Replacement opponent Hector Garcia (15-0, 10 KOs) badly exposed previously unbeaten #1 WBA contender Chris Colbert (16-1, 6 KOs) in defeating him by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night in a WBA super featherweight title eliminator on Showtime at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
The scores were 118-109, 118-109, and 119-108. This writer had Garcia winning all 12 rounds, as Colbert had no power and was on the run in the second half when the fight was entirely out of hand.
This has got to be a disappointment for Showtime, as Colbert has gotten a lot of visibility lately. After the way Garcia entirely dominated Colbert, it wouldn’t be surprising if his fights are no longer shown on Showtime.
Colbert fell behind early and lacked the aggressiveness to take the fight to Garcia the way he needed to for him to have a chance of winning.
The highly-rated 25-year-old Colbert was supposed to challenge WBA 130-lb champion Roger Gutierrez for his title, but he was forced to pull out after catching COVID-19.
Garcia, a 2016 Olympian, had too much power, size, and boxing ability for the light-hitting Brooklyn, New York native Colbert. Virtually the entire fight, Garcia stalked Colbert around the ring, nailing him with huge shots, forcing him to retreat to the ropes to cover up.
Colbert looked like a rank amateur, showing flaws in his game in his decision-making and a complete lack of power.
In the seventh round, Garcia knocked Colbert down. Colbert was hurt, but he made it out of the round. Colbert was in survival mode for the remainder of the fight, trying to make it through the complete 12 rounds.
It would be a good idea for Colbert to move down to 126, where his lack of punching power won’t be as much of a hindrance to his success.
But even in that weight class, Colbert might be outgunned by fighters like Mark Magsayo, Gary Russell Jr, Emmanuel Navarrete, and Leo Santa Cruz. Those guys can punch.
Gary Antuanne Russell stops Viktor Postol
Undefeated light welterweight contender Gary Antuanne Russell (15-0, 15 KOs) stopped 38-year-old former WBA 140-lb champion Viktor Postol (31-4, 12 KOs) in the tenth round.
The 2016 Olympian Russell, the brother of former WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr, kept his perfect knockout record intact with an arguably premature stoppage that looked very odd.
It looked like Postol would make it out of the round, but the referee Mike Ortega jumped in and stopped the fight with 29 seconds left in the tenth.
As you would assume, Postol wasn’t pleased with the stoppage because he felt he could have survived the last 29 seconds to make it out of the round.
Russell spent much of the fight landing shots in close and looking like a smaller, weaker version of Shawn Porter. He fights identically with Porter but without the power that he has.
Russell was getting hit a lot and didn’t possess the skills to dominate Postol like Terence Crawford, and Josh Taylor did.
It was a good performance from Russell, but I didn’t get the sense that he would beat Taylor, Teofimo Lopez, Jose Ramirez, Jose Zepeda, or Subrial Matias. But he’s got the talent to beat most of the other contenders.
If Showtime wants to keep Russell around as one of their house fighters, they’ll need to make sure he doesn’t fight anyone too talented because he’ll get beaten just as Colbert did tonight.
Russell will do fine against guys that can’t punch, but if he faces someone with power and halfway decent skills, he’s going to get beaten. He fights a lot like his brother Gary Russell Jr, but he doesn’t have the pop in his punches or the hand speed.