By Keith Idec, photos by Pete Amador/Top Rank
ATLANTIC CITY — Glen Tapia's supporters went wild as he beat Elco Garcia by fifth-round technical knockout Saturday night at Bally's Events Center.
The unbeaten junior middleweight contender from Passaic wasn't nearly as pleased with his performance.
"I'm my own toughest critic," said Tapia, who improved to 20-0 and recorded his 12th knockout. "I didn't like it at all. The crowd was happy and I'm here to entertain, so that's good. But I was trying too hard to knock him out from the first round. I should've taken my time and I would've gotten him out of there way earlier."
Tapia, 23, didn't struggle against Garcia (27-9, 13 KOs), an awkward, 42-year-old veteran from Ignacio, Colo. He just didn't look as sharp as he did during his career-changing, nationally televised victory over previously undefeated Abie Han (19-1, 12 KOs) on July 12 in North Las Vegas, Nev.
"Glen was anxious," said Alex Devia's, Tapia's trainer. "He said he wanted to stop [Garcia]. … At first he went in a little wide [with his punches]. He noticed he hurt [Garcia] to the body. He stayed to the body. And once he started putting his punches together, it was over."
After hammering the gallant Garcia with hard punches to the head and body for nearly five full rounds, Tapia hurt him badly with a right hand late in the fifth round and finally floored him. Garcia got to his feet, but he was disoriented and referee Benjy Esteves stopped the fight with one second to go in the fifth.