by David P. Greisman
Roberto Garcia’s late-career renaissance continued with a unanimous decision win over Breidis Prescott.
Prescott’s reputation was built as another Colombian knockout artist — one who stopped Amir Khan in less than a minute back in 2008. But he opted to box more in the early rounds against Garcia, a strategy that worked well at the outset.
Garcia continued to pressure Prescott. At the end of the fourth round, Prescott landed blows after the bell. Garcia returned the favor at the end of the fifth. The bout devolved into a lot of fouling and complaining in the sixth. Prescott began to fade, befitting his reputation, and Garcia poured on punishment in the seventh. He took the eighth as well and seemed as if he might be able to get a stoppage if the action continued along these lines.
And then the ninth round started.
Prescott threw a jab and followed it with a right hand, and Garcia went down. Garcia rose, and Prescott landed more. Yet in the 10th, with the decision potentially on the line, Prescott did little while Garcia dictated the action.
The round wound up not being crucial to the cards. All three judges found it for Garcia by scores of 96-93, 95-94 and 96-92.
It was the eighth win in a row for the 34-year-old Garcia, whose last loss came to Antonio Margarito back in May 2010. His other two defeats came relatively early in his career, which began in 2001. So far in 2014, he’s taken a split decision over Norberto Gonzalez, a stoppage of Victor Cayo, and this win over Prescott. The victory brings him to 36-3 with 23 KOs and one no contest.
Prescott has now lost two of his last three (he dropped a decision to Breidis Prescott last year) and four of his last eight (there were back to back losses to Paul McCloskey and Mike Alvarado in 2011). The 31-year-old is now 27-6 with 20 KOs.
- In the televised co-feature, Caleb Truax won a unanimous decision over Derek Ennis. The scorecards were 97-93 (twice) and 99-90.
Truax is a Minnesota middleweight whose only pro loss came against Jermain Taylor back in 2012; Truax dropped Taylor in the ninth round of that bout. Ennis is a Philly fighter who is known for being a good sparring partner and has a win over Gabriel Rosado, but hasn’t advanced far with his pro career.
Truax tended to press the action, while Ennis’ offense came in spurts — or in the form of counters. Truax had Ennis on the ropes in the third round, landing some good right hands. In the fourth, Truax went down on what was ruled a slip. Truax soon had Ennis on the ropes again and sent out a barrage of shots. Ennis withstood it, and Truax realized that Ennis wasn’t going away.
The middle rounds brought some intermittent action as the pace resembled that of a sparring session.
Truax landed a good right hand followd by a left hook in the eighth. Later in that round, Ennis landed a pair of good right hands, then missed a wild one as he swung for the fences. Truax landed a few good right hands in the ninth. And in the final round, Truax suffered a cut over his right eye from what the referee ruled a punch.
Truax and Ennis were actually supposed to fight earlier this year on the “Friday Night Fights” season premiere. But Ennis pulled out, and in stepped Ossie Duran. Truax and Duran fought to a draw.
Friday’s fight brought the 30-year-old Truax’s record to 24-1-2 with 14 KOs. Ennis, 33, is now 24-5-1 with 13 KOs.
- In the broadcast opener, Mike Lee remained undefeated with a six-round majority decision over Paul Gonsalves.
The scorecards were an even 57-57, overruled by two 58-56 cards for Lee.
There wasn’t much action — each fighter threw less than 200 punches over the course of six rounds. And combined there were only 76 landed punches. Lee landed well in the second, but then Gonsalves turned to boxing and moving in the third, making Lee miss and then picking his spots to land.
That strategy didn’t remain overly effective long, though it wasn’t as if either man was making much of an impact on the other. Gonsalves was able to draw blood from Lee’s nose in the fifth. The final round was one in which Lee didn’t land much, while Gonsalves didn’t throw much.
Lee, 27, of Chicago, moved to 13-0 with 7 KOs, getting the victory in front of his hometown crowd. This was his second bout working with trainer Chris Byrd, the former heavyweight titleholder.
Gonsalves, 32, of Harwich, Massachusetts, falls to 7-4 with 3 KOs.
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]