Junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia's next fight will be in Puerto Rico, the site of Saturday night's majority decision victory over Mauricio Herrera before a boisterous crowd at the historic Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
"Danny Garcia called me after the fight, and he said, 'Richard, remember I told you for the last year and a half that I wanted to fight in Puerto Rico, and, finally, it has happened?' and I said, 'Yeah, I remember,'" said Schaefer, who remained in Los Angeles this past weekend to attend a funeral.
"Then Danny said, 'Richard, they love me here.' So he said, 'Richard, I am telling you that I want my next fight to be in Puerto Rico.' So Danny has made it clear that he wants his next fight to be in Puerto Rico. So Danny Garcia's next fight will be in Puerto Rico."
Garcia's tougher-than-expected fight with Herrera was televised on Showtime. A 25-year-old resident of Philadelphia whose father and trainer, Angel Garcia, was born in Puerto Rico, Garcia (28-0, 16 knockouts) was coming off a unanimous decision over Lucas Matthysse in the co-featured bout to Floyd Maywether Jr.-Canelo Alvarez pay-per-view event last September.
In other bouts on the card, heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder stopped Malik Scott in the first round, and junior lightweight Juan Manuel Lopez rose from the canvas to twice floor Daniel Ponce de Leon in the final round for a second-round stoppage.
"I'm very proud of the performance of Danny Garcia, and I'm very proud of the performance of Deontay Wilder," said Schaefer. "I'm glad that they came to Puerto Rico and they delivered. With Danny Garcia winning, and Lopez winning, it was a big, big night for Puerto Rico."
A LOOK AT SOME SCORES FOR GARCIA-HERRERA
Judges Carlos Colon and Alejandro Rochin had it for Garcia by scores of 116-112. Gustavo Padilla scored it 114-114.
RingTV.com's Lem Satterfield scored it for Garcia, 115-113, although RingTV.com editor Doug Fischer scored it for Herrera, 116-112.
Showtime Sports boss Steven Espinoza, on his Twitter account, scored it for the champion, stating, "7-5 Garcia. I tend to favor power punches landed. Very close though." Meanwhile, Showtime commentators Al Bernstein (116-113), Paulie Malignaggi (116-113), and Steve Farhood (116-112) saw the fight in favor of Herrera.
SCHAEFER: GARCIA'S NEXT FIGHT MIGHT BE AT 147 POUNDS
There does not appear to be much left for Garcia to accomplish at 140 pounds, where the he has scored fourth-round knockouts over former titleholders Erik Morales and Amir Khan, split-decisions over Ashley Theophane and ex-beltholder Kendall Holt, and unanimous decisions over Morales and former titleholders Nate Campbell and Zab Judah.
"For Danny, he has said that maybe it's time to move up to 147, because he's been fighting at 140 since his amateur career, so I think that it might be time for him to move up to 147 now that he's cleaned out the 140-pound division. There's really no challenge left. So we just have to see what's going to be next," said Schaefer.
"Danny Garcia, I believe, is the No. 3-ranked, pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and when you're the No. 3-pound-for-pound fighter in the world, you have a big target on your back. You saw that tonight. There are no more easy fights for Danny Garcia, so he has to prepare for a Herrera like he prepares for a Matthysse or a Khan or whoever. There are no easy fights for him because is one of the best in the world."
Herrera had an overall advantage in total punches landed (221-to-204), as well as jabs (139-to-54), with Garcia out-landing Herrera in power shots (150-to-82).
"I think that tonight, he was looking to make a statement in Puerto Rico. He was trying to knock the guy out, so he was looking for that big punch, and the big punch didn't come," said Schaefer. "But he clearly out-landed him on the power punches. Herrera is a spoiler and that's what makes great fights, and it was a back-and-forth fight because Herrera came to win."
WILDER 'THE SECOND COMING OF MIKE TYSON'
The 6-7 Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) used a left hook to the temple, followed by a straight right hand that split the guard of Scott for a 96-second knockout. In victory, Wilder became the mandatory challenger to the Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola rematch.
Stiverne and Arreola are competing for the title vacated by Vitali Klitschko and their bout is reportedly taking place on May 10 at a site to be determined.
"No matter who you put in front of him, it's lights out. So we have the first Deontay Wilder, or the second coming of Mike Tyson. He is absolutely spectacular," said Schaefer.
