In the main event of HBO’s June 15th Boxing After Dark broadcast, Mikey Garcia (32-0, 27 knockouts) faced-off against Juan Manuel Lopez (33-3, 20 knockouts) in a pivotal and exciting featherweight tilt. Going into the bout, Garcia was criticized for his inability to weigh-in at the featherweight limit (he was two pounds over), but after such a dominant victory it’s easy to forgive the mishap.
To put it simply, Garcia was nothing short of dominant in his bout against Lopez as he managed to dominate the former featherweight titlist from bell-to-bell. With a gameplan that was set on exploiting Lopez’ hard charging and fairly obvious tactics, Garcia was able to deliver a thorough beating both early and often.
Each round seemed to follow the same pattern throughout the duration of the bout. Both fighters would meet in the center of the ring where Garcia was content to jab and counter, while Lopez was determined to charge in and score the knockout. It’s this kind of tactic that would ultimately lead to Lopez’ demise as Garcia would always manage to land a one or two punch counter that would stagger the former titlist. This was obvious in the second round after Garcia was able to wobble and ultimately score the knockdown against Lopez.
Luckily for Lopez, the third round proved to be a much better one for him. Although he still lost the round, he managed to get some offense going by way of some solid straight hands that managed to find their mark. Just as Lopez seemed to be gaining steam however, Garcia was quick to close out the round by landing a solid left hook that reminded both Lopez and the fans that the fight could end at any moment. That moment happened to come in the fourth round.
As the fourth round commenced, Garcia managed to quickly stagger Lopez, but much to no one’s surprise, Lopez stood his ground in an attempt to respond with his own power shot. This led to another volley of punches from Garcia which ultimately sent Lopez crashing to the canvas. With Lopez obviously not recovered from the thudding blows, the referee was forced to step in and wave off the fight.
The victory proves to be just another scalp on the already impressive and fairly dominant string of victories that are currently held by Garcia. With talk of testing the waters at super featherweight it will be interesting to see just how much of that power manages to carry over to the heavier weight class. As for Lopez, this loss undoubtedly sends his stock plummeting. Currently paying for the abuse he has put his body through in the ring it will be interesting to see just what Lopez decides to do from here. Although his chin may have faded, his name is still a name so don’t be surprised to see Lopez end up with another big fight in an attempt to go out a winner.