Mikey Garcia and Elio Rojas both hadn’t fought since 2014, and were both understandably rusty tonight. But after a slow start, Garcia picked it up and used his power and accuracy to overwhelm Rojas en route to a fifth round stoppage victory.
Garcia (35-0, 29 KO) dropped Rojas (24-3, 14 KO) twice in the third round, ending any momentum that the former featherweight titleholder might have built in the first six minutes of the fight. Garcia put Rojas down twice more in the fifth round, and Eddie Claudio stopped the fight, though Rojas, in a very brave performance, was up and willing to keep trying.
Power was the real difference -- Garcia still had some as a 140 pound fighter, and Rojas just did not. But this wound up a fight where, for what it was, it was not just useful for Garcia, but surely, too, for Rojas. It would be nice to see him back in shape at 130 pounds and fighting regularly again, because he’s still got heart and some talent as he nears his 34th birthday.
Garcia will likely look to settle in at 135 pounds going forward, at least in the short term. He’s held world titles at 126 and 130, and will look to add to that. At 28, he’s still got a good amount of time in the sport and years left in what should be his prime.