Showtime Championship Boxing Recap: Garcia wins by KO; Santa Cruz avenges first Loss by Maj Decision
By: Matthew N. Becher
Live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada, Premier Boxing Champions presented a two fight championship card. The co-main event was between the first and only world champion from the nation of Montenegro Dejan Zlaticanin. Zlaticanin will be defending his WBC Lightweight title against the great 2x Division champion Mikey Garcia. Garcia is coming off of a 2 year layoff, with only one warmup fight and looks to take his place back on the pound for pound list.
The main event is a rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton. Santa Cruz and Frampton fought in a fight of the year contender last year, which
Frampton took by decision and solidified him as the 2016 Fighter of the Year. The first loss in Santa Cruz’s career, he looked to change his tacticts and get revenge against Frampton.
Dejan Zlaticanin v. Mikey Garcia: WBC Lightweight
Mikey Garcia came out early, establishing his jab and using his supperior reach advantage to keep Zlaticanin at bay. Garcia was also able to counter extremely well in the early rounds, making sure that Zlaticanin felt his power when he attempted to charge in.
Zlaticanin seemed content covering up and trying to walk Garcia down. Unfortunately Garcia stuck to his game plan of staying in control of the distance and being the true ring general throughout the fight.
In the third round, Mikey Garcia landed a huge right handed uppercut that stunned Zlaticanin and then Garcia followed up with a shot that completely layed out the champion. Garcia was in control of the entire fight. Zlaticanin was not only knocked out, but was knocked down for the very first time of his career.
Mikey Garcia becomes a 3 division world champion and showed why he is one of the greatest boxers in the sport.
Garcia KO3 2:21
Carl Frampton v. Leo Santa Cruz: WBA Featherweight: Rematch
Santa Cruz came out initially using his length to keep Frampton back and pick his shots as a boxer. That was quickly thrown out the window with half of the first round gone and the brawling that took place during the first fight was picked back up again. Frampton, looks to move in and brawl, and whenever Santa Cruz would get hit in the mouth he will throw his gameplan out, fighting toe to toe.
Frampton used very quick footwork, to move in and out at angles and work his way pass Santa Cruz’s guard. Santa Cruz was throwing lots of punches, but still under the normal 80 punches a round that he usually averages.
Everytime Frampton moves in and both men exchange punches, Santa Cruz is able to re establish by moving to the outside and start pumping out the jab again.
Frampton continues to try and make the match a brawl, and Santa Cruz, while abiding at certain points, was clearly able to control the tempo and pace of the fight.
The sixth round was beautiful in all of its brutality. Santa Cruz and Frampton went back to trading punches, going toe to toe in a very action packed round.
Through 8, it was a very close fight. Both fighters were investing into their opponents body and many rounds could have easily gone either way. Santa Cruz looked to be much sharper then he was in the first fight, though Frampton did display great head movement and defense this time around.
Frampton just seemed to be the more tired fighter. Possibly frustrated by Santa Cruz being able to keep him back with the long jab.
It was a great fight that lived up to the hype of the first meeting. Santa Cruz looked better in the rematch and is the reason he won the decison. These two
are well on their way towards a trilogy and both warriors notched a legacy that will forever link them in boxing history.
114-114; 115-113 (2x) Santa Cruz MD12