By Michael Norby: In a stunning display of dogged back and forth fighting, undefeated Argentinean welterweight contender Carlos Abregu dragged himself off the canvas twice on Saturday night to knockout tough Puerto Rican Irving Garcia in the fourth round of a scheduled ten at The Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California, USA.
Abregu 27-0 (22) labored to a uninspiring split decision victory over David Estrada the last time he stepped foot in The Chumash Casino ring in December in a contest that saw the 26-year-old fade in the late rounds. He followed that with a routine points victory in his native Argentina but needed to achieve something special this evening against a solid opponent to prove that he could be a player in such a talent rich division.
Against Garcia 17-4-3 (8), a former WBA interim world title contender, he did just that. The unbeaten puncher was down in the opening round and again in the fourth but stormed back both times to blast his rugged opponent with thunderous and sustained combinations. Abregu was out on his feet for much of that fourth but, in the closing moments, he reached back and found a huge right hand and dropped Garcia with a subsequent assault that prompted referee Jack Reiss to halt the contest with just one second remaining in the round.
Both guys traded stiff jabs to begin the opening round at the center of the ring and, just over a minute into the frame, Garcia unloaded a beautiful right hand that dumped the Argentinean on the canvas. Abregu was shaken but Garcia remained patient and returned immediately to throwing only occasional right hands behind his jab for the remainder of the round
It was a stunning opening for Garcia but the Puerto Rican walked into a thunderous right hand early in the second and Abgregu pounced – wobbling the 30-year-old with a subsequent combination before thumping Garcia around the ring with a searing onslaught. He battered his man with both hands – almost dropping the wounded fighter a number of times with referee Reiss looking on intently. In the final minute of the frame, however, Garcia hurt Abregu with a counter right hook but that moment of success was short lived and the beating continued for the remainder of round.
Both guys traded heavy right hands to begin the third and, even though Garcia had recovered by now, the Argentinean was clearly landing the more telling shots early in the round. Garcia connected with a huge overhand right in the final minute that backed off his opponent but Abregu continued to find his man with the more impressive shots throughout the round.
Garcia opened the fourth with a hard right hand masked beautifully behind his jab but Abregu absorbed it well and shot back with a double left hook to the body. Still, Garcia was beginning to find the unbeaten fighter more often as the round progressed and, at the halfway point, he sent Abregu to the deck for the second time with a massive left hook. The Argentinean was badly hurt this time and Garcia attacked him relentlessly – drilling the jellied 26-year-old with further head shots as he searched for the knockout.
Incredibly, with less that twenty seconds remaining, Abregu turned the tide with a big right hand upstairs and then exploded with a stunning follow up assault that dropped Garcia in the corner and forced Reiss to wave the fight off after four incredible rounds.
Time of stoppage: 2:59 RD4
Young Mexican lightweight prospect Marvin Quintero scored a career best victory after picking up a clear unanimous decision victory over out-gunned American Wes Ferguson over eight fast paced rounds.
Ferguson 20-4-1 (16) succeeded in the opening pair of rounds by using every inch of the ring to maintain distance from his pressing opponent and scored from range as Quintero 16-1 (12) tried to power his way inside. The American doubled up his jab and unleashed straight right hands against the face of the lefty – hurting Quintero in the final thirty seconds of the second round with a well placed right hand down the middle.
Quintero responded early in the third with a nice left hook and that punch set the tone for a nicely authored comeback frame. The Mexican connected with a series of strong combinations throughout the three minutes but Ferguson answered with hefty single counters in spots that broke up Quintero’s momentum at crucial moments.
The fast pace continued through the middle rounds as Quintero poured forward and thumped his man to the head and body with both hands. Again, Ferguson countered his opponent’s successful aggression with sporadic right hands but Quintero’s work rate trumped the American’s fleeting output and he began to build a lead with Ferguson unable to match .the power or persistence of the Mexican.
Ferguson tried to step it up in the sixth but, midway through the round; he walked into a big left hook that wobbled him badly. Quintero went head hunting and his follow up was not well executed which allowed his damaged opponent to recover, but the writing was on the wall now as an exhausted and dispirited Ferguson plodded back to his corner in dismay.
His trainer, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, correctly informed Ferguson that he needed to score a knockout as the fight entered the seventh and he fought bravely in that round. He surged forward but was out-gunned and suffered under a cut under his left eye early as both guys traded heavy shots. In search of the required stoppage, the determined American continued to fight bravely in the eighth and final round but Quintero was powerful and relentless and picked up a clear victory on all three scorecards.
Scores: 78-74; 79-73; 78-74