Danny Garcia seems unable to avoid controversial wins.
After a spectacular win over Lucas Matthysse in 2013, Garcia scored a controversial decision over Mauricio Herrera in March of 2014 and knocked out an overmatched and undersized opponent in Rod Salka later that August.
Tonight, in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions‘ NBC broadcast from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) scored another controversial victory–but this time against Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) in a non-title fight.
Peterson boxed the earlier rounds and arguably ran some of them, but landed enough to deserve the decision as he was walking Garcia down in the later rounds.
Garcia’s face, which was heavily marked from left and right hands from Peterson, also belies the judges the decision.
From the opening rounds, Garcia had trouble closing the distance and came forward with looping shots. Instead of working the jab, the 27-year-old native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania missed wildly with punches, and paid for it–although not as much as he could have–with counter right hands.
Garcia landed body punches throughout the fight, but he was unable to consistently land his signature hook and right hands to Peterson’s chin.
“I was stalking him down in the beginning. He was moving, he was landing good jabs, and at the end he came on strong because I think he knew he was losing on points,” said Garcia in his post-fight interview.
Peterson, a 31-year-old native of Washington, D.C., spent a lot of time on his back foot and could have stood his ground a bit more. Nevertheless, in Rounds 11 and 12, he relentlessly pressed the action and had Garcia reeling back from the assault.
Two judges scored the fight 115-113 for Garcia, while one judge scored the fight a 114-114 draw.
“I knew it was going to be a tough fight, but you can’t win a big fight running,” said Garcia, who said he would not mind a rematch at 147.
Peterson also said he’d like a rematch, but the future between the two fighters remains unclear.
“I would love a rematch, but we’ll see. I’ll get better, get back in the gym,” said Peterson.
Both fighters may look to move up to 147 and will likely vacate the three titles they jointly hold–Garcia holds the WBC and WBA 140-pound title, while Peterson holds the IBF strap.
If tonight shed no light on the status of the 140-pound division, perhaps the likes of Terence Crawford, Thomas Dulorme, Ruslan Provodnikov and Lucas Matthysse may do so. All four fight next week on HBO.
Tonight, however, the main eventers make their way to the Welterweight division with a 143-pound catchweight fight that Peterson arguably won.