Hector Garcia Stuns Chris Colbert With an Upset Win

  • An unforgettable night of violence took place Saturday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
  • Hector Garcia dropped and defeated Chris Colbert in a monster upset.
  • Watch highlights from that fight, and the rest of the event, right here.

LAS VEGAS — Chris Colbert came to the fight capital of the world with an abundance of energy and self-belief, ahead of his super featherweight world boxing title eliminator against Hector Garcia.

However, he’ll return to New York with a stunning loss.

Colbert is fun and flashy but on Saturday at The Chelsea theater inside The Cosmopolitan casino, a late replacement opponent brought in with just three weeks’ notice upset the odds with a statement win.

Colbert was likely down after the opening two rounds alone, and though he came out firing in the third with a blistering combination of shots, his steller moments were few and far between.

Really, this was Garcia’s ring, and Colbert was just living in it.

In the first half of the fight, Garcia cracked his skull with a shot so effective, it made Colbert wobble on unstable legs momentarily. Colbert would leave his jabbing hand out as if to fend away any incoming shot and buy him a second or two to recover. He was fighting like he was hurt.

Midway through the fifth, Garcia threw a near-eight punch combination which was the right technique at the right time as it left Colbert with little option but to absorb it, with his back against the ropes.

Colbert had flashes of good work but it was mostly overshadowed by an unrelenting fighter in front of him, who landed big shots with ease, and happily left his hands down by his waist as if to tell the American ‘Hey, you have no power.’

Then, Garcia almost wrecked Colbert’s world midway through the seventh when a straight left punch thundered into his face, dropping him flat on the canvas.

Colbert got to his feet to survive, but the crowd in Vegas had turned. Colbert’s team was raucous through the week, but now Garcia’s fans were buoyant, screaming with joy, as they sensed a monster upset was on the cards.

Though Colbert threatened to regroup in the latter rounds, by the 10th, Garcia was thumping him into retreat mode.

Now, it was Garcia who was confident, fun, and flashy as he stood his ground, paused, raised his arms and tried to drag Colbert into fisticuffs with showboating behavior.

On his gloves and his flamboyant shorts, Colbert had pieces of a puzzle. But on Saturday, Garcia solved it — a clear-cut unanimous decision for the Dominican.

Victory for the underdog saw Garcia advance his pro record to 15 wins (10 knockouts), while Colbert falls to 16 wins (six knockouts) and one defeat.

Gary Antuanne Russell secures a late stoppage in Viktor Postol bout

Gary Antuanne Russell and Viktor Postol fought a super lightweight match Saturday.


Gary Antuanne Russell and Viktor Postol fought a super lightweight match Saturday.

Photo by Showtime Sports

American super lightweight Gary Antuanne Russell, a fast-rising star in this game aged 25, took the fight to 38-year-old Viktor Postol in their 140-pound bout.

Postol told reporters at a press conference Insider attended Thursday that he has “family in the middle of everything at home” in Ukraine — a country defending itself from Russia’s invasion.

He said those distractions would not affect his mentality when it came time to fight, and through the first quarter of the bout that much seemed true.

Postol tried to box around Russell, but the younger fighter was happy to command the position in the middle of the ring, and hunt for his opponent’s head.

The more powerful punching came exclusively from Russell, who wailed hook shots on Postol’s face throughout the early going.

In the third round, he added a straight left to his effective arsenal of potential match-changing punches, dazing Postol when he sent his glove through his kisser.

Postol grew into the fight as it reached its middle stage, nicking rounds, making Russell spit blood into his bucket before the start of the sixth.

But then Russell wound up that trusted left hand again, nailing Postol with that southpaw straight of his. And then again, and then a right hand. And when Russell turned it on, the fight was his.

But Postol was making him work harder than he has ever had to work before the 14 knockouts he scored from the 14 fights he’d had in the pro game before this one.

There are learnings for Russell to take as he continues to develop — Postol was able to counter him, he needs to work on his defensive game, and he must beware of the punch resistance to his face because he wore the wounds of boxing Saturday.

Regardless, Russell scored a finish in the 10th round when he had Postol hurt, and followed up with a barrage of strikes until the referee intervened somewhat questionably, as Postol, with his experience, could have likely fought on.

When speaking to Showtime analyst Jim Gray, Russell said “definitely,” when asked if the fight should have been stopped. “There was a lot of contacts. Low gloves. The judges made the correct decision.

“I think my performance speaks for itself. The talent speaks for itself. I believe I’m ready for a step-up fight.”

Postol left the ring early. It is unclear why. However, he said this week that he’ll return to Ukraine to help with the war effort.

Gray asked Russell if it’s difficult to box Postol knowing the situation he faces in Eastern Europe. “Not at all,” he said.

“We in the hurt business. I do take my hat to Postol — his country is at war, and there are bombs going off. But the man is coming to hurt me, and I’m coming to hurt him.”

With victory, Russell preserved and extended his perfect knockout ratio, advancing his boxing record to 15 wins (15 knockouts).

Jerwin Ancajas and Fernando Martinez went to war

Jerwin Ancajas and Fernando Martinez went to war Saturday.


Jerwin Ancajas and Fernando Martinez went to war Saturday.

Photo by Showtime Sports

Filipino fighter Jerwin Ancajas, 30, lost his IBF world championship in the televised opener, as Fernando Martinez, also 30, brought the fire in their spectacular junior bantamweight showdown.

There were times in the fight when Martinez was slugging away, attempting to take his opponent’s jaw off its hinges with relentless shots that Ancajas just seemed to shrug off, even though they were landing flush on his face.

The pace and pressure on display midway through the Premier Boxing Champions card was obscene, as neither fighter backed down, and seemed happy to exchange damaging blows all night long.

Martinez seemed to have tallied multiple rounds but Ancajas, perhaps spurred by wise words from his corner, rallied.

As the bout drew to an end, they stood and traded blow after blow, emptying the bullets from their clip until they had nothing left but air.

To underline the violence that took place, these wild sluggers too badass for their own good, combined to throw an extraordinary 1,862 punches, according to Compubox data sent to Insider.

Eventually, Martinez was announced as the rightful winner in a unanimous decision. Having wrested the belt away from Ancajas in style, he advanced his pro record to 14 wins (eight knockouts), and remains unbeaten.

“I’m at a loss for words,” the new champion said. “This is a dream come true. I want to unify titles and fight the best. I fought a warrior tonight, and I made the seemingly impossible, possible.”

Fernando Martinez won the IBF junior bantamweight title in style.


Fernando Martinez won the IBF junior bantamweight title in style.

Photo by Showtime Sports

On the untelevised undercard, three young American fighters lit up the event as Micky Scala, 19, Angel Barrientes, also 19, and Justin Cardona, 22, boxed impressively in separate bouts to further their fledgling pro careers.

Scala breezed past Jose Gomez, Angel Barrientes battered Brian Cannady, and Justin Cardona bullied Joshua Draughter until the referee intervened in the third round to wave the bout off.

Watch highlights of the early action here.

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