Robert Guerrero vs Danny Garcia, Sammy Vasquez Jr. vs Aron Martinez, Dominic Breazeale vs Amir Mansour
BY KID HERSH
PBC on Fox from Staples Center in LA. This is the first time boxing has been on the network for a big fight since Tyson vs Mathis. First up was Amir Mansour (22-1-1, 16ko's) vs Dominic Breazeale (16-0, 14ko's). In the first round Mansour was very aggressive, loading up on his shots with everything he has and throwing combinations both to the head and body to inflict damage early and often. He carried the momentum into the second round, hurting Breazeale with continuous left hands that he couldn't miss with - stunning the big man numerous times. Breazeale is landing right hands of his own but is getting run over as of right now. In the third round Breazeale went down less than a minute into the round from a right hook to the temple. He rose on wobbly legs and Hardcore went for the knockout while throwing boxing to the wind. This did not work in his favor though, as he was swinging wildly and gassed himself out while missing most of his shots. Breazeale had just enough time to recover and came back calm and collected, lining up right hands and landing them as leads on Mansour when he rushed inside to throw more hooks. The right hands hurt Mansour in return - not terribly bad but enough to where most fighters would back off. Instead of the, it spurred on the Holyfield inside him to fight back harder. It was an amazing round that ended with Mansour taking an uppercut that stunned him momentarily and left him bleeding badly from the mouth as his corner put a towel inside it and had it soaking wet with blood coming back out. The fourth round looked like one where the tired fighters took a breather but the action picked right back up in the fifth. Mansour was plowing forward despite taking bombs for right hands, such as the one a little over midway through the round that hurt him and sent him into the ropes. He waved Breazeale in for more though, being the warrior that he is, and the round ended with Mansour plowing into Breazeales chest and throwing wild hooks to try and take his man out. As the bell sounded to start the sixth round the unthinkable happened (for me anyways) with Mansour quitting on his stool - saying that he could not close his mouth as he was bleeding profusely from it. His trainer threw his hat right after pleading with Mansour to continue like the proud warrior that he is, saying "Don't do this to me." All I gotta say is that Mansour must be in some kind of trouble in order for him to quit on the stool like that.
Next up was Sammy Vasquez Jr. (20-0, 14ko's) vs Aron Martinez (20-4-1, 4ko's). In the first round Vasquez was pressing the action while Martinez was moving about the ring and feeling out his man, looking to land counters or looking for openings. The slow pace continued through the second round and then in the third Martinez came forward andd pressed Vasquez, trying to get busy and change the fight around. It was not working though as Vasquez was easily outboxing Martinez, who was not opening up and rather covering up in a tight guard and pressing forward and if he made it inside he was tying up Vasquez and holding. Not an exciting fight, as Martinez has tried now to box off the back foot with no success as well as go forward with no success. Vasquez simply started to box his man and turn him, easily landing his shots and then using his superior footwork to get out of range or pivot around Martinez. He was easily outclassing him for the coming rounds until another corner stoppage happened to my surprise, with Martinez quitting on the stool and complaining about an injured left elbow that looked to clearly be giving him plenty of pain and would explain his low output for the previous round or two that was causing the crowd to get very restless and boo a plenty.
Main event time featuring Robert Guerrero (33-3-1, 18ko's) vs Danny Garcia (31-0, 18ko's). In the first round Guerrero started off pressing immediately and was catching Garcia off guard by being first with his shots and working his way inside being a good guard and a good jab. Garcia is looking to counter Guerrero and had more success in the second round with his left hook but Guerrero is still catching him with shots he doesn't see coming but it looks to me as if Garcia is slowly figuring out Guerrero - especially heading into the third round where he was slamming home left hooks as Guerrero worked his way inside more recklessly and with less science as Garcia used his footwork to give different angles in order to upset Guerrero's rhythm. This continued with good back and forth action until in the sixth round Garcia turned it up and clearly took over the fight as he painted Guerrero with left hooks and right hands that thudded home with cracks you could hear followed by "ooo's and aah's". Garcia was also painting Guerrero's body with vicious powerful hooks that clearly are doing damage fast as we see Guerrero slowing down right before our eyes. The seventh round looked a lot like the previous, with Guerrero taking more punishment both to the head and the body but the powerful body hooks are clearly making their presence felt in my opinion as he is spooking more ragged the more of them that thud home. The eighth round slowed down more but with Garcia still clearly in control. In the ninth his dominance was established again clearly with his shots getting off fast and hard on Guerrero who at this point is just coming forward but not throwing enough and getting a lot. Garcia even added uppercuts into the mix, landing a beauty of a lead right hand uppercut (against textbook rules!) that snapped Guerrero's head back but didn't slow his will from pressing him onwards into more punishment for the rest of the round. Going down the stretch it was still mostly Garcia in my opinion as he is the fresher man and pegging Guerrero as he comes forward. The fight ended in great fashion with both fighters slugging it out for the last thirty seconds which got all the fans on their feet cheering straight through the finish. The cards came in 116-112 straight through all three, I with the judges in a rare unanimous agreement down to the round for the winner and new (crowd confused here, cheering for Guerrero but either man would have been the "new" champion to Floyds vacant title here) champion Danny Swift Garcia. The funny part was that when he was awarded with the belt they also had a mini one made up for his infant daughter, prompting myself to wonder if we have to keep track of more titles...
Mansour released a statement after the fight that he nearly bit his tongue in half in the second round, so he was having serious issues breathing while also swallowing lots of blood - in addition to the broken jaw. The tongue required 36 stitches!