"I can't wait to have him fight for the heavyweight championship of the world. I would love to do that fight from Los Angeles at The Staples Center, and bring those titles home. Deontay Wilder was absolutely sensational."
Wilder fought four times in 2013, starting with a second round stoppage of Matthew Greer last January in Mexico, consecutive first-round knockouts of 2000 Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison in England in April and ex-beltholder Sergei Liakhovich in California in August, and a fourth-rounder over Nicolai Firtha, whom he dropped three times last October in New Jersey.
"Puerto Rico fell in love with Deontay Wilder just like England fell in love with Deontay Wilder. Deontay Wilder understands what the responsibilities are of a heavyweight champion of the world," said Schaefer.
"Its has been the glamour division of the sport, and when — not if — but when Deontay Wilder wins the heavyweight championship of the world, he will be the best ambassador that we can have for the sport."
LOPEZ 'BACK IN THE MIX,' SAID SCHAEFER
The Lopez-Ponce de Leon clash was one of southpaw fellow two-division titleholders. Lopez stopped Ponce de Leon in the first round for the WBO junior featherweight title in June 2008.
But the 33-year-old Ponce de Leon (45-6, 35 KOs) was thought to have suffered less ring damage than Lopez (34-3, 31 KOs) since their first meeting.
Ponce de Leon had last been in the ring earning a unanimous decision victory over Joksan Hernandez in November after having been dethroned as WBC featherweight beltholder following a ninth-round knockout loss to Abner Mares last May.
Ponce de Leon had won the 126-pound belt with an eight-round technical decision over Jhonny Gonzalez last September. "The Tarahumara Destroyer" ended a 12-fight winning streak (which included 11 knockouts) for Gonzalez, who regained the belt with a first-round stoppage of Mares last August.
A 30-year-old Caguas, Puerto Rico-based fighter, Lopez is 4-3 in his past seven fights, being stopped in all his losses. Lopez had last been in the ring for a fourth round knockout loss to Mikey Garcia last June.
Lopez sandwiched a second-round knockout of Mike Oliver in October of 2011 between stoppage losses to Orlando Salido in April 2011 and March 2012. Lopez had won two fights by ninth and second round knockout before facing Garcia.
But in victory over Ponce de Leon, Lopez has resucisitated his career.
"Without any question, we saw the best round of the year so far. So JuanMa is back in the mix," said Schaefer. "We'll sit down with his team and we will see what is going to be next for him. The good news is that Puerto Rico has JuanMa back."
BOXING INSIDER BOB VELIN PREDICTED 'SHOOTOUT' RESULT OF LOPEZ-PONCE DE LEON
By an overwhelming, 18-2, RingTV.com's boxing insiders selected Ponce de Leon to gain revenge over Lopez, with 14 of them selecting the Mexican to defeat the Puerto Rican by knockout.
Andreas Hale, of KnockoutNation.com, picked Lopez to win by knockout, but only USA Today's Bob Velin got it exactly right. Below is Velin's official prediction.
Juan Manuel Lopez KO Daniel Ponce de Leon: I think that I'm going to go with Juan Manuel Lopez. I think that he's going to come back and knock out Daniel Ponce de Leon.
I think that Lopez has the power to be able to do it. I don't know if his defense is good enough to handle Ponce de Leon but I think Lopez will do it though in a shoot-out.
Record: 1-0 [Last pick: Alvarez UD 12 Angulo]
JACOBS-PETER QUILLIN 'IS GOING TO HAPPEN'
Schaefer said that Daniel Jacobs (27-1, 24 KOs) may have set himself up for a potential shot at promotional stablemate and WBO middleweight titleholder Peter Quillin (30-0, 22 KOs), likely at Barclays Center in Brooklyn sometime this year.
Jacobs, 27, called out Quillin after scoring three knockdowns during a first-round stoppage of 160-pound rival Milton Nunez.
Quillin, 30, is scheduled to make the third defense of his belt on April 19 against Lukas Konecny (50-4, 23 KOs) at The DC Amory in Washington, an event that he headlined the IBF's Hopkins in a 175-pound unification bout against WBA counterpart Beibut Shumenov on Showtime.
Quillin is 2-0 with one knockout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Jacobs is 2-0 with two knockouts.
