The former two-division world champion becomes the first man to stop Granados, turning in a vintage performance Saturday night on PBC on FOX.
The latest episode of “The Danny Garcia Show” was one of the best yet.
The outcome was never in doubt. Garcia dominated from the opening bell, flashing the skill that has netted him three world titles in two weight divisions.
"The way to make a statement tonight was to stop him," said Garcia afterward. "The game plan was to break him down. I have too many tools. I couldn't let him hang around with me.
Many had written the Philadelphia native off following last September’s close points loss to Shawn Porter for the vacant WBC world welterweight belt. It was Garcia’s second defeat in three months; the other a March 2017 split decision loss to Keith Thurman in a 147-pound title unification bout.
In between those two fights, Garcia stopped Brandon Rios via ninth-round TKO in February 2018. The win did little to dissuade his detractors. A vintage performance against Granados was needed, but unlikely. Even the aforementioned Porter, who decisioned both Garcia and Granados, said Granados gave him a tougher fight than Danny did.
“I’m coming to get my respect,” Granados declared at Friday’s final weigh-in.
So too was Garcia. He began the first working behind the jab and stepping in with combinations downstairs. Toward the end of the round, a short right caused Granados’ knees to momentarily dip.
Undaunted, Granados continued to engage in the middle of the ring. He paid the price midway through the second, when Garcia calmly countered a combination with a short left hook. The shot drove Granados across the ring and to the mat. He was up quickly and down again nearly just as fast, this time, from a counter right.
Granados beat the count, which only delayed the inevitable. Garcia was simply too skilled. He pot-shotted Granados from the outside, walking him down behind the Philly shell. He was equally effective in close quarters, landing punishing shots to the head and body.
Garcia scored his third knockdown in the fifth, dropping Granados with a three-punch combination capped off by a right hand. The bout could have been stopped right then. But the bloodied Granados was too brave for his own good.
In the seventh, a series of hard rights backed a weakened Granados to the ropes. Garcia unloaded a combination to that continually snapped Granados’ head back, prompting referee Thomas Taylor to mercifully step in at 1:33 of the round.
"He caught me with some good shots but I really thought I was fine," said Granados. "I think the referee was a little over-protective. I had a plan to go the whole fight and they stopped me on my feet. I was still catching him with shots. I was still dangerous and looking for a big shot to change the fight. The referee had to do his job though and I understand it."
Garcia’s performance served as a reminder that he is still among the welterweight elite.
"I hope I didn't scare Manny Pacquiao away," said Garcia. "I'd love a rematch with Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman, or a fight with Errol Spence Jr. I'm back!"
And as good as ever.
Andy Ruiz Retires Alexander Dimitrenko, calls out Adam Kownacki
Andy Ruiz Jr. (32-1, 21 KOs) may be the darkhorse of the heavyweight division. Making his PBC debut, Ruiz beat down Alexander Dimitrenko, forcing Dimitrenko’s corner to call it quits before the start of the sixth round.
Ruiz’s pressure and fast hands ultimately proved to be the difference. A hard right at the end of the first got Dimitrenko’s attention. Another in the third rocked him—Ruiz’s follow-up caused Dimitrenko’s gloves to touch the canvas. However, referee Ray Corona ruled it a slip. Moments later, the Russian was hurt by a left hook to the ribs seconds before the bell rang.
It was more of the same in the fourth and fifth. Another big right in the latter wobbled Dimitrenko (41-5, 26 KOs) again. His corner ended the fight at round’s end.
"For my next fight there's somebody like me, a chubby exciting fighter I want," said Ruiz. "Adam Kownacki I'm ready, let's do this."
Brandon Figueroa stops Yonfrez Parejo, wins interim title
Brandon Figueroa may want to change his moniker from “Heartbreaker” to “Will-breaker.” Figueroa captured the interim World Boxing Association World Super Bantamweight Title when Yonfrez Parejo refused to answer the bell for the ninth round.
Figueroa (19-0, 14 KOs) was his usual relentless self, switching stances and throwing non-stop from a variety of angles. Venezuela’s Parejo got off to a strong start in the early going, catching Figueroa coming in. But he couldn’t handle the mental and physical pressure Figueroa applied.
Parejo’s sharp counters were few and far between as the rounds progressed. Figueroa broke him down with non-stop pressure and body shots round by round, keeping him on the ropes for extended periods.
By the eighth, Parejo (22-4-1, 11 KOs) was a spent force. Another Figueroa battering to the ribs was enough to convince him to remain on the stool at the end of the frame, despite pleas from his corner to give them one more round.
"This is an amazing feeling and a dream come true," said Figueroa. "I can't wait for what's coming next. I thought I was going to finish him the next round. He had lasted pretty well but once I put the pressure up to another level, I knew he wouldn't be able to continue."
Romero gets the KO victory in the 4th.— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) April 21, 2019
*Caution, this video contains graphic content.* pic.twitter.com/E6oercJP1u
Rolando Romero Delivers KO of the Night—Possibly of the Year
The action continued following the main event on FOX, as PBC Fight Night Extra on FS1 delivered more bouts for fans. Undefeated lightweight prospect Rolando Romero moved to 9-0 (8 KOs) with a highlight-reel, fourth-round KO over Andres Figueroa (9-5, 5 KOs). Romero showed off his versatile skill-set and then put his elite punching-power on display, flattening Figueroa with a single left hook in the fourth. Official time was 1:27. Romero will be one to watch in the future.
For a closer look at Garcia vs Granados, check out our fight night page.