by David P. Greisman, live from Barclays Center
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — Danny Garcia and Rod Salka both made weight for their headline bout on Showtime on Saturday evening airing from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Photos by Amanda Kwok & Rich Kane/Hoganphotos.
Garcia, who holds two world titles in the 140-pound weight class, came in at 141.8 pounds for a bout being held at a contractually agreed-upon limit of 142 pounds. Salka, meanwhile, was 141.
This is considered by many to be a showcase bout for Garcia, who won the vacant World Boxing Council belt in 2012 with a win over Erik Morales, unified it months later with a stoppage of Amir Khan, and then defended those belts with a rematch knockout of Morales that wrapped up his year. In 2013, Garcia won unanimous decisions over Zab Judah and division boogeyman Lucas Matthysse.
Earlier this year, Garcia had a spotlight bout in Puerto Rico against Mauricio Herrera, who gave Garcia a difficult fight. Garcia won by majority decision in a bout some voices believed could’ve belonged to Herrera. That brought the 26-year-old Philadelphian to 28-0 with 16 knockouts.
Salka, 31, hails from across the state outside of Pittsburgh. He’s been a junior welterweight earlier in his career but in the past couple of years had dropped down at and around lightweight. With that said, he was 138.75 pounds last December when he faced Ricardo Alvarez, a 140-pound brother of Canelo Alvarez, losing a majority decision that many considered a robbery. Salka was all the way down at 132.5 pounds, though, for his last fight, a unanimous decision over Alexei Collado in April.
Salka is 19-3 with just 3 KOs.
Also fighting on Showtime:
- Junior-welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson came in at 140 pounds, while his opponent, Edgar Santana, came in at 139.5.
Peterson, 30, of Washington, D.C., is coming off a January decision win over Dierry Jean, which brought his record to 32-2-1 with 16 KOs. He picked up the International Boxing Federation and WBA world titles with a split decision win over Amir Khan back in December 2011, but later tested positive for synthetic testosterone ahead of a planned rematch with Khan. Peterson said the substance had been in his system prior to the first Khan fight.
The IBF allowed Peterson to keep its belt, which he defended in February 2013 with a technical knockout of Kendall Holt. That led Peterson to a May 2013 clash with the power-punching Lucas Matthysse, who stopped Peterson in three. Peterson-Matthysse was held at a contractual catch-weight above the 140-pound limit, though, and so Peterson still has his title. (His other loss came by decision to Tim Bradley back in December 2009.)
Santana, 35, of New York City, is 29-4 with 20 KOs. His last loss came by decision to Manuel Perez in February 2102. Since then he’s won three straight, all of those victories coming in 2013.
- Daniel Jacobs came in at 159.6 pounds, while Jarrod Fletcher came in at 159.2 for their bout for a vacant middleweight title.
This is the sixth fight for Jacobs in his comeback since being diagnosed with a cancer that threatened both his life and his ability to walk. He’s coming off a March first-round stoppage of Milton Nunez that brought the 27-year-old from Brooklyn to 27-1 with 24 K)s.
Fletcher, a 30-year-old from Australia, is 18-1 with 10 KOs. He’s won six straight since getting stopped in two rounds by Billy Joe Saunders back in September 2012. His last appearance was a February decision over Max Bursak.
Jacobs-Fletcher is for the WBA’s “regular” middleweight title. The sanctioning body’s “super” titleholder is Gennady Golovkin.
Fighting on the Showtime Extreme show:
- Anthony Peterson, younger brother of Lamont, came in at 137 pounds. His opponent, Edgar Riovalle, came in quite overweight at 144.4 pounds. Riovalle has to weigh in at 11 a.m. on Saturday at no more than 144 pounds, according to Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions.
This is the first time since 2010 that Peterson’s had more than one fight in a year. His disqualification loss to Brandon Rios for repeated low blows came in September 2010 and was followed by a 15-month layoff. Peterson returned in December 2011 on the undercard of Lamont Peterson’s win over Amir Khan, then was out of the ring again until May 2013 on the undercard to Lamont’s loss to Lucas Matthysse, and then came back this past March with a decision win over Marcos Jimenez.
That brought the 29-year-old from Washington, D.C., to 33-1 with 21 KOs. Riovalle, 27, of Mexico City, is 37-18-2 with 26 KOs. His record includes recent defeats against Mercito Gesta, Alexei Collado and Diego Magdaleno.
- Sadam Ali came in at 146.6 pounds, while his opponent, Jeremy Bryan, came in at 145.4.
Ali, 25, of Brooklyn, is 19-0 with 12 KOs. Bryan, 28, of Paterson, New Jersey, is 17-3 with 7 KOs.
- Zachary Ochoa came in at 140 pounds, while his opponent, Luis Alberto Cervantes, came in at 139.6.
Ochoa, 22, of Brooklyn, is 7-0 with 4 KOs. Cervantes, a 28-year-old originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and now living in Cathedral City, California, is 7-7-3 with 2 KOs and 2 no contests.
Ochoa-Cervantes is a swing bout that may or may not end up being on the Showtime Extreme portion of the broadcast.
And in preliminary action:
- Marcus Browne, who fought for the United States in the 2012 Olympics, came in at 176.4 pounds. His opponent, Paul Vazquez, came in at 174.2.
Browne, 23, of the New York City borough of Staten Island, is 11-0 with 8 KOs. Vazquez, 36, of Martinez, California, is 10-5-1 with 3 KOs.
- Prichard Colon came in at 150.4 pounds, while his opponent, Lenwood Dozier was nowhere to be found, and the fate of his bout with Colon was unknown as of about 2:45 p.m. Eastern Time.
Colon, 21, of Orocovis, Puerto Rico, is 10-0 with 10 KOs. Dozier, 32, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, is 9-6-1 with 4 KOs.
( UPDATE: Prichard Colon told BoxingScene.com at about 6 p.m. that Dozier came in overweight at 154.2 pounds but that the fight is still on.)
- D’Mitrius Ballard came in at 169 pounds, while his opponent, Barry Trotter, came in at 168.4.
Ballard, 21, of Temple Hills, Maryland, is 5-0 with 4 KOs. Trotter, 37, of the absolutely wonderful planned community of Columbia, Maryland, is 2-1 with 1 KO.
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]