By Mariano A. Agmi and Matt Richardson at ringside
Photos: Chris Farina / Top Rank
WBO jr lightweight Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs) successfully defended his belt by twelve round unanimous decision against Juan Carlos Burgos (30-2-2, 20 KOs) on Saturday night in the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City. Burgos had his best moment in round two when he staggered Garcia with a left hook. However, Mikey rocked Burgos with a right hand in the following round and dominated the fight the rest of the way. Scores were 118-110, 118-110, 119-109.
In an intriguing showdown between unbeaten heavyweights, Bryant Jennings (18-0, 10 KOs) won by tenth round TKO over Artur Szpilka (16-1, 12 KOs). Jennings dropped Szpilka in rounds six and ten, getting a referee’s stoppage with his follow up barrage in the tenth. Time was 2:20.
Unbeaten light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan moved to 20-0 with 13 KO’s following a one-round win against Matt Vanda after the latter appeared to suffer an injury to his left bicep. The bout was called off on the advice of the ringside physician at the 2:51 mark of the opening frame with Vanda complaining of pain to the area. Vanda is now 45-16 with 24 KO wins.
In a battle of undefeated lightweights, Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo (10-0, 7 KOs) shone brightly, knocking out Mexican Lauro Alcantar (8-1, 1 KO) with a spectacular left hook to the chin in round one. The Puerto Rican prospect wasted no time getting his offense going, landing a right hand and a left hook a few moments later that caused Alcantar to spin and crash to the canvas, flat on his back. Referee Gary Rosado immediately halted the bout at 21 seconds of the opening stanza.
Super middleweight Jesse Hart defeated veteran Derrick Findley via six-round unanimous decision. All three judges submitted identical scores of 60-54 for the unbeaten Hart (12-0, 10 KO’s). There were no knockdowns in a dominant performance. Findley (20-12-1-1) is now 0-4-1-1 in his last six fights.
n the swing bout, Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez (3-0, 2 KOs) wasted no time in dispatching Utica’s Neyeine Muang (1-1-2) in round one of a junior welterweight contest. Rodriguez stunned and almost dropped Muang with a right to the head, and the Jersey native jumped all over his opponent, landing stinging uppercuts, a follow up right hand that sent Muang reeling and finally a right and left hook to the liver that dropped the bloody Muang to the canvas, where he stayed for the full count in obvious pain. Referee Michael Ortega counted him out at 1:51 of round one.
Featherweight Alberto Machado blew out Nuwan Jayakody in the second round of a scheduled six. A right hook dropped Jayakody hard in the second and Jayakody couldn’t regain his senses, prompting a stoppage at the 1:34 mark. Machado is now 6-0, 4 KOs. Jayakody is 2-3-1, 2 KOs.
Puerto Rican welterweight prospect Francisco Vargas (2-0, 2 KOs) annihilated Eligio Lopez (1-1, 1 KO) in round one of the opening bout. After hurting Lopez with a right hook to the body and a straight left to the head, Vargas tracked Lopez down and unleashed a hellacious left to the chin that knocked him stiff. The referee did not bother to count, immediately stopping the contest at 1:59 of round one.