Mikey Garcia Now Three-Division Champion
Leo Santa Cruz was not the only one to win a title on Saturday night.
In the featured bout of the undercard for Cruz vs. Carl Frampton, Mikey Garcia won the WBC lightweight championship, earning a third division world championship — Garcia has also won titles at junior lightweight and featherweight. Garcia defeated Dejan Zlaticanin to win the title with an early Knockout of the Year candidate finish.
Garcia utilized his jab effectively and established the distance early on. Zlaticanin attempt to get on the inside, but he struggled to get past the jab. Then, in the third round, it only took one, hard right hand to shut off Zlaticanin’s lights — knocking him out cold on one of the ring aprons. Zlaticanin had to receive oxygen, but he managed to recover and sit up.
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"I’m very happy he’s OK and I’m glad he was able to recover from that," Garcia told ESPN. "The natural response is to be celebrating and to be cheerful, but then concern does kick in when I saw he was still laying there for a few minutes. I’m glad he’s OK.
"I’m very happy with the performance. We were controlling the pace and distance right away from the first round. I saw some openings and I thought I could hurt him later down the road, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that soon in the fight."