THE broad smile on Oscar De La Hoya’s face was in appreciation of the Valentine’s day gift that lightweights Ryan Garcia and Jorge Linares delivered to his company, Golden Boy Promotions. Having already reserved the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, for a summer showdown between the two, it was crucial for the fighters to stay on script and take care of business at the Honda Civic Center. That they did while delivering outstanding performances in the process.
Garcia, a prohibitive favourite, reached into the archives of boxing history for his one-round demolition of Nicaragua’s Francisco Fonseca. “Watched video of Sugar Ray Robinson. It was the perfect left hook,” Garcia said referring to the fight in which Robinson knocked out Gene Fullmer.
Garcia intent on imitating one of his idols, could not have paid a finer tribute to him. As Fonseca, a battle tested two–time title challenger, threw a long right, Garcia took a gentle step back and connected with a short left hook that was eerily similar to what was called the perfect punch at the time Robinson landed it.