It was billed as a homecoming for WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia, but it very nearly turned into a disaster.
Garcia (28-0, 16 KO) scored a highly controversial majority-decision win over hard-charging challenger Mauricio Herrera (20-4, 7 KO) on Saturday night in Bayoman, Puerto Rico, retaining his 140-pound titles.
Scores were 114-114 and 116-112, 116-112 for Garcia.
Bleacher Report scored the contest 115-113 for Herrera.
Garcia was the huge favorite coming into the fight, and had the benefit of the overwhelming support of the Puerto Rican crowd in attendance. But he struggled mightily with Herrera's movement and ability to smother his offensive attack.
Herrera utilized a solid jab, which he used to disrupt Garcia's rhythm, and presented tricky angles that made him difficult to hit. He connected enough to leave the champion's face swollen and bruised, but it wasn't enough to earn him a victory on the scorecards.
At the end of the fight, it was Garcia with his hand raised, but he'll likely find it difficult to get a ton of credit for this performance.
In the opening contest of the Showtime telecast, American heavyweight Deontay Wilder improved to 31-0, with 31 knockouts, blasting Malik Scott with a left hook, straight right combo in Round 1.
With the victory, Wilder advances to face the winner of the rematch between Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola for the WBC Heavyweight Championship later this year.
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