A year after taking the first loss of his career, via a split decision against Keith Thurman, former two-division champion Danny Garcia returned with a vengeance over the weekend, knocking out Brandon Rios.
In the main event fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) took a TKO victory in the 9th round.
Despite being off for nearly a year, Danny ultimately found his rhythm.
“I felt the ring rust a little bit in the beginning,” said Garcia. “He’s a good inside fighter and he was giving me some good uppercuts. I felt good, it was a good nine rounds. He came to fight. I came to box, I did that. I came to bang, and I gave the fans what they wanted — a knockout.”
“I just noticed when I was getting my punches off he was standing right in front of me and I just let it go,” he continued. “As soon as I got the fight in the middle of the ring where I wanted I landed good shots. I was just letting my hands go and the punch landed.”
Garcia did a lot of his work in the center of the ring, boxing Rios at a distance, despite Rios putting on the pressure. In the ninth round, Garcia landed a huge counter right to the chin that laid out Rios. Though he beat the count, he was still wobbly, so referee Kenny Bayless called a stoppage at 2:25.
After the fight, Garcia was asked who he wanted next. He called out Thurman. “I would love the rematch with Keith Thurman. It’s on him. Whenever he’s ready we’ll fight,” he said.