After 36 minutes of back-and-forth, anybody’s-ballgame boxing, it was down to the scorecards. Danny Garcia stood in the ring, face sticky with blood, and squinted his eyes. Worry, some said. Concentration, maybe. The first score rolled out: 114-114.
Then the announcer gave the room existential CPR. 115-113 and 115-113 to … wait for it … the still-undefeated Danny Garcia. Exhale, shudder, jump, collapse, raise an arm. Do what you gotta do, because now his record stands at 30-0.
“I knew it was a close fight, but my dad said he knows I won the fight. He gave me eight rounds to four,” Garcia said. “I was confident. I thought I did enough to win because he was just moving a lot.”
For four rounds, Lamont Peterson was on his bike, riding around Garcia. Dodging those heavy hands. Stymieing Garcia’s dangerous left hook. But in the sixth, Peterson switched it on and closed the distance. It was too late, though. Through seven, Peterson was being shut out on one judge's card and won just one round on the other two.
Garcia was able to finally connect with more solid shots, but Peterson remained committed to that defense, sometimes showing up Garcia in the ring. He shuffled, he pranced. At one point Garcia shuffled right back in answer, firing up the crowd.
“He was trying to make me frustrated, but that doesn’t win fights. Punches win fights. It didn’t bother me at all. I came to fight and he came to run. It was what it was. I had to chase him down the whole fight,” Garcia said. “I got the victory and I’m on to the next one.”
After the decision was announced, Garcia leaned in to whisper in Peterson's ear.
"I said you can’t win the fight running. You’ve got to come and beat the champ," he said. "I said 'You did a good game plan, but you didn’t win.’"
What Garcia's next fight might be is still up in the air. He was asked in the ring about a rematch with Peterson at 147 pounds and didn’t dismiss it out of hand. Garcia has said repeatedly he’s on his way to a stacked 147-pound division.
“I feel like I’m going to be a lot stronger at 147,” he said. “I’m just excited. I’m excited for the future.”
For complete highlights of Garcia vs Peterson including photos and videos, check out our fight night coverage.