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21 MAY 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Garcia Tops Morales /Kirkland wins by DQ



The seven time world champion and future hall of fame member from Tijuana, Mexico didn’t have the answers tonight. Garcia was simply too quick, too active and had the advantage in the age department as well.


Each fighter started at a controlled stride and traded quick and snapping jabs. Morales (52(36)-8) landed a great three punch combination at the one minute mark and showed patience. He would connect often with strong overhand power shots, yet Garcia would outlanded him at a two, sometimes three to one pace. The Tijuana fighter showed more power in the opening periods, but Garcia worked from start to end to effectively steal rounds.


In round three, Morales was fighting effectively, but his tendency to lean into his opponent would lead to Garcia picking him off with his left jab. With about thirty seconds to go in the round, the Philadelphia boxer scored with a hard right to Morales’ head, after which the Tijuana fighter simply flashed a grin at him.


Round four saw Erik land effective combinations, but as before he was simply not fast enough to back away and avoid getting caught once again. Rounds five and six seemed to be where the power shifted and finally remained. In the fifth, Garcia landed two hard lefts in the opening minute. One minute later, a hard right from "Swift" knocked "El Terrible" back into his own corner.


Danny began to tee off on Erik in the sixth round and sent the 35 year old fighter into the ropes. After this point, it was Garcia who was landing the harder shots. Rounds seven through nine followed a pattern. Speed may not always kill, but it certainly can win a fight as evidenced by Danny Garcia. He held the upper hand in the stamina department as well.


Garcia began to do more and Morales less. An impressive two punch combination by Garcia to close the ninth brought the crowd to an impressive roar. The tenth stanza was probably the best round of the evening. Morales faked out Garcia with a feinted left, after which he landed a hard right. In the eleventh, Morales displayed the guts and sheer will that has endeared him to millions of fans worldwide since the early 1990’s.


The desire to trade shots and take two or three to land one pleased the Houston turnout. Sadly, it was this approach that led to the only knockdown of the bout, which was scored by Garcia after ninety seconds had elapsed. Morales missed wide with a right uppercut, after which "Swift" was able to land a flush left which sent Morales to the canvas. He beat the count and made it into the 12th and final period.


Garcia knew the fight was his and played conservative. He would catch Morales when and if he tried to get inside. The crowd showed its appreciation for Erik Morales as the fight ended. All three judges scored the fight as a unanimous decision victory for Garcia, as the scorecards read 117-110, 116-112 and 118-109, respectively. Danny "Swift" Garcia remains undefeated and is the new WBC champion, which is the title Morales was forced to relinquish yesterday after he failed to make the 140 pound junior welterweight limit.



Co-Main Event Report James "Mandingo Warrior" Kirkland retained his WBC Continental Americas Super Welterweight title by way of an odd disqualification of his opponent, Carlos "King" Molina. After Kirkland scored the only knockdown of the fight as the bell sounded to end the tenth round, referee John Schorle waved the contest to a close. This was due to Molina’s trainer entering the ring before the round had officially concluded. Kirkland was fighting an uphill battle for nearly all ten rounds. The Austin, TX (31(27)-1) native didn’t exactly have the home state crowd on his side, either and the decision was loudly derided by those in the arena. 


Each fighter began their respective evenings within the ring with a less than conservative approach. Consistent jabs and constant movement set the pace early. Carlos Molina (19(6)-5-2) had the upper hand in the amount of power shots landed and he kept moving in an attempt to prevent Kirkland from getting too close to him. The Texas fighter followed an interesting pattern in the first few rounds, as he would start strong yet fade somewhat once the period entered its second half. In rounds two and three, both fighters exchanged power shots in the center of the ring. Molina landed three unanswered punches to Kirkland’s head, which slowed the Austin combatant. 


The fourth and fifth rounds saw Kirkland stalk Molina in the opening ninety seconds of each stanza, after which his foe from Michoacan, Mexico would effectively adjust, land multiple straight lefts and control the tempo. James Kirkland appeared to be tiring a bit as well. Molina fought the smart fight for most of the night onward. He was able to lure Kirkland into chasing him a bit, after which he would outwork him and steal rounds by way of this strategy.


Molina used the ring well. However, despite the efforts shown by the ultimately slighted challenger, the 10th round would prove memorable for the wrong reasons. The tables may have been finally turning a bit for the "Mandingo Warrior". After a slip to the canvas by Kirkland, the knockdown came shortly thereafter. The Austin fighter landed a short right and down went Molina as the bell rang. Although he quickly arose, it seemed that neither fighter was aware that the round had come to a close. Moments after this, referee John Schorle called the contest to a close. At the time of the stoppage, Carlos Molina was ahead on two of the three judges’ scorecards. 


Schorle defended his actions. ""I have been a referee for 29 years and this is the first time I have ever had to do this", he said.


Undercard Results

Daquan Arnett KO 1 Fabian Cancino - Super Welterweights

Jarmall Charlo TKO 5 Shawn Wilson - Super Welterweights

Lanard Lane TKO 8 Milton Ramos - Welterweights

Jamie Kavanaugh TKO 5 Cesar Cisneros


Jermell Charlo TKO 3Chris Chatman - Junior Middleweights


March 24, 2012

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