By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Genaro “Poblanito” Garcia, the Mexican super bantamweight who vowed to take the inexperienced Genesis “Azukal/Sugar” Servania to school, instead learned a painful lesson when he was dropped twice in the twelfth round and lost by a TKO to the undefeated 20 year old Filipino in a blockbuster fight card presented by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN at the plush Resorts World Hotel in Manila on Saturday.
With the impressive win Servania captured the vacant WBC International Silver title and improved his unbeaten record to 18-0 with 6 knockouts.
The real “Poblanito” Garcia who wondered aloud why such a young fighter was matched against an experienced three time world title challenger who had beaten five world champions had vowed to “take him (Servania) to school” only to discover that the promising youngster from the famed ALA Gym was much better than he thought.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told the Manila Standard before the fight that he wanted to see whether Servania had what it takes to go on to bigger things in the international arena and wished to test him against a vastly more experienced fighter and a typical Mexican warrior. Aldeguer’s faith in Servania paid off handsomely.
He nailed Garcia with some perfectly timed hooks to the body behind a stinging jab and vicious uppercuts and from the opening bell showed he was not awed by the reputation or the bravado of Garcia who had predicted he would win by a knockout.
Servania shook Garcia with a solid right hook in round two before Garcia resorted to a takedown in round three before catching Servania with a low blow in round four when referee Bruce McTavish told him “I don’t want to take a point away” which he didn’t do.
Under the rules of the WBC the scorecards are announced at the end of the 4th and 8th rounds and at the end of the 4th two judges had Servania ahead 39-37 while the third judge had it even at 38-38.
Garcia tried to bully Servania in the fifth as he kept up the pressure before an accidental clash of heads opened up a small cut on Servania’s left eye.
A terrific counter right hook by Servania as Garcia came charging forward hurt the Mexican who was also rocked by a left jab flush on the face in round seven..
Garcia was guilty of another low blow in round eight before Servania finished the round with an uppercut and an effective one-two combination just before the bell.
At the end of the round two judges had Servania ahead 78-73 and 77-74 while one judge had Garcia ahead 76-75.
Another accidental head-butt in round nine saw Servania bleeding but the ringside physician ruled he was fit to continue. Peeved by the head-butts Servania engaged Garcia in a furious toe-to-toe exchange that had the fans on their feet at the end of the round.
Servania was cut on the left eyebrow in round ten as Garcia who appeared to be fighting desperately got clipped by a right hook as he charged forward.
Servania kept tagging the onrushing Garcia with effective counter-punches in round eleven before the Filipino cracked Garcia with a right uppercut and a right hook that sent him down for the first time in the fight in round twelve. Sensing that he had the Mexican in trouble, Servania launched a blistering two-fisted attack and hammered Garcia to the canvas as referee McTavish stepped in to save the Mexican from further punishment.
The official time was 2:02 of the twelfth round.
In a post fight interview Servania said Garcia was “strong and a real fighter and that’s why I trained very hard.” He said “I can take his punches.”
With the impressive win over a veteran like Garcia, Servania is bound to break into the WBC 112 pound rankings with a whole new world of opportunity open to him.