In the pay-per-view opener of Canelo vs Charlo, rising middleweight sensation Elijah Garcia emerged victorious via eighth-round TKO in an electrifying firefight against Armando Reséndiz.
“It was a really hard fight,” said the 20-year-old Garcia. “Reséndiz is good people. He was really tough. I wish him the best. This was 100 percent my toughest fight so far. I left everything I could in the ring.”
“I should have listened to my corner a lot more,” said Reséndiz. “Maybe I got too distracted, but Elijah was the better fighter and I have to accept that.”
The back-and-forth action began heating up in round two as both men unloaded heavy shots. Midway through the round, Reséndiz appeared to buckle Garcia with a series of unanswered right hands, before Garcia rallied to lend several power shots of his own to close out the frame.
The contest remained nip and tuck through the early rounds, until Garcia adjusted his pattern of movement in round five to keep himself from squaring up to a circling Reséndiz. This gave Garcia ample space to land power left hands, which buoyed his impressive 46% connect rate on power punches. Overall, Garcia held a 165 to 102 edge in power punches landed.
“I countered to the body and came up to the head,” said Garcia. “I hadn’t doubled up on my hook. I saw that he was hurt. I do what I do. I finished. I knew he was hurt on the ropes. I was hitting him with some really hard punches. He was really tough, but I finished him off.”
Garcia’s adjustments proved fruitful early in round eight as he connected on a blistering counter right hand that wobbled Reséndiz and sent him to the mat. Although he was able to get to his feet, Garcia gave him little room to breathe and followed up with a series of hooks that forced referee Tony Weeks to call off the fight 1:23 into the eighth.
“Besides listening more to my corner, I would like to redeem myself and give it my all once again soon,” said Reséndiz. “I would like to apologize to my fans, but I promise I’ll come back stronger.”
“I want to be a mandatory for a title pretty soon,” said Garcia. “I’ll be 21 in April and I’m gonna keep taking it one step at a time. I learned a lot in this fight. I still let him control the fight too much.”
Preceding the pay-per-view, Frank Sanchez scored a fourth-round TKO over Scott Alexander (17-6-2, 9 KOs).
After both men ate big power shots in round one, Sanchez grabbed the momentum with an early knockdown in round two.
“The Cuban Flash” eventually landed a flurry late in round four that caused an end to the bout between rounds.
The stream also featured 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha earning a majority decision (76-76, 78-74 twice) over KeAndrae Leatherwood after eight rounds of middleweight action.
Plus, former light heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk delivered a right cross in round two that ended the night for Isaac Rodrigues.
Referee Tony Weeks halted the fight 54 seconds into the frame.