Barclays, NY-Garcia improved to 36-2 with his second straight win. He last fought on April 20, 2019, when he knocked out Adrian Granados in the seven-round.
Judges Glenn Feldman and Don Trella scored the fight 117-111, and judge Anthony Paolillo scored it 118-110.
“I thought the referee Benjy Esteves was going to stop it because I felt like I was punishing him,” Garcia said. “He’s a tough guy, he hung in there. I wanted to get the knockout, but I didn’t get it. I feel like I boxed smart, and I feel like that’s what I needed after this layoff. I really wanted the knockout bad, but I’ll accept this.”
Garcia easily outpointed the southpaw Ivan Redkach, beating him down throughout the welterweight world title bout before 8,217 on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Garcia started quickly as he moved Redkach (23-5-1) around the ring and waited for openings in the first three rounds at Barclays. When he had openings, he landed jabs. Garcia’s work in the early rounds began to show in the fourth as he connected with a barrage of punches.
Garcia could be the next in line for a fight against Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), the WBA welterweight champ, or Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs), who holds the IBF and WBC belts but is now recovering from an accident.
“Either Spence or Pacquiao,” Garcia said. “Either of those fights I would like to have. My style looks great with both fighter
In a scene similar to Mike Tyson biting on Evander Holyfield’s ear during their 1997 fight, Redkach bit Garcia on his left shoulder during a tie-up in the eighth round.
Redkach apparently even called his snack.
“He bit me,” Garcia said. “He said, ‘Mike Tyson,’ when he bit me. I said, ‘Ref, he bit me.’ I thought I needed stitches or something.
“That’s my first time ever getting bit in a fight.”
As for the actual use of hands, Garcia’s pressure and power forced Redkach into fighting a defensive style. Redkach spent much of the fight backing up or against the ropes and Garcia took full advantage. He opened a cut over Redkach’s right eye with a hook in the seventh, then staggered the Ukranian with a shot in the eighth.
Garcia’s dominance was illustrated in the CompuBox statistics. He landed 195 of 568 punches (34%) and Redkach landed only 88 of 578 (15%).
Redkach (23-5-1, 18 KOs), 33, a Ukraine native who fights out of Los Angeles. He showed very little in the ring other than an ability to get hit without going down on the canvas.
Redkach was beaten so badly that the start of the ninth round, referee Benjy Esteves called a timeout because the ringside doctor wanted to examine Redkach. The fight was allowed to go on and Garcia kept on administering out punishment
“This was very good experience for me,” said Redkach, who had former trainer of the year Jack Mosley — Shane Mosley’s father — in his corner for the first time. “He never had me hurt, and I was able to learn a lot. I’m thankful to be in this position that my team put me in and I’m going to keep growing from here. I’m going to get back in the gym and get stronger and better.”