By Jake Donovan
Knockout power proved to be twice as nice on Saturday evening as twin brothers Raul and Ramon Garcia each scored impressive stoppages in separate bouts at Foro Polanco in Mexico City.
Raul Garcia made quick work of Rommel Asenjo in the Fox Deportes televised main event, stopping the Filipino inside of three rounds. Ramon Garcia needed just a little bit longer to reverse a defeat from earlier this year, twice dropping Jesus Geles en route to a fourth round stoppage in the evening’s chief support.
More than a year has passed since Raul Garcia lost a shockingly one-sided decision and his alphabet strawwweight belt to Nkosinathi Joyi. It’s hardly been a smooth road back to the title picture, climbing off of the canvas to barely get past Luis De la Rosa last October in Colombia.
Against Asenjo, Garcia managed to put it all together, working behind his jab and turning up the heat when necessary before closing the show in dominant fashion.
Garcia was in control in the opening round, but at no point was it evident that an early night was in store. Any time he landed a power shot – particularly to the body – Asenjo seemed to be in position to counter. The Filipino southpaw didn’t always come up aces, as Garcia was effective at times in scoring and then immediately anticipating the return fire and covering up accordingly.
Realizing his opponent wasn’t about to go away quietly, Garcia turned up the heat in the second. An overland left rocked Asenjo, who left himself open for three more head shots that forced a rare clinch in the bout.
Garcia momentarily forgot to play defense during one power-punching sequence late in the round, leaving himself open for a straight left that momentarily slowed down his attack. The sequence prompted a crowd-pleasing two-way exchange, Garcia landing in combination while Asenjo was scoring with his straight left.
The moment the round ended was the last time Asenjo would remain competitive. Garcia dialed it up in the third, scoring to the body then immediately coming back upstairs to prevent his opponent from even thinking about responding.
Perhaps the most telling sequence of the bout came when Garcia scored with two uppercuts and had the wherewithal to tuck his chin behind his gloves the moment Asenjo threatened to counter. The tactic allowed Garcia to immediately follow up, scoring with a left hand to floor his foe for the bout’s lone knockdown.
Asenjo managed to beat the count, but the ensuing attack probably made him regret climbing off of the canvas. Garcia came charging right back, scoring with a straight left and then a right hook that left Asenjo on rubbery legs. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. immediately jumped in to rescue the battered fighter, just as Garcia was on the verge of finishing him off.
The official time was 2:52 of the third round.
Garcia scores his third straight win as he improves to 30-1-1 (18KO). The bout marked the first defense of his second tour as a strawweight beltholder, with his previous reign having lasted just shy of two years before being dethroned last February.
Asenjo sees a three-year, 15-fight win streak come to an end as he heads back to the Philippines with his record falling to 20-3-1 (16KO). The bout marked his first shot at a major belt, as well as his first trip outside of Asia.
Less than three months ago, Ramon Garcia traveled outside of his native Mexico for the first time in his career. The road trip proved to realize the worst fears of fighting in an opponent’s backyard, suffering a highly controversial split decision to Jesus Geles in Colombia.
It never came close to going to the cards this time around, as Geles was overwhelmed from the opening bell and looking for the nearest exit at every turn.
Garcia was on the hunt throughout, scoring with a right hook midway through the opening round and a pair of lefts moments later. However, a rear left hook nailed Geles below the belt, buying the Colombian some time to recover and regroup.
To his credit, Geles came up throwing when action resumed, engaging in a toe-to-toe brawl towards the end of the round. It hardly proved to be in his best interest; Garcia scored with repeated head shots to eventually floor his former conqueror for the first of two times on the night.
Another low blow occurred early in the second, though this one coming with a little more salesmanship from Geles this time around as he didn’t react until the two were separated by the referee. Geles spent the rest of the round on his bicycle, circling the ring while Garcia stalked his prey.
The third round was all Garcia, paving the way for the explosive finish in the fourth. Despite flirting with a possible point deduction, the Mexican refused to stop throwing to the body. His instincts proved correct; a right hook downstairs forced Geles to a knee, shaking his head during the count and springing up to his feet as the third man reached the count of ten.
The official time was 1:15 of the fourth round.
Garcia improves to 16-2-1 (9KO) with the win, gaining revenge just 12 weeks after losing a lesser version of the belt that was at stake for the rematch.
Geles heads back to Colombia with his first loss in more than two years, as he falls to 12-2-1 (5KO). The loss marks the first time he has fallen short in a rematch, having scored wins in return bouts against Alfonso Monterrosa - his previous lone conqueror - and Luis Doria, whom held Geles to a draw a year ago before dropping a 10-round decision last October.
The show was presented by Promociones Zanfer and Top Rank, Inc. and aired live on Fox Deportes.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected] .