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Garcia KOs Barros

Mikey Garcia punches Jonathan Victor Barros
Photo © Chris Farina - Top Rank

Report By Mike Sloan

Mikey Garcia has long waited for a world title shot, one that has eluded him his entire career. Going into his contest with Jonathan Victor Barros tonight inside the LaFite Ballroom in Wynn Las Vegas, Garcia knew he couldn’t afford to lose. He was patient early on, bided his time, and eventually knocked Barros out with one punch.

Barros had a tricky, cagey defense that proved difficult to penetrate early on, but Garcia was persistent. Neither man seized complete control of the action; many of the earlier rounds were as close as they come. Not many punches were thrown between the two super featherweights and even fewer landed. Garcia threw his vaunted left hook throughout the fight, but it never was able to land cleanly on Barros.  

Until the eighth round.  

Garcia became more aggressive toward Barros in the frame and when they traded blows, Garcia launched a textbook left hook, but he missed. Unfazed, Garcia quickly reloaded and threw another one, but this one was harder and, more importantly, it found its target.  

The punch detonated on Barros’ temple and it sent shockwaves throughout his body. Barros, from Mendoza, Argentina, shuttered and then fell, spinning around, face first onto the canvas. He struggled to get up to his feet and when he did, it was obvious he was in terrible condition. He informed referee Robert Byrd that he couldn’t continue, thus ending the fight.

``It was a perfect left hook,” Garcia stated afterward. “He’s never been knocked down before. He got up and was hurt and told the ref he didn’t want to continue.

  “We knew the importance of this fight,” he added. “We have big future plans after this fight.”

  It’s unknown exactly what was said to Byrd, but appeared as though Barros wanted out of the fight, giving Garcia the TKO win. The official time of the stoppage came at 2:24 of the eighth, but Garcia’s work has only just begun. Next in line could be recognized 130 lb. champ Orlando Salido, who was in attendance.

  “I hope we get the fight going,” Garcia said. “We hope to get a title fight and he’s the champion in my division. He’s recognized as the best in the division and we would like to get a title shot with him.”  

A fight between Salido and Garcia, now 30-0 with 26 KOs, would most likely be expected to be a candidate for fight of the year, provided they actually lock horns in the near future.


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