By Ryan Maquiñana
While junior featherweight Alejandro Lopez was busy pulling off the upset of previously unbeaten Teon Kennedy last night, the man who defeated him earlier this year was watching intently on the television.
“I saw the fight,” said Aaron “Gavilan” Garcia. “Lopez fought well. Styles do make fights, and it seems like Kennedy kept waiting on Lopez. Right after the third or fourth round, when Lopez threw jabs and 1-2-1 combos, [Kennedy’s] eyes started puffing up, and that was it. Lopez fought a good fight, and it made me feel good to know that I beat him.”
The 29-year-old Garcia (10-2-2, 2 KOs), of Vista, Calif., was thrown into the fight as a late replacement in February and shocked Lopez (22-2, 7 KOs), who before their encounter had won 20 of his first 21 pro bouts.
“I thought I won all the rounds between us,” Garcia recalled. “My mentality was going in there to win. I started throwing to the body hard. I got to his body early, kept moving my head on the inside when I did, and I think that wore him down as the fight went on.”
In a twist of irony, while Lopez ended up receiving a spot in the Atlantic City main event against Kennedy, Garcia was initially relegated to the co-feature against Matt Remillard. Unfortunately, Remillard pulled out of the bout, and Garcia was forced to watch the card from his home near San Diego.
“That’s boxing for you,” said Garcia. “We have a couple of offers for the next one, and I’m ready and in shape, so whatever comes our way, we’ll go for it.”
With the Remillard fight now in his rearview mirror, Garcia is selecting from a couple of bouts on the table. However, he did comment on the possibility of giving Lopez an opportunity to avenge his defeat.
“I haven’t heard from him since that fight,” Garcia said. “I would love to fight him again. He’s a good kid, and I would love to give him a second chance to fight me. I just think my style is all wrong for him.”
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. He’s a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.