LAS VEGAS – Elijah Garcia overcame a slow start Saturday to continue his emergence in the middleweight division.

The 19-year-old Garcia got into an offensive groove after the third round and regularly landed the more punishing punches in his 10-round bout against Kevin Salgado at T-Mobile Arena. Judges Max De Luca (97-92), Patricia Morse Jarman (95-94) and David Sutherland (97-92) all scored the fight for Garcia.

Garcia won in Showtime Pay-Per-View’s opener on the Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia undercard.

Garcia, who went 10 rounds for the first time in his career against the durable Salgado, upped his record to 15-0 (12 KOs).

The strong southpaw from Wittmann, Arizona, also produced his second win in just seven weeks. In his previous fight, Garcia knocked out previously undefeated Uruguayan contender Amilcar Vidal (16-1, 12 KOs) in the fourth round of a fight Showtime televised March 4 from Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.

“I was standing a little too still, trying to fight on the inside,” Garcia told Showtime’s Jim Gray in the ring. “Salgado is a tough opponent. He was real tough, real strong and I just had to move and box a little bit. Other than that, it was a good, hard 10 rounds. I give my opponent 100-percent props.”

Mexico’s Salgado (15-2-1, 10 KOs) lost for the second time in his past three fights. Joey Spencer (16-1, 10 KOs), who was undefeated at the time, outboxed Salgado and unanimously out-pointed him in their 10-rounder September 4 at Arena in Los Angeles.

“I felt like I won,” Salgado said. “By a small margin, but I should have won.”

Regardless, it became clear entering the 10th round Saturday that this fight would go the distance.

Garcia did a better job of slipping punches in that 10th round. He also blasted Salgado with a right-left-right combination with just under 50 seconds on the clock in that final round.

Salgado cracked Garcia with a right hand that landed with just under a minute to go in the ninth round.

A straight left by Garcia backed up Salgado with just over 1:20 on the clock in the eighth round. Salgado connected with several clean right hands in what was a successful eighth round for him.

Garcia clipped Salgado with a right hook that landed with just over 40 seconds on the clock in the seventh round. A four-punch combination by Garcia previously slowed down Salgado in the seventh round.

After multiple warnings in prior rounds, Hoyle took a point away from Salgado for low blows with 1:24 to go in the seventh round.

Back-to-back right hooks by Garcia made Salgado hold him a minute into the sixth round. Garcia blasted Salgado with a right hook and then a straight right later in a one-sided sixth round.

Garcia’s right hook and overhand left landed toward the end of the fifth round.

Hoyle warned Salgado twice for low blows that landed less than 10 seconds apart in the middle minute of the fifth round. Hoyle then warned both boxers for rule-bending tactics with 59 seconds remaining in the fifth round.

Garcia’s right-left combination caught Salgado with just about a minute to go in the fourth round. A straight left by Garcia knocked Salgado backward less than 20 seconds later.

Garcia’s left hand connected just after the halfway point of the third round. Salgado dug to Garcia’s body during the first half of the third round.

Garcia landed a left hand just before the second round ended, but Salgado shook his head to indicate it didn’t affect him. Hoyle warned Salgado for a low blow just before the midway mark of the second round.

Neither fighter landed many clean punches during an unremarkable opening round.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.