"Danny Jacobs is back bigger and better than ever. He's ready for the middleweight championship of the world," said Schaefer. "I think that a fight between him and Peter Quillin, which I know is going to happen sometime this year at The Barclays Center in New York, that will be a big, big event."
Jacobs was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer that manifested itself as a walnut-sized tumor wrapped around his spine, in May 2011.
The tumor had damaged his nerves and caused partial paralysis in his legs. Doctors advised him to quit boxing. But after having the tumor removed and going through rehabilitation, Jacobs resumed training.
"Danny Jacobs is a man with a purpose. He got a second chance on life," said Schaefer. "Bernard Hopkins said it best when he said that Danny Jacobs knows that he's ready for any challenge because he has faced the biggest challenge, which was the fight for his life, and he was able to beat that. So Peter Quillin would be a huge fight. I can't wait for it to happen."
SCHAEFER SEES BIG FIGHTS FOR HERRERA
In the 33-year-old Herrera (20-4, 7 KOs), Garcia faced a winner of two straight fights who scored a unanimous decision victory over current WBO 140-pound beltholder Ruslan Provodnikov in January of 2011.
Herrera lost a unanimous decision in April 2012 to Mike Alvarado, whom Provodnikov dropped twice and stopped in the 10th round last October, as well as a unanimous decision to unbeaten Karim Mayfield from October 2012.
Herrera also has victories over Mike Dallas Jr. and Ji Hoon Kim.
"I applaud Herrera for his work, and I don't think that at 140, there are very many guys who are going to beat Mauricio Herrera. Danny Garcia was one of them, but there are very few others. Who wouldn't want to see a fight between him and Zab Judah. That would be a helluva fight," said Schaefer.
"Mauricio Herrera, even though he didn't get the 'W,' tonight, it's one of those fights where winning isn't everything. Mauricio Herrera made a statement that he belongs at 140, and that he is one of the best fighters at 140 pounds. I'm very pround of the effort that Mauricio Herrera deliver, and I definitely see other big fights for Mauricio Herrera."
SCHAEFER APPLAUDS REFEREE TONY WEEKS' STOPPAGE IN CANELO ALVAREZ TKO 10 ALFREDO ANGULO
Schaefer said referee Tony Weeks "did a terrific job" during the 10th-round stoppage of the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo fight on March 8.
"Right after the fight, I talked to Tony Weeks, and I felt that it was a pre-mature stoppage," said Schaefer. "But I have to say that I was wrong. I think that Tony Weeks did a terrific job in stopping the fight, and there's going to be another night for Alfredo Angulo."
'WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO SEE ALFREDO ANGULO AGAIN?'
Angulo (22-4, 18 KOs) has lost three of his past five fights, and had previously been in the ring for a 10th-round stoppage loss to Erislandy Lara in June.
The loss to Lara ended a two-bout winning streak for Angulo, 31, since being knocked out by James Kirkland in November 2011. Angulo rode a streak of five straight knockout victories into his clash with Kirkland, his only loss at the time being a unanimous decision favoring Kermit Cintron in May 2009.
"Last week, you had two guys who had a loss in their last fights, being Canelo and Alfredo Angulo, and they were still able to capture the audience and do 350,000 homes and it's probably going to be closer to 400,000 homes when everything is said and done. That shows you that people like to be entertained. Last weekend was a great example of being entertained. The winners were the fight fans," said Schaefer.
"So who wouldn't want to see Alfredo Angulo again. Alfredo Angulo is the kind of guy who never gives up. Canelo threw everything and the kitchen sink at him, and he was still standing, and he was still in the fight, but he was stopped a round after the round when he had maybe his best round of the fight. He was in the fight, and I'm very proud of him, and I'll sit down with his team and we will have to see what's going to be for him, but there are definitely going to be fights there for him."
NEW FIGHT FANS
Lopez-Ponce de Leon and Jacobs-Nunez were on Showtime Extreme, followed by the Garcia-Herrera and Wilder-Scott broadcast and the All-Access Epilogue to Alvarez-Angulo.
"Tonight's three-hour telecast on Showtime was absolutely the best entertainment for fight fans because I had people at my house from my neighborhood and some of them were not fight fans," said Schaefer.
"But I will tell you one thing. After tonight, watching the telecast, a lot of people who saw this telecast tonight are new fight fans. This was entertainment at its best."
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