Showtime Danny Garcia vs Shawn Porter, Yordenis Ugas vs Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo, and Adam Kownacki vs Charles Martin
By Kid Hersh
From the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, came Showtime Championship Boxing.
First up on the card was Adam Kownacki (17-0, 14KO's) vs Charles Martin (25-1-1, 23KO's). In the first round Kownacki was pressing forward with a high work rate and showing chinks in the armor of Martin. It was not looking good for Martin, as he looked very rusty, uncomfortable from the pressure, and also landed his best shots and did not phase Kownacki at all. This pattern continued through the coming rounds, with Martin unable to stave off the pressure and high output of Kownacki. Martin was starting to look very weary and hurt at the end of the fourth round but he was able to stave off Kownacki just enough to not get stopped - which it looked to my eyes like he was on the verge of. The fight turned into a firefight in the second half of the fight - with Martin having himself a good sixth round via moving his hands more. Martin would finish the fight fairly strong going down the stretch, perhaps shaking the ring rust off, but it was too little too late as Kownacki would win the well deserved UD in a fight that was a slugfest and a very good fight to watch - especially for heavyweights, which is a weight class that doesn't exactly create many thrills.
Yordenis Ugas (22-3, 11KO's) vs Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo (34-3-2, 24KO's). In the first round, Barrio was very herky-jerky as he moved around the ring and was very short on his punches while Ugas was already landing both to the body and the head. Ugas continued picking Barrio apart over the coming rounds, while completely murdering the body of Barrio. Barrio was not giving up mentally but one had to wonder how long he could take this precise punishment from the uber-experienced Ugas. The rounds would tick by, with Barrio showing us an impressive show of will and heart as he took all the damage Ugas could dish out and continued not just fighting or surviving but actually trying to win the fight. In the eighth round Ugas would go for broke - throwing punches in bunches trying to take out Barrio but it was ill-advised, as Barrio was not hurt at the time and obviously has shown up to this point that he is one tough dude and mentally is not going to check out of the fight tonight. He would make it the distance, despite taking the hardest punch of the fight in the twelfth round and having his legs wobbled for the only time in the fight.
Main event time featuring Danny Garcia (34-1, 20KO's) vs Shawn Porter (28-2-1, 17KO's). Porter was so hyped for the fight that he was leaping around the ring after his ring entrance. This energy was a bit deceiving to start the fight, however, as Porter got off to a much slower start than normal as he moved around the ring for the opening rounds. He was up on his toes, looking to box and move on Garcia, and while it was kind of working in small spots it definitely felt like more of a Danny Garcia type of fight due to the slow pace and the occasional hard counters he was landing. Garcia had himself a very good third round, catching Porter with hard single punches while Porter was struggling to find the proper distance to fight at. Porter was able to wake up again in the fourth round as he outworked Garcia via using his faster hands against Garcia, who can be stuck in the mud with his feet at times. Porter was also switching between orthodox and southpaw, surprisingly showing that his "boxing" skills were working in spurts against Garcia. The rounds were very close, however, and you could make an argument for having either man ahead in the first half of the fight. One had to wonder if this was the best game plan by Porter, but nonetheless, he was not getting blown out by any means. Porter also was coming alive at times - such as the seventh round - where he clearly outworked Garcia who is known for throwing one punch at a time and having a low output. Porter carried the momentum into the eighth round where he threw nearly 100 punches, but he was still fighting off of the back foot very frequently, seeming to know that Garcia has a very low output when being forced to be the aggressor. The rounds going down the stretch were very at times, such as the tenth round where both men landed really good punches both to the body and the head - although it did feel like more of a Danny Garcia type of round at times as he pressed Porter backwards, instead of Porter voluntarily fighting off of the backfoot. Porter would end up winning the UD 116-112 and 115-113X2.