Mikey Garcia scored an early candidate for 2017’s KO of The Year last night on the under-card of the Santa Cruz-Frampton return in Las Vegas. Absolutely vaporising tough and previously unbeaten (if outclassed) Dejan Zlaticanin in the 3rd-round, the former WBO featherweight and super-featherweight champ ripped the WBC lightweight title from the 32-year-old southpaw.
And Garcia, who improved to 36-0(30) displayed such destructive punching power after having had just one previous fight in the last three years. Garcia dominated Zlaticanin from the start and brutally finished him in the third-round, a chilling right hand to the head being the final punch in a combination. Zlaticanin was out the moment the right hand landed, flat on his back and motionless for a worrying amount of time. Thankfully he is okay.
Garcia, at age 29, and after over ten years at pro level (minus those long months of inactivity) scored the most memorable KO of his career and he set himself up for future big fights. Garcia certainly proved he is a fighter who has carried his power with him as he has gone up through the weight divisions. Now a three-weight ruler, Garcia said post-fight he wants unification bouts, or he may even go for a fourth title up at 140. Just imagine Garcia’s skill and frightening power matched against the likes of Jorge Linares or Terry Flanagan, or against names like Terence Crawford and Adrien Broner at 140!
For now though, the highlight reel KO he scored over the unfortunate Zlaticanin will be played and played and played by the fans. It will take a truly savage KO to top last night’s knockout as far as The KO of The Year award goes; even if we are still only in the month of January.
Fight fans, as much as they enjoy a great distance fight between two fighters adopting technical skill, always get pumped up the most by the sight of a scintillating KO. Mikey Garcia certainly gave his fans one last night.