After falling short for the first time in his six-year professional career last weekend, WBA world super-featherweight champion Hector Luis Garcia has offered his first words since the Gervonta Davis defeat and rather than dwelling on things he cannot change, the 31-year-old has now vowed to come back stronger for the experience, back at his natural 130lb weight division.
Garcia thanks his fans, apologises for anti-climactic ending
- “I know I lost a battle but not the war, I will continue,” Garcia vows, with title defence against #1 contender Lamont Roach Jr expected to be his comeback fight at 130lbs
- “Believe me, [the] hit [to my] head affected me a lot so I could not continue the next round, I’m very sorry,” the 31-year-old explains after multiple conspiracy theories and scepticism emerged after the anticlimactic finish, Davis’ 25th career stoppage victory
He was determined, ready for the task ahead and wasn’t overawed by the occasion of a glitzy, late-night Gervonta Davis PPV card either last week in Washington, D.C.
The proud Dominican, a champion in his own right at 130lbs, stood in the pocket bravely exchanging power shots, a strategy which didn’t bode well for him down the stretch.
Davis’ patented left hand did the damage in the eighth round, and no amount of bravery could prepare Garcia to return for the ninth round.
Heavily criticised by some and celebrated by others after what was deemed a wise but underwhelming corner retirement, the sight of referee Albert Earl Brown having to direct him to the right corner after absorbing too much damage to finish R8 said all you needed to know.
If you didn’t already, he revealed as much in a brief in-ring interview after the fact. He was severely damaged, temporarily blinded, and it made no sense to continue.
Davis’ Ryan Garcia megafight plan for mid-April remains in the works – depending on next month’s hit-and-run jury trial verdict – while Hector will heal his wounds and is expected to return back down to super-featherweight, defending his WBA world title once fully recovered.
After all, that is where the former Olympian announced himself at world level during a successful 2022 campaign. Rather than get flattened, like Leo Santa Cruz or battered into bits ala Mario Barrios, Garcia got out before things worsened and his stock rose after a fearless showing too.
Since losing via UD12 to now-former titlist Jamel Herring for the WBO super-featherweight title in Nov. 2019, Roach Jr has four straight wins including two stoppage wins post-lockdown.
A ten-round decision win over former WBA (Regular) champion Rene Alvarado last December was backed up by outpointing Venezuelan veteran Angel Rodriguez (20-1, 10 KOs) in July.
Picture source: Getty Images