It'd be a lie to say that Mikey Garcia impressed in the co-featured bout to open HBO's Boxing After Dark tonight. Garcia was taking on Jonathan Barros after Orlando Salido backed out of their planned clash and, while Barros gave a good account of himself, I think most fans were expecting a bit more of Mikey.
Most of the fight was spent with the two men standing at distance, exchanging jabs and only occasional body shots. Garcia fell into his tendency to, as Max Kellerman put it, want everything to be perfect before he throws his power shots. This meant that Garcia was winning rounds by being the better boxer, but wasn't looking particularly good doing it.
As the rounds wore on Bad Left Hook had the fight scored a shutout for Garcia while the HBO crew was trying to tell a story that Barros' increased aggression from the fifth round on had him clawing his way back into the fight.
In round eight it was finally time for Garcia to land a power shot that counted as he uncorked a left hook that caught Barros high on the side of the head and knocked him to the ground. Barros waited until the count of eight to stand up but looked a bit unsteady as he did so. Once to his feet Barros looked to want to walk back to the corner, when the ref asked if he wanted to continue Barros simply said "no mas" twice and the fight was called off.
You hate to say that you'd have liked the guy to go back out there and get stopped "better" but it made for a strange ending to a rather flat fight.
One would think that the plan will remain to try and set up Garcia vs. Salido but this performance may have pushed the oddsmakers more in Salido's direction.