By: William Holmes
The debut of AL Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions on Fox took place tonight live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California as the main event featured a WBC Welterweight Title tilt between Robert Guerrero and Danny Garcia.
The opening bout of the night was between Amir Mansour (21-1-1) and Dominic Breazeale (16-0) in the heavyweight division.
Breazeale’s height difference looked almost comical, but Mansour was aggressive early on to try to make up for it and focused his attacks to the body. He had a strong opening round as Breazeale was unable to find his range, and Mansour hurt Breazeale in the second round with a brutal left hand that forced Breazeale to hold and try to survive.
Mansour opened up the third round with a knockdown in the first minute of the round. Breazeale was able to get up and survive the knockdown, but had to cover up in an attempt to survive on an aggressive and unloading Mansour. Breazeale was able to land a hard punch at the end of the round, but was in danger of being stopped.
Breazeale was able to come back strong in the fourth round as Mansour was visibly slowing down. Breazeale was able to land some hard right hands and won the round, but he did not dominate it.
Breazeale slipped in the opening moments of the fifth round. He did land a stiff uppercuts on Mansour in the fifth and staggered Mansour with a left uppercut. Mansour and Breazeale were exchanging bombs this round, but Breazeale got the better of Mansour.
Mansour fails to come out for the opening moments of the sixth round and the fight is waived off. Mansour looked hurt, but there was some confusion as to why Mansour did not come out.
It was later announced that Mansour had suffered a broken jaw. Breazeale remains undefeated with a fifth round TKO, but had to survive some scary moments in order to win.
The next bout of the night was between Iraq war veteran Sammy Vasquez (20-0) and the rugged veteran Aron Martinez (20-4) in the welterweight division.
Vasquez controlled the pace in the opening round and was able to keep Martinez at bay with a sharp jab and crisp foot work. Martinez opened up the second round in a defensive posture and had to take some hard body shots from Vasquez.
Martinez had a better third round as he was able to press forward, but Vasquez was the better boxer and still landed more punches. Martinez was not able to offer much of an offensive attack in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds as Vasquez simply out boxed and outclassed the suddenly old looking Aron Martinez.
By the sixth round some fans in attendance were booing and Martinez failed to come out for the seventh. It was announced that Aron Martinez had injured his left hand, which may have explained why he did not show much of his usual aggression.
Sammy Vasquez remained undefeated with a TKO at the end of the sixth round.
The main event of the night was between Danny Garcia (31-0) and Robert Guerrero (33-3) for the WBC Welterweight title.
Guerrero, the underdog, entered the ring first to a loud chorus of cheers from the Los Angeles crowd. Garcia entered second to a mixed reaction from the crowd.
The bout started off with some good action early on with Garcia landing shots to the body and hard hooks upstairs. Guerrero was throwing more combinations than Garcia, who appeared to be looking for the power shot to land.
Guerrero opened up the second with a good straight left hand that forced Garcia to tie up. Garcia began to get his timing down in the middle of the round and was able to tag Guerrero when h e pressed forward. Garcia was warned by the referee near the end of the second to not land punches behind the head.
The referee let them fight when they tied up in the third round, which featured Guerrero attempting to press the pace and Garcia landing quick shots from a distance. Garcia ended the third with digging hooks to the body.
Guerrero bum rushed Garcia in the fourth round and was taking the punches of Garcia well. Guerrero kept up the pace on the fourth and may have won it just for forcing the action, and Guerrero started off the fifth round strong with some short combinations and uppercuts to the body, but was taking some shots when he was coming forward in the second half of the round.
Eddie Murphy and Floyd Mayweather Jr. were shown in the crowd before the start of the sixth round. Garcia had a strong sixth round as he was mixing up his punches to the body and head and had a very strong round. Garcia was landing right hooks at will and was able to stop Guerrero’s forward movement.
Garcia’s power punches were landing at a high clip in the seventh round and a frustrated Guerrero was chasing Garcia from corner to corner in the eighth round while being consistently hit with counter punches.
Guerrero had a good opening minute in the ninth round, but Garcia’s check hooks were usually followed with quick combinations that Guerrero could not match.
Guerrero clearly needed a knockout in the championship rounds to win the fight, as the only person who had him ahead was Floyd Mayweather Jr., but Garcia’s counters were too quick and accurate for Guerrero to do launch an effective attack.
Both boxers left it all in the ring in the final round, but Guerrero did not score the knockdown he badly needed.
Danny Garcia wins by unanimous decision with scores of 116-112 on all three cards.
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