Antonio Margarito vs. Roberto Garcia

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Antonio Margarito 154 lbs beat Roberto Garcia 153 lbs by UD in round 10 of 10

Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia knew he would have everything against him when he faced Antonio Margarito in the ring on Saturday night. Playing the role of the underdog, Garcia realized the ferocious crowd - and perhaps even the judges - wouldn’t be in his favor.

Nevertheless, it was the break the Weslaco native just couldn’t pass on. It was an opportunity to prove after a long wait as a 29-year-old that he does belong with the elite in the light middleweight division. Despite his impressive 28-2 professional record, one ESPN reporter labeled Garcia as “untested” prior to the bout.

Fighting in Margartio’s backyard, Garcia was tested before he even stepped into the ring by thousands of fans in the seats at La Feria de San Marcos in Aguas Calientes, Mexico. Garcia was lucky to have a hand full of fans while the many thousands in attendance let him have it as he came out of the tunnel. It was something he admittedly wasn’t used to, and the best laid plans can unravel when a boxer loses his focus. Garcia’s blueprint for victory was to attack Margartio’s body, delivering vicious shots to the mid-section of a fighter that had not stepped into the ring in more than a year.

That plan did not come to fruition.

“I was so mad, I had so much anger, I didn’t properly use my talent,” Garcia said. “I had everything against me. It was like me against the world.”

That rage led Garcia to stand toe-to-toe with heavily favored ex-WBO/WBA welterweight champion Margarito in the Pay-Per-View telecast.

With a shorter reach, He still managed to land some heavy blows, but Margarito (38-6, 27 KO) landed more jabs and sharper punches en route to winning a unanimous decision on the scorecards. Never facing an opponent as talented as Margarito, Garcia had a tough time slipping in the punches fans have gotten accustomed to seeing throughout the years.

Garcia felt every time he got close enough, the referee would come in and break both fighters, not allowing him to do what he does best and forcing him to once more fight through Margarito’s reach. Despite a fierce comeback, Garcia had points deducted in the eighth and tenth rounds for perceived low blows.

“He didn’t let him bang with him, that’s where I do my damage,” Garcia said of the officiating. “That guy (referee) was killing me. He didn’t let me fight.”

Garcia (28-3, 21 KO) and his promoter Julio Marines of Marines Promotions, truly believed heading into Saturday that the only way Garcia could leave Mexico with a victory was by knockout.

“I knew to win a round, I had to hit him like a piñata,” Garcia said. “I knew they brought me in just to fight him. But I guarantee you he didn’t expect the kind of fight he got.”

Other than flash knock down that sent an unbalanced Garcia to the canvas for a breif count in the first round, the Valley boxer never hit the canvas again. It took a unanimous decision in order for the heavily favored Margarito to secure a win over an opponent many believed wouldn’t last five rounds.

“I’ll tell you what, he made a lot of fans in Aguas Calientes,” said Marines.

And that may include Margarito himself.

After the fight, Garcia said the veteran fighter went up to him and applauded his valiant effort.

“Margarito came up to me afterwards, told me, ‘Estas Fuerte,y pegas bien duro” Garcia said. "You're very strong and you hit hard".

There is truth to that statement, as Marines’ phone is definitely ringing off the hook since the bout. After Garcia’s strong performance, both Julio and Mike Marines said Garcia will be back in the ring real soon. An opponent like unbeaten Saul Alvarez (32-0, 24 KO) out of Mexico is not out of the question. Now that he’s got the taste of the grand stage, Garcia believes it’s only a matter of time before he’s hoisting a title belt of his own.

“I ain’t going nowhere, I will be world champ,” Garcia said.

Meanwhile, Garcia will be going back to Los Angeles Wild Card Gym for training. But through it all, Garcia knows that he has thousands of fans throughout the Valley cheering and hoping for his success each time he steps into the ring.

“You know what, it was great,” Garcia said. “I’m glad I represented hard for the Valley. The fact that I made him run - not even Shane Mosley did that.”