(Photo Credit: Amanda Kwok / SHOWTIME) In a Showtime card filled with sickening mismatches in the televised portion of the card, the much bigger, stronger and more talented IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Danny Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) showed how it’s done in crushing the little unranked 2nd tier lightweight that his adviser Al Haymon scheduled for him to fight in Rod Salka (19-4, 3 KOs) in the 2nd round tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The fight was over after Garcia hit an already badly hurt Salka with a tremendous left hook to the head in the 2nd round that bowled him over like a bowling pin. Salka’s corner had seen enough of the mismatch at that point and threw in the white towl to have he fight stopped. Garcia also knocked Salka down two other times in the 2nd round.
The fight was about as entertaining as watching someone beat up on a punching bag. If you like mismatches, then maybe you might have enjoyed tonight’s fights, but this one was basically unwatchable because there was no suspense at all, except wondering when Salka was going to get it.
Garcia hurt Salka with a perfectly timed right hand earlier in the round that had him ready out on his feet and ready to be finished off. Garcia hit Salka with a grazing shot that dropped him. Salka waited until the count of 9 to get up from the knockdown. Salka must not have been thinking clearly because he didn’t even try to hold. Instead he was moving around on weak legs and trying to time Garcia with a shot. It was foolish plan because with 3 knockouts on his resume, he wasn’t going to be able to hurt Garcia with any of his light shots. Garcia then dropped Salka with a right hand to the side of the head. The shot reminded me of the clubbing right hand that a young George Foreman knocked Joe Frazier down with in their fight in 19973. Salka got up at the count of 9 once again, but he was in worse shape at this point. Garcia then loaded up with a left hook and planted Salka on the canvas for the third and final knockdown.
All you can really say about this fight is it was great match-making by Garcia’s adviser Al Haymon in picking out an unranked lightweight in Salka. He really picked a good one for Garcia to look good against.
You have to wonder what on earth Showtime’s vice president of sports Stephen Espinoza was thinking when he gave the green light to the Salka as Garcia’s opponent. This was a fight that had mismatch written all over it when the fight was put together, and I’m not talking about an entertaining mismatch. This fight was more disturbing than entertaining because it was a horrible mismatch.
In another mismatch on the card, IBF light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) gave 35-year-old Edgar Santana (29-5, 20 KOs) a methodical beating with vicious body punching in stopping him in the 10th round. The ringside asked the fight, if you want to call it that, stopped in the 10th round due to Santana just standing there taking terrible punishment to the head and body. Referee Pete Santiago halted the fight at 2:48 of the round.
With no worries of the painfully slow Santana hitting him with anything big, Peterson unloaded on Santana with a massive amount of body shots. Santana’s power was decent at the start of the fight, but as the rounds went on the body shots from Peterson sapped the strength of Santana until he was doing little more than throwing pawing shots from the 6th round.
Santana showed a lot of heart in taking a storm of shots in the fight. Not too many fighters would have stood up to the punishment that the 35-year-old Santana took. He must have been in a lot of pain though because Peterson was loading up on his punches with everything he had. He was even loading up on bolo punches. However, it looked like Peterson was throwing an open hand at times, and that would explain the delay in getting Santana out of there.
In the first fight of the televised portion of the card, Daniel Jacobs (28-1, 25 KOs) defeated Jarrod Fletcher (18-2, 10 KOs) by a 5th round TKO wo win the vacant WBA middleweight title. Jacobs went after Fletcher in a huge way in the opening round in unloading everything but the kitchen sink on him after dropping him with a left hook. Fletcher, to his credit, weathered the storm.
Jacobs slowed down considered by the 5th round and looked to be gassing. It could have been a trap though, as Fletcher opened himself enough for Jacobs to hurt him with a big left hook followed closely by a hard right hand that had Fletcher out on his feet. Jacobs then than hit Fletcher with two hard right hands that put him down for the second and final time in the round. The fight was then stopped by referee Michael Griffin at 2:58 of the round.
After the fight, Jacobs called out WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin for a fight. Jacobs didn’t mention wanting to fight the champion that is recognized by many boxing fans to be the overall champion in the division WBA middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin.
Other boxing action on the card:
Zachary Ochoa UD 6 Luis Cervantes
Anthony Peterson TKO 1 Edgar Riovalle
Marcus Browne TKO 1 Paul Vasquez
Prichard Colon UD 6 Lenwood Dozier
D’metrius Ballard TKO 1 Barry Trotter