Garcia wins decision over Morales, but ‘The Rooster’ wins the crowd Saturday
SAN DIEGO Calif., September 1, 2018 – In front of a sold-out arena at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, along with peak audience of more than 66,000 via Facebook Watch, Ryan Garcia didn’t deliver the knockout he promised, but won a unanimous decision over Carlos Morales of Mexico to remain undefeated.
Scores for Garcia (16-0, 13 KOs) were 98-92 on two cards; judge David Denkin scored the fight a draw. Morales (17-3-3, 6 KOs) put up a good battle in the loss, showing that Garcia has speed on his side, but he still needs to work on putting together more punches instead of single shots. He can leave himself vulnerable to left hooks; if Morales had any more power, Garcia would have been in bigger trouble several times when Morales connected with one.
Garcia also needs to work on his stamina so he isn’t losing steam down the stretch. Garcia won the early rounds, but Morales appeared to have won more rounds than Garcia in the second half of the fight; enough on one judge’s card to get the draw.
Garcia, who had brashly predicted a dominating win he didn’t get, was respectful following the decision and gave Morales his due. “I want to say, much respect to Carlos Morales. I felt like the fight was closer than the scorecards say, I give him all my respect.”
Garcia made glances at the video screen several times to see how long he had left in rounds when he tired. He didn’t duck the question. “Honestly, I just felt like it could have been a lot of things, I was a little winded, I admit it. He came to fight …I don’t care what nobody says, I’m young and hungry. I just have to get back to the gym and work on my craft.”
Garcia, who is ranked in the top ten and who wants to fight for a title against the likes of Gervonta Davis, is not yet ready for this challenge. Saturday’s fight wasn’t too different from his messy fight with Jayson Velez in May. Garcia and his team need to identify where he needs work and get busy.
Garcia isn’t quite cooked yet, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting it. He just turned 20 years old. He’s got plenty of potential, but he’s still a work in progress. For North American boxers who rarely put in the kind of time as amateurs their European and Asian counterparts do, it’s unfair to expect Garcia to perform with the skill of a Vasyl Lomachenko after a dozen-plus fights.
‘The Rooster’ Neeco Macia can crow about an impressive TKO win
It was another local fighter who stole the show in Indio. Junior middleweight Neeco “The Rooster” Macias of Lancaster, California (17-0, 10 KOs) blasted Marvin Cabrera of Mexico with a fusillade of punches, eventually overwhelming Cabrera and causing his corner to stop the fight after six rounds. Hometown hero Macias came out guns blazing from the opening bell, wanting to impress his family and friends – and he impressed and entertained plenty of other people watching.
Macias averages 100 punches per round, far above the junior middleweight average. In this fight, he averaged 187 punches per round, and landing an average of 53 punches – three times the division average. In the third round alone, Macias threw 196 punches, which now ranks him third all time for punches thrown in a round. Only Vince Phillips (237) and Ray Oliveira (219) have thrown more according to CompuBox numbers. Macias threw 1,019 total punches, and only 12 were jabs.
Macias’ energy level borders on manic. He wears out opponents rather than relying on one punch power. He does so with enthusiasm and unlike Garcia, he didn’t slow down a the fight went on.
Macias credited his opponent for his approach. “I got all that energy – big thanks to Marvin Cabrera, fighting him I knew I had to fight my best. Train hard, fight easy,” said Macias after the bout.
“I just was warming up, I trained for the amateur style when I was younger, and I just kind of carried it to the pros. Now I want to fight 10 rounds throwing 190 punches if I can,” said ‘The Rooster.’ The fans would love to see him try. He’ll quickly become a draw beyond his hometown with a few more performances like this one.
On the undercard, welterweight Patrick Teixeira of Brazil (29-1, 22 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Nathaniel Gallimore of Jamaica (20-2-1, 17 KOs). Texixeira is working his way back after a 2016 knockout loss to Curtis Stevens. Super welterweight Kevin Ceja Ventura of Omaha, Nebraska (10-0, 8 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Eduardo Rafael Reyes of Mexico (9-14, 6 KOs).
Facebook Watch broadcast viewed by thousands of fans worldwide
The Facebook Watch live streaming feed went off without a hitch. In the plus column, the enhanced audio allowing fans to hear the referee and corners clearly. In the minus column, assuming the women on the broadcast are “new” to boxing or more concerned about appearances than fight analysis.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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