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  Just Enough To Win:
A Night With Jarrett Hurd & Danny Garcia In Brooklyn

By Iberedem Ekure
Photos: "Sugar" Ray Bailey

 

In what will certainly not rank anywhere near the top of entertaining fight nights of 2020, Danny Garcia and Jarrett Hurd were back in the ring after 8-9 months of inactivity. It was a far from memorable night as the crowd booed more than they cheered over the course of the evening. The two fighters with the “swift” moniker failed to make swift work of their opponents, Jarrett Hurd guiltier than Danny Garcia in this respect.

The main event saw Danny Garcia take on Ivan Redkach. Garcia made his ring entrance in a signature mask and the fight began with both men feeling each other out. Garcia landed the first meaningful power punch but both men still trying to find a clear opening.

In round 2, Redkach landed a straight left and was finding success with the overhand left from his southpaw stance. Garcia was able to land a couple of right hands.

Rounds 3 and 4 were frustrating as nether fighter was landing anything meaningful. The crowd began to
boo and they were tough rounds to call.

Garcia started to put together impressive combinations in the 5th. He caught Redkach against the ropes and landed a couple of right hooks but ate an uppercut counter from Redkach.
 

Garcia found his rhythm in the 6th and 7th rounds able to get inside Redkach’s outstretched right jab and land combinations. Redkach was not doing a great job of maintaining the distance and Garcia’s speed was too much for him.

The 8th round saw both fighters very active, looking to score some big punches but Garcia got the better of the exchanges. A frustrated Redkach bit Garcia on the shoulder during a clinch.

Garcia showed some impressive footwork in the 9th, able to get inside and land cleanly on Redkach. Garcia was well ahead on the cards at this point.

The 10th round saw Redkach come out as the aggressor and Garcia moved and counterpunched effectively. Redkach injected a sense of urgency in his approach and landed an uppercut but he was overmatched over the course of the round by the swift, skilled Garcia. The 11th round followed a similar pattern.

The 12th and final round saw Redkach open with intent, looking to close the now wide gap between himself and Garcia on the cards. Garcia found his range in the last half of the round and closed strong.

Garcia was announced the winner by unanimous decision, but a good number of the audience had already left by this point.
 

Before the Garcia fight, Maryland fighter and former unified light middleweight champion took on Francisco Santana. Many were expected a new, improved Jarrett Hurd after the surprise defeat to Julian Williams in May 2019

Hurd opened the fight by landing the jab and maintaining distance. Santana tried but fond it difficult to break through and land any meaningful shots.

In the second round, Hurd and Santana fought in close quarters. Santana was able to find his range later in the round but too little, to late.

The third round was close with no one asserting their dominance over the other. Hurd is clearly the more skilled fighter but he was not creating enough space to let that shine through. Hurd landed two big right hands in the last 30 seconds of the round.

The 4th round was fought in close quarters with a lot of clinching and Hurd got the better of the exchanges.

In the 5th, Santana was clearly the aggressor with Hurd on the back-foot counterpunching effectively. Hurd landed a series of uppercuts and hooks which were answered in kind by Santana.
 

Hurd came out sticking and moving but Santana closed the gap mid-round and landed some jabs and left hands of his own. Hurd seems unbothered by Santana’s power.

The fight took a nose-dive from the 7th with both men fighting in the pocket and landing with mixed success. Fatigue was clearly starting to set in, and the crowd booed at the end.

The 8th, 9th and 10th rounds were much of the same and the boos got louder.

In the 11th, Hurd came out more active with the jab and Santana responded by stepping up the pressure. Hurd caught Santana with a right hook but Santana was unfazed and came back on the offensive.

In the final round, there was more fighting in close quarters. Both men mustered up whatever energy was left in them and with a few seconds to go, Hurd landed a hard left cross and a vicious right uppercut that put Santana on the mat. Santana made the count with a second to go and the bell rang to end the fight.

Hurd was announced winner by unanimous decision but was booed out of the arena. Fighting like this was certainly not what got him to the top of the light middleweight division.
 

Also fighting that night were two undefeated junior featherweights, Stephen Fulton and Arnold Khegai. Arguably the most exciting fight of the night, it was an eliminator for a title shot and both fighters gave it their all.

The fight started with frenetic energy, both fighters looking to establish dominance. Fulton looked to establish the jab but Khegai focused on the body, successfully landing two body shots.

In the second round, Fulton continued to jab effectively and Khegai aggressively tied to close the gap resorting to punching Fulton on the back of the head when they came together. The referee warned Khegai, the first of many warnings over the course of the fight. Near the end of the second round, Khegai landed a three-punch combination.

Khegai was able to cut the ring off and fight in closer quarters over the course of the third. He was the aggressor but was surprised by two well-timed body shots from Fulton. A frustrated Khegai turned a would-be clinch into a wrestling-style body slam, throwing Fulton onto the canvas.

Khegai’s offense peaked in the 4th and 5th round as he was able to push fulton into the corner multiple times and land some power punches. Fulton failed to use his reach advantage to keep Khegai at bay. He allowed Khegai too much room on the inside and took a few body punches.

Fulton came alive in the sixth and used his crisp, sharp jabs effectively. Fulton moved around and didn’t allow Khegai much room to work the body. Khegai chased for most of the round while getting hit by sharp jabs but was able to trap Fulton in the corner on three occasions and land some impressive hooks.
 

Fulton grew in confidence going into the 7th. He landed a three-punch head and body combination and another double hook to the body. Whenever Khegai trapped Fulton in a corner, Fulton counterpunched effectively with uppercuts. In the final 20 seconds, Fulton landed a four-punch combo in the center of the ring. He followed it up with a three-punch combination and Khegai offered no response.

Khegai tried to move the fight to the corner of the ring and against the ropes where he could inflict maximum damage in the 8th but Fulton clinched, and the referee came in to separate the fighters. A frustrated Khegai threw a punch while the referee was separating the fighters. Fulton moved the fight back to center of the ring, landing stinging jabs and keeping Khegai at bay.

In the 9th round, both men exchanged punches across the ring and Khegai seemed to have the upper hand. He punched Fulton in the back of the head and got a warning from the referee. During a clinch, Khegai landed a powerful uppercut to the approval of the crowd and he landed a few more body shots before the end of the round.

Fulton came out on the offensive in the 10th, landing a few jabs and an uppercut. Khegai landed a double jab in response. Fulton showed good ring generalship and controlled the pace of the round. His footwork and hand speed left Khegai frustrated.

In the 11th round, Khegai and Fulton traded punches and Khegai was able to catch Fulton in a corner, delivering a barrage of jabs and body shots. Khegai caught Fulton with an overhand right and an uppercut yet Fulton weathered the storm and went back to maintaining the distance. Khegai caught Fulton in a corner and delivered a four-punch combination.

In the 12th and final round, both fighters started cautiously, and Fulton used his feet well to keep the distance. Fulton landed a jab, then a straight right and followed it with another jab. Khegai stalked Fulton around the ring, unable to land anything meaningful while Fulton delivered another straight right and a jab to follow. Near the end of the round, Khegai landed a body shot and Fulton answered with a stinging jab.

All 3 judges scored the fight for Fulton who remains undefeated in his quest for a world title.



 

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