Danny Garcias so-called "homecoming" was not the walk in the park that many fans and odds makers thought it would be. The junior welterweight champ kept his RING, WBA and WBC titles with a majority decision over Mauricio Herrera on Saturday in Puerto Rico, the birth place of his parents.
Garcia (28-0, 15 knockouts), who won by scores of 116-112 (twice) and 114-114, was frustrated and outworked throughout the difficult fight. The Philadelphia native spent much of the Showtime-televised bout backing away from the pesky 33-year-old challenger while looking to land power counterpunches.
However, Garcia had a hard time landing those shots until he stepped up his pressure in rounds 10 and 11. Still, Herrera, who outjabbed Garcia, blocked many of those shots and finished the final round stronger than the defending champ. SHowtime's commentators and many fans scored the fight for Herrera (20-4, 7 KOs).
"Hes' a crafty veteran," Garcia said after the fight. "Everyone I fight wants what I got so they come to fight. They bring their A game. Big ups to my opponent, Mauricio Herrera, he came to fight."
The Riverside, Calif. native said he came to win and belives he did.
"I came perfectly prepared for this fight," said Herrera, who owns a win over current WBO 140-pound champ Ruslan Provodnikov. "I came here to box but he didn't pressure me so I took the fight to him. I landed more punches."
A full ringside report from Tim Smith will be posted later.