Fighter of the Week: Hector Garcia

In a weekend that was dominated by UK boxing controversy and shocking upsets, this week’s Fighter of the Week award was no doubt the hardest of 2022 to select. However, what was not controversial was ” El Androide” Hector Garcia’s one-sided dominating performance over Chris “Prime Time” Colbert in what will likely be the upset of the tear. In what was originally supposed to be the night Colbert won a world title. The first of many was what was going to be a sensational career for Colbert. Garcia, 30, of San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic, however, did not get that memo and instead of playing a late minute opponent who wanted a paycheck. He dominated Colbert over 12 mostly one-sided rounds. Beat him up, dropped him, and took the lopsided unanimous decision. He moved his perfect record to 15-0 (10), takes home our Fighter of the Week award, and is the leader in the clubhouse for Upset of the Year. 

What was supposed to be a coronation, a showcase for one fighter, became anything but. Garcia established himself in the first round. Smothering Colbert outworking him and letting it be known from the opening round he wasn’t here to act like just a late replacement. Garcia was here to win after Colbert was about to box with a level of success from the outside in rounds two and three. The Dominican seized control of the bout in the fourth and was not going to let go of it. He was able to time Colbert, slip to the inside, and unleash a barrage of shots opening up a large lead through the mid-way point. Colbert seemed to get in his grove in the seventh. That’s when disaster struck for Colbert, a picture-perfect counter left hand landed on the button and put Colbert to the canvas. Colbert beat the ten but spent the remainder of the round and the fight on the defensive. The last two rounds went from primetime to survival time as Colbert opted to get on his bicycle and merely survive till the final bell. The decision was academic and to no surprise as all three judges scored in favor of the underdog by scores of all three 118-119 x 2 and 119-108.

What’s even more important than scoring the upset of the year, is what you do next. How do you capitalize on that performance? Garcia was largely unknown by US fight fans. He had fought deep on the undercard of December 18th PBC card headlined by David Morrell in Minneapolis. That was his only exposure to US fights fans. A points win over rugged veteran Isaac  Avelar, did little to make US fight fans think he would present any challenge at all to “Prime Time”. The 30-year-old proved he belonged. He proved he has the skills and power to belong among the elite fighters at 130. He is going to be presented with one of two fights next, a rematch with Colbert or a showdown with WBA champ Roger Gutierrez. It won’t be shocking at all if he wins either of these fights, if he does win he will not only prove that he belongs but establish himself as one of the top two guys in the division alongside the winner of Stevenson-Valdez which takes place on April 30th.

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