On Saturday’s telecast it was announced that former two-division world champion Danny Garcia would return to the ring on Saturday, January 25 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center.
During an interview with SHOWTIME Sports host Brian Custer, Garcia discussed his anticipated return to the ring.
“January 25, I’m back at Barclays Center, my home away from home,” Garcia said. “It’s a great atmosphere. Every time I’m here, I get the jitters, so I just can’t wait to be back.
“I’ve been in the gym for a month. I’m already ready. I don’t know who my opponent is, but whoever they put in front of me, I’m ready to get it on.
“First of all, thank God (Errol) Spence is doing good. I hear that he’s recovering well. I was really looking forward to fighting him but maybe he could be next after January 25.
“Pac-Man (Manny Pacquiao) or Spence, that’s who we want. 2020 is going to be a big year for me.”
In a battle of former world champions to open the telecast, Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17 KOs) knocked out the Philippines’ Marlon Tapales (33-3, 16 KOs) with a devastating straight left-hand at 1:09 of the 11th round.
With the win, Iwasa earned the vacant Interim IBF World Junior Featherweight Title.
Iwasa, who held a six-and-a-half-inch reach advantage, was more consistent throughout the entirety of the bout, stringing together multi-punch combinations. The decisive moment of the 12-round fight came in the penultimate round, when Tapales was caught with a counter left-hand that connected flush on his chin and put him sprawled on the canvas. Tapales beat the count, rising after eight seconds, but referee Shada Murdaugh waved the fight off.
At the time of the stoppage, Iwasa led on all three scorecards (97-92, 95-94, 97-92). While Tapales was more accurate throughout the night, Iwasa was busier and landed 163 total punches compared to 148 for Tapales and held a 125-99 advantage in power punches landed. In the third round, Tapales was dropped to a knee after an accidental clash of heads. The clash, which was incorrectly ruled a knockdown, caused severe swelling under Tapales’ right eye and swung a would-be 10-9 round in his favor to a 10-8 round in Iwasa’s favor.
“I knew that I had him hurt in the 11th round. I was ready for the finish if the referee had let him keep fighting,” said the 29-year-old Iwasa. “It was a tough fight. But I trained really hard for this performance. My height and reach was definitely an advantage. I was able to put my punches together well. He never hurt me but he was still difficult and I had to focus to figure him out.
“We’re ready for anyone next. I’m going to keep working hard to become a world champion again next year.”
Prior to the telecast on SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN streamed live on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page and saw Ronald Ellis (17-1-2, 11 KOs) win a majority decision over Immanuwel Aleem (18-2-2, 11 KOs) in their 10-round super middleweight fight.
The back and forth affair saw both men grab the momentum of the fight at different points, but it was Ellis’ activity and ability to box effectively from the outside that gave him the edge. While one judge had the fight 95-95, he was overruled by two scores of 98-92 and 97-93 for Ellis.
The opening streaming bout saw Louisa Hawton (10-2, 5 KOs) retain her Interim WBC Atomweight Championship by unanimous decision in an all-action rematch against Lorraine Villalobos (4-3, 2 KOs).
Hawton came back after being dropped due to a powerful left hook from Villalobos in the sixth round. Hawton was saved by the bell in the round. He finished the fight strong, punctuating the action getting the best of several exchanges in the late rounds to win by the score of 95-94 on all three cards.
Furthermore, Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader will replay on Monday at 10:05 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME.