Danny Garcia claims decision in light welterweight bout with Mauricio Herrera
Danny Garcia maintained his undefeated record by taking a majority decision over Mauricio Herrera in Puerto Rico.
Last Updated: 16/03/14 9:32am
Garcia improved to 28-0 and retained his WBC and WBA titles with a hard-fought victory that two judges scored 116-112 and the third had all-square at 114 apiece.
American Garcia, who is of Puerto Rican ancestry, had the crowd of 10,100 at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez on his side while the defeat means American Herrera drops to 20-4 with seven knockouts.
Garcia, coming off a unanimous decision win over Argentina's Lucas Matthysse in September, looked below par from the off, although Herrera disrupted him with his odd angles, an effective jab and good body work.
Garcia's left hook - arguably his best punch - just was not a factor until the middle rounds, and even then it did not appear to be the weapon it usually is.
The WBC had open scoring in effect, though they kept announcing the scores a full round after it mattered - after round five for the first four, after round nine for the first eight.
Both times, it was clear that Garcia was going to win the fight and he paid credit to his veteran opponent after the bout.
"He's a crafty veteran, and I know every time I step into the ring, every contender I fight wants what I got. He's a good fighter and it was a good challenge," he told Showtime.
"I just had to make adjustments, I just had to push the fight. I'm a true champion. I make adjustments."
Herrera, too, felt he deserved the win, but he handled his loss with dignity, commenting: "I felt I won the fight. I felt I landed more punches.
"A lot of his shots - the crowd was screaming when they weren't landing. I thought it was close, but I won the fight."
This was Garcia's fifth defence of the WBC crown he won by taking a unanimous decision over Mexico's Erik Morales in 2012. It was his fourth defence of the WBA title since toppling England's Amir Khan in the same year.
Elsewhere, unbeaten heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder (31-0) scored his 31st consecutive knockout in defeating Malik Scott (36-2-1) courtesy of a first-round knockout.
In a career-saving win, Juan Manuel Lopez (34-3, 31 KO's) stopped Daniel Ponce De Leon (45-6, 35 KO's) in the second round while middleweight contender Daniel Jacobs (27-1, 24 KO's) crushed Milton Nunez (26-10-1, 24 KO's) in round one.