Roberto Garcia Soundly Outpoints Antwone Smith At Home

By Cliff Rold

31-year old Jr. Middleweight Roberto Garcia (31-3, 20 KO) of Weslaco, Texas, picked up one of the better wins of his career on Friday night at the Convention Center in Pharr, Texas, posting a unanimous decision over 25-year old Antwone Smith (21-4-1, 12 KO).

Smith came into the bout at 151 lbs. while Garcia weighed in spot on the Jr. Middleweight limit at 154. The referee was Lee Rogers.

Smith came out popping and grunting, each shot called out with an echoing roar while Garcia, the slower man, pressed forward looking for short right hands. Smith scored well with a right underneath to the belly, but his offense was about touching rather than hurting blows in the first.

Rounds two and three were more of the same, Smith’s grunts taking on the appeal of a World Cup vuvuzela. Garcia’s body work stood out and a minor shift in excitement came about in the latter round’s final thirty seconds, Garcia landing a stiff right and Smith responding with a flurry off the ropes.

Buoyed by the strong finish to the third, Garcia came out hard to start the fourth. His left jab was working better and he continued to wail at the body in close. Smith answered with looping blows but struggled with accuracy.

Smith controlled the first two minutes of the fifth, touching, sliding, and countering Garcia. In the final minute, Garcia timed him going into the ropes and landed a booming right. Smith fired back but Garcia would be on him again just before the bell, both men smiling and nodding at each other.

The fight continued in its steady, workmanlike fashion in rounds six through eight, neither man truly stealing the momentum of the evening. It almost happened in the ninth, Garcia landing the heavier lumber, finding his right and paying off a night-long commitment to the body. Smith continued to fight back, but the round was clearly Garcia’s.

It was Smith to the body to start the final round, Garcia answering over the top with a thudding right. A pair of hard Garcia rights to the body forced Smith to the ropes, muscling his foe with use of the elbow to keep Smith pinned. Smith worked back to ring center and kept plugging, stemming the tide Garcia had built. Garcia closed with three solid rights to the head in the final fifteen seconds as the bout headed to the judges.

The judges favored the heavier hands of Garcia at lopsided scores 98-92 and 97-93 twice. Garcia makes it three straight wins since a decision loss to former Welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito in May 2010.

Smith takes his second loss in three starts and third in his last six.

The undercard featured a pair of fighters trying to stave off their second brush with defeat.

An awkward second round knockdown served as a solid wake up call for 24-year old Jr. Middleweight James De La Rosa (21-1, 12 KO), 155, of Harlingen, Texas, who never looked back en route to a unanimous decision in eight over 27-year old Tyrone Brunson (21-2, 20 KO)154 ½, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The knockdown came on a counter left hook, catching De La Rosa in transition and sending his right glove scraping across the canvas. Referee Tony Garcia dished out the mandatory eight but De La Rosa recovered and was landing big shots by round’s end.

Throughout the contest, Brunson looked for a bomb while De La Rosa worked behind the jab and scored more both inside and out. The final scores seemingly reflected the recovery and sounded wide, but were inaudible enough on the broadcast to not be accurately recordable.

De La Rosa bounces back from his first defeat, a unanimous decision loss to Allen Conyers last year. Brunson, making his first start since 2009, drops his second straight. Brunson began his career with 19 consecutive knockouts but has struggled since elevating the quality of his competition.

The card was televised in the U.S. on ESPN2 as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series.

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by boxing maniac on 03-24-2012

i dont think an extra 4 inches would of helped Smith win the fight, Garcia dominated him from the 3rd round. Smith didnt do crap to try to fight back. maybe he was too cautious of Garcia's power.

Comment by nycsmooth on 03-24-2012

aside from th very small ring...wonder what commish Dickie Cole will say...Smith looked like an old/shot fighter @ 25...he needs to reasses things as he can't go on like this...good win 4 garcia who kept slowly coming on...

Comment by Corelone on 03-23-2012

Like I said, a hometown advantage isn't looked upon as cheating. What's a 15 foot ring among friends? They just weren't Antwone's friends. Who knows what else was "tuned up" for Garcia to win?

Comment by TaurusJ27 on 03-23-2012

All that grunting from Smith didn't help him win that fight.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines Curtis Stevens-De La Rosa Added To PPV Portion of Kovalev-Ward Briggs Claims Haye Used His Name: He Backed Out of Our Deal Cuellar Vows To Take Mares Out - Targets Frampton, Santa Cruz Klitschko: No Retirement, Joshua Fight Will Be Biggest in Years Wilfredo Vazquez Jr: Juanma Repulses Me, I Will Knock Him Out! Jarrett Hurd vs. Jo Jo Dan Set, Jorge Cota is Now Out Badou Jack Thinks Ward-Kovalev is 50-50, Leans Ward With Pick De La Hoya Not Concerned With The Return of Richard Schaefer Andre Ward: Kovalev Won't Bully Me - He Tires, He Gets Frustrated Arum: Trump Thought of Andy Ruiz When He Said 'Bad Hombre' Tino Avila Wants To Dominate Ramirez, Fight For Title in 2017 Molina: Look at My Wilder Fight, I'll Raise Hell Against Joshua! David Haye: In 2017 I Will Be Heavyweight Champion - I Know It! De La Hoya To Critics: I Strongly Feel Canelo-Golovkin Will Happen Taras Shelestyuk Aims To Follow Gold Path of His Olympic Mates Brandon Rios a Free Agent, No Longer a Top Rank Fighter Katie Taylor Mulling Pro Move, Heading To Eddie Hearn? Fenech: Mundine-Green II is Bullsh*t Fight - Must Be Stopped! Nonito Donaire: I Want The Frampton vs. Santa Cruz Winner Next! Jack Doesn’t Take Much From DeGale’s Tough Fight with Medina Joshua's Fight Will Land on Showtime - Price, Jennings or Molina Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia Could Air on CBS in Prime Time George Foreman: Joshua Could Be Become an All-Time Great Andy Lee Wants Tough Fight, Gennady Golovkin Showdown Carl Frampton: I'll Beat Leo Santa Cruz Even More Convincingly! Jack: DeGale is Very Tough, I’ll Win and Be Best at 168 Arthur Abraham Out Of Martin Murray Rematch In Monte Carlo Craig Cunningham Heading To 154 After Shocker Over Ogogo Photos: Juanma Grinds Hard For Wilfredo Vazquez Grudge Fight Denis Shafikov vs. Richard Commey Set, Heading To Russia Broner vs. Granados on Feb. 11, Thurman vs. Garcia on March 4 Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Unification Set For January 14 Hosea Burton vs. Frank Buglioni Lands on Anthony Joshua Card Claressa Shields Pro Debut Finalized For Kovalev vs. Ward PPV Payano Eyes December Return in Quest For Second Title Reign Jason Sosa Embraces Smith Defense, Eyes Three Fights in 2017 Arum Apologizes To King For Post-Presidential Debate Vegas Spat Felix Verdejo is Very Eager To Get His Hands on Terry Flanagan Bob Arum on The Possibility of Miguel Cotto vs. Timothy Bradley Abel Sanchez: Ponamarev Likely Back on Lomachenko vs. Walters

Latest Active Forum Threads