ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- For featherweights Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia and Matt Remillard, their fight was an opportunity for one of them to take a big step toward a possible title shot as they made their HBO debuts in a matchup of undefeated up-and-coming fighters.
Garcia is the one who took that step forward.
He displayed poise and professionalism as he methodically beat Remillard to the punch throughout the fight and scored three knockdowns in a 10th-round knockout Saturday night at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in the co-featured fight on the card headlined by featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa's defense against Jorge Solis.
Garcia's hand speed and uppercuts softened Remillard up before he poured it on in the ninth round.
He dropped Remillard with a sweeping left hand for the first knockdown. Remillard looked more dejected than hurt from the knockdown, but he was soon down again.
This time he was hurt, however, as Garcia had worked him over with both hands before knocking Remillard (23-1, 13 KOs), 24, of Manchester, Conn., down to his backside with a left hook.
Remillard's face was reddended and he was fading in the 10th round when Garcia (25-0, 21 KOs), 23, of Oxnard, Calif., dropped him with a right hand behind the ear just as the round was ending. With Remillard on the stool, the corner asked referee Ricardo Vera to call off the fight.
"This was one of my best performances," said Garcia, who could loom as a possible opponent for the main event winner.
Making Garcia's victory more impressive was that a few hours before the fight he took a walk on the famed boardwalk and had a slice of pizza. He said it made him ill and that his stomach was giving him problems during the fight.
"After the second round I didn't know if I could continue," he said. "My stomach hurt so bad."
But his brother and trainer, former junior lightweight titlist Robert Garcia, would have none of that.
"I told him you have to keep going, you have to fight," Robert Garcia said. "He did. His left hook was really working. We just had to get through that [stomach problem]."
Kennedy outpoints Diaz in slugfest
In a tremendous battle, junior featherweight Teon Kennedy (17-0-1, 7 KOs) scored a unanimous decision against Jorge Diaz (15-1, 9 KOs) in a fight that had the crowd cheering throughout.
With their local roots -- Diaz, 23, is from New Brunswick, N.J. and Kennedy, 24, is from Philadelphia -- they were responsible for selling the bulk of the tickets in to the sellout crowd of about 2,913 and they gave them their money's worth in the fight that the judges scored for Kennedy, 118-109, 117-109 and 115-111.
Kennedy, more of a boxer, dropped Diaz, the brawler, with a left hook to the head in the third round, but Diaz was OK. They turned it into a slugfest in the fourth round and it got even wilder in the sixth round.
In the sixth, Kennedy landed a huge right hand that dropped Diaz to his knees. Later in the round, he badly hurt Diaz with a left and was on the verge of a stoppage. Kennedy was battering a wobbly Diaz around the ring as referee Steve Smoger looked in carefully and was close to stopping the fight. But Diaz had a huge heart and found a way to stay on his feet and punch back in what was a round-of-the-year candidate.
Diaz made it out of the round as he grabbed on to Kennedy and they stumbled to the canvas just as the round was coming to an end.
"The plan was I wanted to box him but it ended up in a war," Kennedy said. "He hit me a lot, but he didn't hurt me. He doesn't really punch that hard. I thought the referee was going to stop the fight [in the sixth], but he kept punching himself out of it."
By the end of the fight, Diaz's face was swollen and Kennedy was cut over his right eye.
"He's a great fighter," Diaz said. "He hit a lot harder than I thought he could. I gave it everything I could."
•Junior middleweight Glen Tapia (8-0, 5 KOs) beat and battered Eberto Medina (5-5, 1 KO) over six one-sided rounds for a unanimous decision.
Tapia, who served as one of Manny Pacquiao's main sparring partners when he prepared to fight Antonio Margarito in November, had not fought since a six-round decision win in October in which he had his jaw broken.
But Tapia, 21, of Passaic, N.J., who had his jaw wired shut for a couple of months, returned to clobber Medina. He dropped Medina, 27, of Newark, N.J., with a jab seconds before the end of the third round. Tapia had been hammering him throughout the fight with an assortment of punches, but was particularly accurate with a pounding right hand.
The judges all had for Tapia, 60-52, 60-53 and 59-54.
•Philadelphia bantamweight Miguel Cartejena, making his pro debut in front of a supportive crowd, won a unanimous decision against Omar Gonzalez (2-6, 0 KOs) of San Antonio in an action fight. Cartejena was in control all the way and won 40-36 on all three judges' scorecards.
•Puerto Rican featherweight Camilo Perez (2-0, 2 KO), who recently signed with Top Rank, scored two knockdowns in a first-round knockout against Desi Williams (0-2), who did not appear hurt by either knockdown, but also did not seem too interested in continuing as he was counted out at just as the bell sounded to end the first round.