NEW YORK — When Danny “Swift” Garcia walked to the ring, the energy in the Barclays Center shifted.
The building lights were dimmed, but flashlights on phones were all pointed in Garcia’s direction as he entered to the song Cold Summer, by Brooklyn-born artist, Fabolous.
Ivan Redkach didn’t lack confidence. He entered the ring to the popular song Thunderstruck in his light green trunks that matched the color of his hair.
Garcia, 31, never looked thunderstruck, though, and he controlled the welterweight fight and won by unanimous decision, 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111 on the judge’s cards.
If there was ever a thing in boxing, Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) had the home ring advantage. Chants of “Danny!” were sprinkled throughout the fight whenever the boxer seized momentum.
The loudest “Danny!” chants happened in the ninth round. It was Garcia’s most dominant round. He continuously landed power punches that had Redkach on his heels. Redkach (23-5-1, 18 KOs) never wavered too much, however.
When he looked to be seconds away from falling, Redkach would stick his tongue at Garcia to let him know he was fine.
Redkach, 33, also bit Garcia on the shoulder in the ninth ground. Garcia and his corner immediately alerted the referee, but the fight continued.
Garcia’s win places him in position for a fight with Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr. or even a rematch with Keith Thurman.
Stephen Fulton Jr. knew his moment was coming.
He fell to the canvas after the fight turned into a wrestling match during a tie-up in the third round. He had to keep his composure against the scrappy Arnold Khegai.
Garcia was the headliner on this Saturday night boxing card, but Fulton, also a Philly fighter, took the ring first.
Fulton fought Khegai in a super-bantamweight match in a battle of undefeated fighters.
Fulton entered the ring in his black and white trunks with “Cool Boy” on the back of them. “Cool boy” was that indeed, as he won by unanimous decision. The judges scored the 12-round fight 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111.
There wasn’t a doubt this would be Fulton‘s toughest test. Khegai (16-1-1, 10 KOs) entered the fight ranked as the No. 2 contender in the World Boxing Organization at 122 pounds. Fulton (18-0, 8 KOs) was ranked eighth.
At the start, both fighters stood in their corners, looking focused. Neither said many words before the opening bell.
The crowd was relatively quiet early in the fight. There were not many “oohs” and “ahhs” in the first three rounds. Both fighters were testing each other, seeing where they could find advantages.
All of a sudden, the crowd got loud, yelling when the fighters got tangled up and Fulton was wrestled to the canvas.
The move was not scored a knockdown, but Fulton was visibly upset. He bounced around, ready to fight as the referee tried to make sure he was calm before continuing.
Fulton said before the fight that his smarts would be the difference, and he proved to be right.
Fulton’s confidence seemed at an all-time high as he humorously shook his head while Khegai unloaded punch after punch late.
Khegai proved to be the free swinger of the two and had good moments in the middle rounds.
But as the fight went on Fulton was the more precise puncher as he sat back and carefully chose when to strike.