Unbeaten Dominicans Hector Garcia, Alberto Puello win WBA world titles | Inquirer Sports

Unbeaten Dominicans Hector Garcia, Alberto Puello win WBA world titles

/ 02:37 PM August 21, 2022
Alberto Puello

Dominican Republic’s Alberto Puello after beating Russian Batyr Akhmedov to capture the vacant WBA super lightweight title. Photo from Showtime Boxing

Unbeaten Dominicans Hector Garcia and Alberto Puello won World Boxing Association titles on Saturday in championship bouts at Hollywood, Florida.

Garcia took the WBA super featherweight world title with a unanimous decision over Venezuela’s Roger Gutierrez.

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Judges gave the 30-year-old southpaw the victory by one score of 118-110 and two scores of 117-111.

“Thank God for this victory after so much sacrifice,” Garcia said through a translator. “The victory was very important for me and for my country.”

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Puello took a split decision over Russian Batyr Akhmedov to capture the vacant WBA super lightweight world crown, becoming the first Dominican world champion in the 140-pound division.

“I gave the second title to the Dominican Republic,” Puello said through a translator. “The party has already started.”

Puello improved to 21-0 while Akhmedov fell to 9-2 as two judges scored the fight 117-111 for Puello while the third saw it 115-113 for Akhmedov.

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Puello felt insulted by the Russian after he earlier rejected Puello as a sparring partner in a training camp.

“He said I couldn’t be in his camp because I didn’t have enough talent,” Puello said. “I showed him tonight.”

Garcia improved to 16-0 with his eighth consecutive triumph while Gutierrez, 27, fell to 26-4 with one drawn by dropping the second defense of his 130-pound division crown.

The fight with Garcia was postponed from last month after Gutierrez caught Covid-19, making it a full year since his prior bout.

Garcia landed a hard left to the champion’s head in the fourth round and tagged Gutierrez to the body in the fifth, the challenger setting the early pace.

The South American battled back late, landing a hard right and solid left hook in the 11th round and both kept punching to the final bell.

“I was looking for that super punch that would knock him down the last three rounds,” Garcia said. “But it wasn’t there.”

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