Mikey Garcia was sharp and sensational inside in the ring on Saturday night as he demolished bull-strong Dejan Zlanticanin in three rounds of their lightweight clash at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. There’s no sign of ring rust! Although, he just came back in July after a 2.5 year hiatus.
The long lay-off didn’t make his blade dull. Instead, he used those years that he’s not able to fight to sharpen his skills, enhance his talent. A saying attributed to Abraham Lincoln that says: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. Garcia utilized those 2.5 years wisely and it paid off.
Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) was very focused. It seemed he never blink his eyes the entire fight. He landed jabs from the as Zlaticanin tried to find his range. His textbook 1-2 combination was very effective.
Zlaticanin (22-1, 15 KOs) tried his level best to close the gap. But the 5′ 4″ champion was greeted with stiff jabs every time he comes in. The 5′ 7″ challenger used height and reach advantage to fire accurate shots from the distance. Zlaticanin never won a round on my scorecards.
In the third, Garcia surprised Zlaticanin with a right uppercut then a left hand that got him in real trouble before Garcia landed the home run, a big right hand that knocked Zlaticanin out unconscious. He was motionless for few minutes. I was worried, he might not be able to get up. But thanks that in a few more minutes he was able to move and sit on a stool. The crowd felt relief as they cheered for Zlaticanin.
“I’m very happy he’s okay and I’m glad he was able to recover from that. The natural response is to be celebrating and to be cheerful, but then concern does kick in when I saw he was still laying there for a few minutes. I’m glad he’s okay, Garcia said.
Zlantican said that he was getting ready pick up a little bit in Round 3. But of course he gave credit to the new champion.
“I was just getting ready to pick it up a little bit and I got between the ropes and then he hit me with a good, hard punch. Mikey is a good fighter without a doubt. I never was able to get into the fight” he said.