and then connecting with a left hook to Sanabria's head, which was the final blow he would land.
Valdez Dispatches Garcia Early in Second
In the final bout before the start of the HBO-televised portion of Saturday's card, Oscar Valdez made short work of Houston native Gil Garcia in a featherweight fight, winning via technical knockout 2:32 into the second round.
Valdez, 6-0, who hails from Nogales, Mexico, had knocked down Garcia early in the second round and after Garcia got up, Valdez quickly hit his opponent with a flurry and referee Laurence Cole stopped the fight less than a minute later.