LAS VEGAS – Elijah Garcia gave thankful fans a terrific action fight and eventually delivered an eighth-round knockout in the same ring he left disappointed with his previous performance five months earlier.
Garcia and Armando Resendiz fought at a furious pace for seven-plus brutal rounds, but the emerging 20-year-old southpaw finally overpowered Resendiz early in the eighth round on the pay-per-view portion of the Canelo Alvarez-Jermell Charlo undercard at T-Mobile Arena. Garcia sent Resendiz to the canvas with a right hook to the body quickly followed by a right hook up top.
Resendiz went down to his gloves and knees with just under 2:10 to go in the eighth round of their middleweight fight. A resilient Resendiz reached his feet in time to beat referee Tony Weeks’ count, but an aggressive Garcia swarmed him and landed several power shots, including two flush lefts, that made Weeks step between them to stop their fan-friendly slugfest at 1:23 of the eighth round.
Garcia, of Wittmann, Arizona, improved to 16-0 and produced his 13th knockout. Mexico’s Resendiz (14-2, 10 KOs) lost by knockout for the first time in 16 professional fights.
Resendiz also lost for the second time in his past four fights. Marcos Hernandez (16-6-2, 3 KOs) upset him by unanimous decision in their 10-rounder two years ago, but Resendiz rejuvenated his career by upsetting former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champion by 10th-round knockout in his last fight, which took place March 4 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
In the round before Garcia finished his game opponent, Resendiz drilled Garcia with a flush right when there were just over 20 seconds to go in the seventh round. A left-right combination by Garcia knocked Resendiz off balance about 1:20 into the seventh round.
Yet another straight left by Garcia knocked Resendiz backward with just under 20 seconds on the clock in the sixth round.
Garcia hammered Resendiz with a multi-punch combination just after the halfway point of the sixth round. Garcia nailed Resendiz with two hard lefts barely 30 seconds into the sixth round.
A straight left by Garcia moved Resendiz backward just before the bell sounded to end the fifth round.
A right-left combination by Garcia backed up Resendiz with just under 40 seconds remaining in the fifth round. Garcia got the crowd’s attention by blasting Resendiz with a right uppercut that violently snapped his head back barely 25 seconds into the fifth round.
Garcia caught Resendiz with a right hook when there were just under 40 seconds to go in the fourth round.
A right uppercut by Garcia snapped Resendiz’s head back with just under 1:10 on the clock in the fourth round. Garcia blasted Resendiz with a hard left barely a minute into the fourth round.
Garcia’s left knocked Resendiz backward with 30 seconds to go in the third round.
Garcia caught Resendiz with a left hand in an exchange at the midway mark of the third round. A straight left by Garcia penetrated Resendiz’s guard 40 seconds into the third round.
Garcia and Resendiz traded hard punches throughout an action-packed, competitive second round.
Garcia drilled Resendiz with a straight left just before the bell sounded to end the second round. Resendiz’s hard right to the side of Garcia’s head made him reset his feet with about a minute to go in the second round.
Garcia and Resendiz traded shots as they approached the midway mark of the second round. Garcia’s straight left landed barely 40 seconds into the second round.
A straight left by Garcia knocked Resendiz off balance with approximately 15 seconds on the clock in the opening round. Garcia previously landed a straight left with a minute to go in the opening round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.