St. Thomas’ Clayton Laurent Dealt First Professional Boxing Loss In ‘Upset’ Knockout Friday Night
SAN JUAN — Clayton Laurent, Jr. thought he was coasting on points to his fourth professional victory — until he got knocked out early in Puerto Rico on Friday night.
German “Bombon” Garcia, 30, of Chihuahua, Mexico hit Laurent with a hard right hook at 1:51 in the third round, ending their scheduled four-round bout.
“I don’t know what to say,” Laurent said afterwards in the locker room. “I thought I was controlling the fight, and I just got hit. In boxing, you can’t expect not to get hit, but I didn’t expect that punch. I recovered, but not in time to beat the count.
“Hats off to German — he was a tough guy, he was a tough opponent. I can see now why he’s got four knockouts.”
Garcia improved to 5-1 with five knockouts, and is now 4-0 with four KOs against heavyweights. Laurent falls to 3-1 with two KOs in his pro career.
While Garcia spotted Laurent more than 60 pounds (221 pounds to 287 for Laurent) entering Friday’s bout, he attacked his bigger opponent from the start.
Even though Garcia came in lighter, Laurent was surprised by his opponent’s punching power.
“I could feel his power,” Laurent said. “Sometimes, weight doesn’t necessarily mean power. There’s guys who are lighter that have good power. The fact that he’s fighting both heavyweight or cruiserweight [a step down from the heavyweight division] means that he’s comfortable with his power and his ability.”
Laurent was on “queer street” for several minutes after the timely blow by Garcia and could not recover in time before referee Jose H. Rivera called the fight for the southpaw.
Garcia’s aggressive approach forced Laurent into more counterpunching than he counted on, with the flurry of blows the two exchanged bringing the crowd to its feet in the most exciting of the undercard bouts.
“It was a very competitive fight,” said former world champion Julian “The Hawk” Jackson, Laurent’s stepfather and trainer. “I guess [Garcia] realized that Clayton was really on him, and had to try to do something.
“He was throwing wide punches, and I told Clayton to be careful with those wide punches. He just happened to catch him with one. I believe we were ahead of the fight, but these things happen. Better now than later.”
Garcia’s victory was considered an “upset” in boxing circles, dealing the 28-year-old St. Thomas native his first loss.
The cruiserweight Garcia was given two and a half stars (out of five) by BoxRec dot com. Laurent is considered a “heavyweight” and gets one star (out of five) on the boxing website.
The match took place at the Coliseo Ruben Zayas Montanez in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.
–The Virgin Islands Daily News contributed to this report.