The undefeated Dominican Olympian stuns the ultra-talented Brooklyn native, scoring a knockdown on his way to winning a unanimous decision Saturday night in the main event of PBC on SHOWTIME.
Hector Garcia grew up in a house with five brothers and five sisters. If you didn’t move fast, you would lose your place at the dinner table. So, when the opportunity arose a little over two weeks ago to replace WBA super featherweight titlist Roger Gutierrez against Chris Colbert, Garcia jumped once again at the dinner table.
It was a career-changing move.
The southpaw from the Dominican Republic pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the young 2022, dropping the touted Colbert and dominating him to win a 12-round unanimous decision in a Premier Boxing Champions event on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing from The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Garcia (15-0, 10 KOs) easily won on the scorecards of Patricia Morse Jarman (119-108), Dave Moretti (118-109) and Steve Weisfeld (118-109). He had stepped in for Gutierrez, when the champ contracted COVID.
“When I was told three weeks ago that I was going to take this fight, I thought my life was going to change,” Garcia said. “I needed to come in my best shape and I want to give a lot of credit to (trainer Ismael Salas), who gave me the confidence to say, ‘You can win this fight.’”
Colbert (16-1, 6 KOs), the Brooklyn, New York, southpaw super featherweight made no excuses afterward.
“Tonight, he was the better man,” Colbert said. “I want to take my defeats as a man. I want to keep my head up. Let’s do it again. No, no, no. There was no letdown. There’s no excuses. I take my losses like I take my wins. Everyone puts pressure on me. That’s nothing new. I want to get a rematch if I can. Congratulations to Hector and his team. They deserved this win tonight. I wasn’t feeling myself tonight.”
Throughout the fight, Colbert switched from righty to lefty. He worked behind his high peek-a-boo guard and was uncharacteristically content on staying in the pocket and willing to trade as opposed to boxing, his strength. Garcia was the aggressor, outworking Colbert and taking advantages of those moments.
Colbert did not exactly help himself either by leaning up against the ropes and absorbing punches. After the fifth, Colbert’s trainer, Aureliano Sosa, gave him some stern words for doing it.
Colbert heeded Sosa’s words, up on his toes and boxing. Then, with 1:15 left in the seventh, Colbert was caught with his feet square and walked right into a Garcia counter left hand on the chin, sending Colbert crashing to the canvas for the first time in his career to the shock of everyone.
“I told them not to go to sleep, because I have power in both of my arms,” Garcia said. “That was the key. I came back with that power shot and knocked him down.”
Garcia didn’t let up. He pressed Colbert in the corner and what once looked easy was reaching dangerous terrain for Colbert. In the ninth, Colbert went back to southpaw, and Garcia remained relentless. Colbert threw sparingly in the championship rounds as Garcia cruised to a wide points win.
“In the ninth or 10th round, I don’t remember, but I hit him so hard with a body shot and after that I knew I had him, he wasn’t going to be a boxer anymore,” Garcia said. “I want to fight Gutierrez. I worked too hard for this position.”
Gary Antuanne Russell stops Viktor Postol
Gary Antuanne Russell was pushed for possibly the first time in his career, but the budding 25-year-old super lightweight superstar found a way. He kept his stoppage streak alive by stopping 38-year-old former WBC 140-pound world champion Viktor Postol (31-4, 12 KOs) for the first time in his career at 2:31 of the 10th round.
Russell, somewhat swollen around the eyes, staggered Postol with :38 left in the fight with a right hook. Postol retreated to a corner, where Russell (15-0, 15 KOs) followed and kept pounding. Referee Michael Ortega’s stoppage appeared premature but Postol was visibly hurt at the time it was halted.
At the time it ended, Russell was up 89-82 on judges’ Glenn Feldman and Lisa Giampa’s scorecards, and 88-83 on Tim Cheatham’s card.
Asked whether the fight should have been stopped, Russel said, “Definitely, little gloves, a lot of contact, very physical here and judges made the correct decision (in stopping it. I think my toughest opponent is myself. We train and we execute what we’re told to do. Honestly, it took me a little longer to execute that, but I got it done.”
Russell showed great compassion before and after the fight to Postol, whose family is in Ukraine during the Russian invasion.
“We’re in the hurt business, but I do take my hat off to (Postol), because he has family at home and there is bombing going on,” Russell said. “He’s at war. His family and his country are at war—literally. But when we step into this square, it’s our job as participants to block all of that out. This man was coming to hurt me and I was coming to hurt him.”
Postol was immediately leaving for Ukraine after the fight.
“I just couldn't do what I wanted to do in the ring,” he said. “My legs were not there and my arms were not there like I needed them to be. I've fought much better fighters than Gary Russell, but for some reason I wasn't able to perform to my abilities. I came here to win tonight. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to achieve my goal.”
Fernando Martinez shocks Jerwin Ancajas, wins IBF Super Flyweight title
Emotion spilled from Fernando Martinez. He had battled and beaten alcoholism and depression recovering from the untimely death of his father Abel in 2016.
Now, he’s a world champion.
In the opening TV bout, Martinez battled and beat Filipino southpaw Jerwin Ancajas who was making his 10th defense of the IBF Super Flyweight title. There was no question who won, with judges Max DeLuca (117-111), David Sutherland (118-110) and Steve Weisfeld (118-110) each seeing it for Martinez (14-0, 8 KOs).
“It’s very emotional for me,” Martinez said. “My mother, my kids, my father. There is so much I’m emotional about right now. I’m at a loss for words. This is a dream come true. I made my dad’s dream come true. He’s not here tonight but he always said I’d be standing here one day. And now I’ll be able to buy my mom a house.
“I haven’t even fallen to earth yet. This was my dream since I was 11 years old! Before the fight, I would ask myself what it would be like to bring the belt home to my mom in Argentina. I made that dream come true. The pose I do after the fight is because I have my mom and my dad tattooed on each arm and I want the world to see them. Everything I do, I do for them.”
Martinez showed he wasn’t intimidated in the first round, dropping a few left hooks to Ancajas’ body, and closed the opening round well by pairing a few left hooks to the head.
And so it went.
In the second, it seemed southpaw Ancajas found his range. Still yet, Martinez was more active. Ancajas (32-2-2, 22 KOs) had plenty of moments in the third and fourth, increasing his work rate.
From then on, Martinez took command. By the seventh, Martinez had meted out punishment to the rate of 201-96 in the edge of power punches. After the round, Ancajas’ had been in such a hole that his trainer, Joven Jimenez, hit him with the unsettling news that he was losing.
Nothing changed for the bout’s remainder as Martinez continued to outwork Ancajas and land an alarming number of power punches.
Martinez threw 1,046 total punches in all, landing 427 (41%), easily outdistancing Ancajas’ output (192/816, 24%). The largest disparity came in the power shots. Martinez plowed Ancajas with 421/833 (51%) to Ancajas’ shorter technical approach (170/548, 31%).
For a closer look at Colbert vs Garcia, check out our fight night page.