Alondra Garcia outpoints Naoko Shibata, wins title
Alondra Garcia was just 17 years of age when she first fought for a world title belt. She came up short against Naoko Shibata, losing a 10-round decision in Tokyo in November 2013.
On Saturday, however, Garcia made the necessary adjustments and defeated Shibata for the very same IBF female junior flyweight title which eluded her as a teenager.
Garcia was able to grind out a 10-round unanimous decision at the Arena Jalisco in her hometown of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The scores were 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94.
Both fighters had their moments during the first half of the fight, exchanging combinations in the center of the ring. Garcia was consistent in landing lead and counter right hands to the head.
Shibata’s punch output dropped during the second half of the fight. Not wanting to leave any doubt with the judges, Garcia pressed the action during the final two rounds and forced Shibata to fight on the defensive.
“I realized this dream, four years after I fought her,” said Garcia after the fight. “I didn’t just fight anybody. I fought a warrior tonight.”
Garcia improves to (17-3-1, 1 knockout) and Shibata drops to (16-4-1, 5 KOs).
In the co-feature, fringe featherweight contender Horacio Garcia stopped Josue Veraza in the fifth round.
Despite fighting with a cut and swelling over his left eye early in the fight, Veraza initially held his ground against the bigger Garcia. He even came close to scoring a knockdown in Round 2 with a counter right hand.
Vereza also pressed the action in Round 3 but Garcia quickly took over. In Round 5, he unleashed a counter left hook that dropped his man. Veraza beat the count, but referee Ricardo Sanchez halted the action at 0:50.
Garcia improves to (31-2-1, 23 KOs), while Veraza drops to 18-8-2 (14 KOs).
Featherweight Eliseo Velez survived a knockdown to win an eight-round unanimous decision over Javier Rodriguez. Scores were 78-73 twice and 77-74.
Both fighters were familiar with one another as Saturday marked the third time they had squared off within an eight-month span.
There was no feeling-out process as both fighters went on the attack from the opening bell.
Rodriguez scored the only knockdown of the bout when a right cross to the head dropped Velez in Round 3. Velez was not visibly hurt, however, and recovered to outbox Rodriguez over the next several rounds.
Sensing he was behind, Rodriguez pressed forward. He forced Velez to fight off the ropes and there were several decent exchanges. But Velez had done enough to win by decision, as he had in the previous two encounters.
Velez improves to (9-0-2, 4 KOs), while Rodriguez falls to (16-14, 15 KOs).
Also on the card
Junior lightweight Abrahan Nova (5-0, 5 KOs) scored a one-punch knockout win over Sergio Lucas (5-3, 4 KOs) at 2:25 of the opening round.
Flyweight Edgar Cibrian won a four-round unanimous decision over Erick Lopez (1-2, 1 KO). Scores were 39-35, 39-35, and 38-35 for Cibrian, who improves to (4-1-1, 2 KOs).
In junior welterweight action, Alejandro Vargas (2-0, 2 KOs) stopped Luis Guzman (0-2) at 1:43 of the second round.
The entire card was streamed through RingTV.com.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing
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