Hector Garcia Dominates And Earns A Unanimous Decision Victory Over Chris Colbert
Chris Colbert looked to remind everyone why he's called “Primetime” and got canceled against late replacement Hector Luis Garcia losing in an upset to close out the Showtime broadcast from the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday night. The final scorecards favored Garcia (15-0, 10 KOs) in what was a pretty one-sided upset with all three judges 118-119 x 2 and 119-108.
Colbert (16-1, 6 KOs) came into this fight, the massive favorite with aspirations of challenging Gary Russell Jr. but was met with a game and undefeated Dominican Olympian in Garcia. The latter looked to take the fight to him from the opening bell.
In this title eliminator, Garcia's gameplan against Colbert worked in his favor in applying pressure and keeping Colbert on his back foot and against the ropes. What transpired over thirty-six minutes was exactly that as Colbert didn't have the firepower or the ability to keep Garcia from pressing and changing the course of this fight.
A picture-perfect counter left scored on the button for Garcia that sent Colbert down in the seventh round, and while Colbert beat the ten count of Kenny Bayless, Colbert spent the rest of the round and the fight as he started; on the defensive. So much so, the boo birds came out in the final round when this fight was pretty academic before the final bell. WBA Jr. Lightweight titlist Roger Gutierrez is next up for Garcia with the win against Colbert tonight.
After the fight, Garcia had this to say: “I definitely knew three weeks ago that my life would change. My trainers gave me the confidence to win this fight. In the ninth and tenth rounds, I hit him so hard. I knew I had him. I knew he wasn't going to be able to box anymore. I want to fight (Roger) Gutierrez next for the world title.“
A New Title Holder at 115
Jerwin Ancajas (33-2-2, 22 KOs) made his tenth defense of his IBF strap and kicked off the fight card, while challenger Fernando Martinez was looking to make it his last. Martinez (14-0, 8 KOs) would wind up winning by unanimous decision. We have a new champion at junior bantamweight as the underdog coming in is the new titleholder going out in an instant fight of the year candidate.
The action in this fight picked up in the second round when Ancajas started throwing to the body of Martinez, but Martinez was returning fire with left hooks that seemed to find a home all night long to the face of Ancajas. That seemed to be the tone of what would become an entertaining contest.
Ancajas' right eye was getting wrecked from left hooks by Martinez, and that seemed to be his focus all fight as he was headhunting as the fight wore on. Ancajas' attack early on was to focus on the body of Martinez. As the war went on, what went down was the action that was toe to toe and a fight that looked to ask who would be the last man standing?
421-833 Power shots were Martinez's final total, primarily to the head of Ancajas. That work would lead to the Compubox record of punches thrown between the two fighters at 115 lbs. Also, referee Jack Reiss had to keep close attention on the eye of Ancajas as the fight went on.
“It's very emotional for me: my mother, my kids, my father. There is so much I'm emotional about right now,” Martinez said after the fight. I'm the fifth champion from my region. It hurts so much that my father is not here. I'm just happy for my corner and everyone who supported me from Argentina. I'm at a loss for words. This is a dream come true. I made my dad's dream come true. He's not here tonight, but he always said I'd be standing here one day. And now I'll be able to buy my mom a house.”
While Martinez will now be in the real estate market after the win, he does have a rematch clause that the long-reigning champion Ancajas will likely look to enforce to regain the belt he held since September 2016.
Gary Antuanne Russell Halts Postol
Gary Antuanne Russell (15-0,15 KOs) was in the toughest test of his career. He looked to pass it solidly as he defeated former titleholder Viktor Postol in the tenth round.
Referee Mike Ortega stopped the fight at the 2:41 seconds mark of the final round. The right hand that caused the stoppage stunned Postol, who wasn't throwing back, and when Russell pounced, Ortega jumped in. It felt pretty weak given the action in the fight, but Russell was ahead 89-82, 89-82, and 88-83 at the time of the stoppage on the scorecards.
Russell came into this contest as the younger fighter, and this was a classic step-up fight in terms of ability to take on Postol. Postol dealt with outside elements as the native Ukrainian had his family back there during the current conflict with Russia. That played out over ten rounds as a learning experience for Russell as he was more fluid in the ring.
“Definitely (I think the fight should have been stopped). There was a lot of contacts. Low gloves. The judges made the correct decision,” Russell said post-fight. I think my performance speaks for itself. The talent speaks for itself. I believe I'm ready for a step-up fight.”
The biggest takeaway in the ring was that Russell established distance and range on the often difficult-to-solve Postol. While the action in the ring was hard to top from the opener between Ancjas-Martinez, Russell was able to show his variety of offense and gradually broke down Postol before the stoppage in the tenth.
“I just couldn't do what I wanted to do in the ring. My legs were not there, and my arms were not there like I needed them to be. I've fought much better fighters than Gary Russell, but for some reason, I wasn't able to perform to my abilities. I came here to win tonight. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to achieve my goal,” Postol stated after the fight.
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