Danny Gar­cia stops Sa­muel Vargas in sev­enth round

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Danny Gar­cia passed the test. The WBC wel­ter­weight cham­pion vowed not to over­look Sa­muel Vargas with a ma­jor matchup against WBA cham­pion Keith Thur­man loom­ing in March, and he didn’t in front of his home­town crowd.

In a non-ti­tle fight sched­uled for 10 rounds, Gar­cia, stopped Vargas in the sev­enth round Satur­day night at Tem­ple Univer­sity’s Li­a­couras Cen­ter. Af­ter­ward, Gar­cia climbed through the ropes and stood at the edge of the ring, yelling and point­ing at Thur­man, who was below him ringside at the tele­vi­sion broad­cast ta­ble. The two then stood toe-to-toe in the ring.

“I just had to tell Keith he’s next,” Gar­cia said. “I’m gonna whoop him. There’s not much more to say. He got what he asked for and now he’s go­ing to face a real big dog.” Af­ter dom­i­nat­ing nearly ev­ery round, Gar­cia (33-0, 19 KOs), who was barely hit through­out the night, pinned Vargas (25-31) against the ropes late in the sev­enth round and landed a few power shots, which led ref­eree Gary Rosato to stop the fight. Gar­cia, wear­ing tiger-striped trunks, dropped Vargas to the can­vas in the sec­ond round with a big right hook af­ter duck­ing un­der a punch at­tempt. Vargas barely made it to his feet be­fore Rosato counted to 10 just be­fore the bell sounded to end the round.

“It was just a well-timed shot,” Gar­cia said. Gar­cia landed power punches in ev­ery round. A pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion nearly ended the fight late in the fourth round, but Vargas was again saved by the bell.

“I felt a lit­tle rusty,” said Gar­cia, who last fought in Jan­uary when he de­feated Robert Guer­rero to win the WBC ti­tle. “But I started putting my punches to­gether and came out vic­to­ri­ous.

Next up is the big­gest fight of his ca­reer. Gar­cia and Thur­man (27-0, 22 KOs) will unify their belts March 4, 2017, at a lo­ca­tion still to be de­ter­mined. “They said that he wanted a tune-up,” Thur­man said. “Now he’s ready to come see me.” —AP

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