Welterweight contender Jones stops Garcia
Mike Jones stopped Irving Garcia in the fifth round of their welterweight fight at Boardwalk Hall on Friday night.
Jones of the United States, now 22-0 with 18 knockouts, capped a 10-punch flurry with a left hook to the midsection. Garcia dropped to his knees and stayed on the canvas while referee Randy Neumann counted the Puerto Rican out at 1 minute, 22 seconds of the round.
''I saw his legs start to buckle every time I hit him to the body, so I tried to capitalize on that,'' Jones said. ''I stepped it up a little more each round and I thought I did a good job of breaking him down.''
Jones may have earned the right to challenge Manny Pacquiao, who holds the WBO belt, or WBC champ Andre Berto.
''I'd really like to fight Berto for the title,'' Jones said.
If Jones can't secure a title shot, there was some thought before the fight that he would take on Antwone Smith in a showdown of top contenders.
That plan fell apart earlier Friday, when Smith (18-2-1, 10 KOs) was stopped in the ninth by fellow-American Lanardo Tyner (24-3, 15 KOs).
Tyner landed a powerful left hook to the body that caused Smith to sag against the ropes and ultimately drop to one knee. He got up at eight, but referee Earl Morton stopped it at 1 minute, 15 seconds.
''I landed that punch clean and I knew he was hurt because I felt my fist go all the way through,'' Tyner said. ''This is a big win for me. I needed this one bad and I went out and got it. Now I want to fight Jones.''