Danny Garcia was in a must-win situation in his main event tilt against Adrian Granados at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., on Saturday. He had lost two of his last three fights, to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Another loss would have put him in the back of the line in a crowded welterweight division.
Instead, Garcia came out as a man on a mission, scoring three knockdowns and becoming the first man to finish Granados in 28 career bouts when the referee stopped the fight in the seventh round after a barrage of heavy shots.
“When Danny Garcia is at his best, no one can beat him,” Garcia said in his postfight interview. “I got a little comfortable in the past and didn’t give it the extra mile.”
Garcia usually comes out slowly and tries to gauge what his foe is going to do. “Swift” flipped the script Saturday and made it a point from the opening bell to be the aggressor. He fired off the jab and hit Granados with his patented left hook to wobble the Chicago native.
Garcia brought the momentum into the second round. Granados made a tactical error when he went to throw a left hook, but it came in slow. Garcia was quicker to the draw and threw a short left uppercut to send Granados to the canvas. As soon as Granados got back to his feet, Garcia looked to put his foe away. With 19 seconds left in the round, Garcia threw a massive looping right hand to send Granados back down.
The onslaught continued in the fifth round. With Granados’ back against the ropes, Garcia unloaded to the body and clipped Granados with a right to send him to the canvas for the third time.
After Granados started to have a little success on the inside in the sixth round, Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) put a halt to the momentum in the seventh round. Garcia connected on a straight right hand to snap Granados’ head back. Granados backed up into the ropes, and that is all Garcia needed. The former two-division world champion reeled off a lightning-quick four-punch combination. The referee had seen enough and stopped the fight at the 1:33 mark.
Now that he is back in the winner’s circle, what’s next for Garcia?
Earlier Saturday, Manny Pacquiao told the Los Angeles Times he would be returning in July against either Garcia or WBA titlist Thurman, depending on how the former looked against Granados. The 31-year-old Garcia thought he put on a good enough showing to step inside the ring with boxing’s only eight-division world champion. He hopes he didn’t look too good.
“I definitely feel like I did enough. I hope I didn’t scare him away,” Garcia said jokingly.
Andy Ruiz Jr. demolishes Alexander Dimitrenko
Ruiz inched one step closer to getting another shot at a heavyweight title, defeating Dimitrenko by fifth-round TKO when Dimitrenko failed to come out for the sixth round.
The theme of the fight was Ruiz continuing to walk through Dimitrenko’s lazy jab and throwing every punch with evil intentions by using a left jab and then either a vicious shot to the body or the head.
In the third round, Ruiz (32-1, 21 KOs) connected on a hard overhand right followed by a right to the body that forced Dimitrenko’s right glove to touch the mat. That should have been considered a knockdown but the referee failed to call it.
Much of the same happened in the fifth round when Ruiz blasted Dimitrenko with another overhand right hand. When the round came to a close, Dimitrenko was wobbly walking back to his corner. After talking with Dimitrenko’s corner, it was decided he could no longer continue.
Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados results
– Brandon Figueroa def. Yonfrez Parejo by knockout at 3:00 of the eighth round to become the interim WBA super bantamweight champion.
– Raymond Muratalla def. Jose Cen Torres by knockout at 2:58 of the third round; lightweights
– Shon Mondragon def. Hugo Rodriguez by knockout at 1:55 of the third round; featherweights
– Nelson Hampton def. Naseem Asad by unanimous decision (40-36, 40-36, 40-36); lightweights
– Ricky Lopez and Joe Perez fought to a split draw