Mikey Garcia met Jonathan Barros in HBO's TV opener, a junior lightweight scrap set for ten or fewer, which took place Saturday night at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. Barros was having his moments, and worked a persistent jab but that went by the wayside when Garcia dipped down and exploded up with a left hook to the side of the head.
The end came at 2:24 of the eighth, as referee Robert Byrd asked Barros if he wanted to continue and the loser said he did not. He appeared to be having a debate in his head, at first seeming to want to plod on, and then thinking the better of it.
Garcia went 78-271, to 56-353 for the loser.
The 24-year-old Garcia (29-0 entering; brother of notable trainer Robert Garcia, who worked his corner; lives in CA) is a calm, cool operator who looks for his spots, capitalizes on mistakes, and never wastes motion. Barros (34-3 entering), who is from Argentina, looked to not get hit more than anything early. The 28 year-old, coming in having lost two of his last three, to Celestino Caballero and JC Salgado, had held the WBA feather crown in 2010-2011, before dropping it to Caballero. By the fifth, Garcia was lubed up, and looking to land with more nastiness. Barros opened up in the fifth as well, and paid for it. He did, though, have some moments with a nice, long jab. A left hook in round seven told Garcia that Barros was still there to win. "Let's start backing him up," trainer Robert yelled during the round.
A left hand dropped Barros, at the 52 second mark, in round eight. He arose, but wasn't keen on going on. The ref waved it off, after the boxer said, 'No mas.'
Many fans know that Garcia was due to fight Orlando Salido, but Salido hurt a finger, and had to postpone. Salido, who holds a featherweight title, will probably fight Garcia in a few months. After the scrap, Mikey told Max Kellerman that he does want a fight with Salido, who was present ringside.