Garcia TKOs Rios, Confronts Porter

Danny Garcia’s quest to try and regain the WBC Welterweight Title he lost nearly a year ago begins tonight, as he is set to take on Brandon Rios in a title eliminator bout.

The undefeated run of Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs), also a former junior welterweight champion, came to an end back on March 4, when he dropped a split decision and lost the WBC Welterweight Title to Keith Thurman. Now, Garcia makes his first appearance in a ring since that night and looks to take the first step back to championship paradise.

But first, he’ll have to get past Brandon Rios (34-3, 25 KOs). Rios last fought back in June, scoring a seventh-round knockout of Aaron Herrera. It was Rios’ first bout since challenging then-WBO Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley back in November 2015, a fight which Rios lost via ninth-round TKO.

The co-main event will be a rematch filled with bad blood, as WBC Super Middleweight Champion David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs) defends his title against Ronald Gavril (18-2, 14 KO).

Check out the results of each match below!

WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator: Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) vs. Brandon Rios (34-3, 25 KOs)

In a competitive, back-and-forth fight, one hard right hand in the ninth round gave Danny Garcia a knockout victory over Brandon Rios.

After a slow opening round, Garcia started landing the better punches in the second, but he also did a lot of holding. And while the Philadelphia fighter continued his pace into the third round, two overhand shots and some uppercuts from Rios slowed him down significantly.

“I felt the ring rust a bit in the beginning…he was giving me some good uppercuts,” Garcia said post-fight. “He came to fight. Everyone knows when you fight Danny Garcia, you come to fight.”

After an even fourth round that saw both men get their fair share, Rios was the one on the attack in the fifth, applying the pressure, cutting off the ring and landing heavier punches. He continued into the sixth, doing nothing Garcia couldn’t handle, but still being the more active fighter.

Then Garcia turned the tide in the seventh, scoring with several, powerful, clean right hands. Garcia’s speed re-appeared in the eighth, and it felt he landed a combination for every punch Rios threw at him. And one, sudden and strong right hand in the ninth managed to knock Rios down to the mat. While Rios got up, he was still clearly stunned and wobbly, forcing the ref to call a TKO.

“I noticed when I was getting off my punches, he was standing in front of me, and I let it go,” Garcia said.

Following the bout, Garcia was asked about a potential rematch with Keith Thurman.

“[The loss to Thurman] was tough…but I took it like a true champion and I bounced back,” he said. “I would love a rematch with Keith Thurman, but it’s on him.”

Things, however, got interesting to close the show when Shawn Porter got into the ring and verbally taunted Garcia, prompting Garcia to trade barbs and state “We can take it in the street if you want to” and “This is the Danny Garcia show; get the f*** out of here!” before Porter had to be held back and forced out of the ring.

WBC Super Middleweight Title: (c.) David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs) vs. Ronald Gavril (18-2, 14 KOs)

David Benavidez (now 20-0, 17 KOs) retained the WBC Super Middleweight Championship, defeating Ronald Gavril (now 18-3, 14 KOs) via unanimous decision.

The bout started with Benavidez being the more active fighter, a sign of things to come. But Gavril put up a nice guard while trying to get to Benavidez’s body. But Benavidez got into control quickly in the second, throwing quicker punches and landing more cleanly. Benavidez followed it up in the third by rocking Gavril early on with a hard uppercut then swarming him late in the round.

Benavidez landed another big uppercut in the fourth, rushing a flurry of punches at the challenger. Gavril, however, showed some signs of life in the fifth with a late uppercut. While there was some concern that Benavidez could punch himself out, Gavril was in bad shape at this point.

Benavidez continued to show off his speedy combinations in round six, while Gavril threw nothing significant. The champion seemed to take round seven off as Gavril worked his way through and kept pushing forward. But despite that slowdown, he continued to make Gavril eat a lot of punishing shots. At this point, if it already wasn’t clear before, the fight was all in the champion’s control.

It was a near complete sweep from the judges, who scored the bout 119-109, 120-108, 120-108.

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