ESPN Friday Night Fights has a special treat in store for us this week in the Welterweight Division from Chicago, Illinois. In the main event, Columbian Breidis “Khanqueror” Prescott 27-5 (20KO) will battle Mexican Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia 35-3 (23KO). This fight may enter the discussion for fight of the year when the final bell rings…..if it lasts that long.
Garcia enters this bout on the strength of a seven fight win streak. Earlier this year in February, he jumped at a chance to take a fight on short notice and fill in on Friday Night Fights against Noberto Gonzalez and ended up winning a split decision. What made this victory more impressive was the fact that Garcia had to lose over ten pounds the week of the fight to make weight due to being a late replacement. Garcia followed that performance up on a special Thursday edition of Friday Night Fights in May by stopping Victor Cayo by technical knockout in the sixth round. Garcia’s last loss was in 2010 at the hands of Antonio Margarito by unanimous decision losing out on a chance to claim the WBC International Light Middleweight Title.
Garcia is historically a slow starter who can be hit due to a porous defense but he counters both by applying ruthless pressure throughout the fight while scoring with effective combination punching and landing power shots when needed as evident by his 58% knockout rate. Garcia can be effective in this fight if he can set the tone early by starting out quicker than usual and letting his hands go more than he has in previous fights.
Prescott comes in with a 3-3 record in his last six fights with two of those losses at the hands of rising star Terrence Crawford by UD in 2013 and Mike Alvarado by TKO in one of 2011’s best fights. Prescott is a dangerous puncher and likes to get in there and bang as he did when he stunned Amir Khan back in 2008 by first round knockout and like he was doing with Alvarado before being stopped late in a fight he was most likely winning.
Where Garcia starts slow, Prescott is known to be a relatively fast starter in his fights. He has a history of imposing his will early in fights and should utilize that strategy in this one. If he can jump on Garcia early, he could prevent Garcia from getting into his comfort zone while looking to exploit an opening in Garcia’s defense to land his big right hand. If Garcia is uncharacteristically able to match Prescott’s intensity in the first few rounds, Prescott will need to look for opportunities to land power shots by countering Garcia’s combination punching.
Both men are orthodox fighters who virtually mirror each other on the “Tale of The Tape”. This will be an intriguing fight and not to be missed, both men rarely take a step back and come to fight, don’t blink.