By John J. Raspanti
Former junior welterweight titleholder Danny Garcia added the WBC welterweight championship to his resume by winning a hard-fought 12 round unanimous decision over former two-division champion Robert Guerrero at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Saturday night.
All three judges scored the fight 116-112 for Garcia.
Maxboxing and Doghouseboxing also had Garcia winning by a 116-112 tallly.
Guerrero, a southpaw, came out strongly in the opening stanza. He worked the body and head. Garcia missed a number of counter shots. Guerrero’s aggression seemed to surprise him.
Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) jabbed more in the second round. A few landed. Guerrero pursued with purpose. He continued to work the body. Garcia connected with a strong left hook in round three. He also landed a right hand. Guerrero fought back hard. He connected with a left hand to the face of Garcia.
Guerrero (33-4-1, 18 KOs) worked on the inside in round four. He dug a left hook and right to the midsection. Garcia ate an uppercut, but also landed a left to the head. Guerrero was still forcing the action, but the tide of the bout was changing.
In round five, Guerrero found Garcia with a couple of long lefts. Garcia connected with sweeping hooks, but the blows didn’t bother Guerrero. Garcia was being forced to fight Guerrero’s fight. The Philadelphia native needed to adapt.
Garcia did just that in the next heat. Suddenly, he began to let his hands go more consistently. Big lefts and rights clipped the chin of Guerrero. In rounds seven and eight, Garcia went back to the body with authority. He snapped off double jabs at the onrushing Guerrero. Garcia was boxing and punching beautifully. Later in stanza--he connected with a jolting right hook. As always, there was no quit in Guerrero.
Told by his corner to get busy, Guerrero came out with an extra bounce in his step in round nine. Garcia backed up and shot his left. He found pay dirt with a straight right hand and sharp left hook. Guerrero nodded his appreciation.
Garcia continued to outbox Guerrero in rounds 10 and 11. He’d step back, pause, and fire his right. The blows were landing. Garcia connected with a brain rattling uppercut. Guerrero pushed forward, but he needed to land a fight changing blow.
Guerrero, likely aware he was behind on the scorecards going into the 12th and final round, charged after Garcia. He connected with stinging left. Garcia held on. He covered up and waited. He was freezing the clock. Guerrero continued to punch, but he couldn’t hurt Garcia. The last ten seconds were all about guts and glory.
“I knew Guerrero was a warrior", said Garica in the ring. "I feel great. I feel blessed. I’m happy.”