James Stevenson came out and knocked down Roberto Garcia in the first round with a nasty uppercut. He should have kept up the pressure.
Garcia (37-3, 23 KOs) controlled the tempo of the fight the rest of the way Friday night at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago to cruise to a unanimous decision as the more experienced Garcia drew on his ring smarts to outlast his younger foe.
Stevenson (22-2, 15 KOs) was active in the early going, going back to the well on the uppercut, but Roberto Garcia had it measured. Stevenson never landed another one as good as the one he stuck in the first.
His frustration was evident by the end of the third when, after the bell, Stevenson dropped a shoulder and tried to tackle Garcia as the veteran fighter has his back turned and was returning to his corner.
In the meantime, Garcia marched him around the ring, and after the halfway mark of the eight-round bout, Stevenson was gassed. It all added up to scores of 77-74, 78-73 and 78-73 as Garcia extended his win streak to nine fights, going back to a 2010 loss to Antonio Margarito.
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