Bob Santos Believes Hector Luis Garcia Will Move to Lightweight

Bob Santos has had time to reflect on Hector Luis Garcia’s defeat.

Garcia lost his WBA super featherweight title to Lamont Roach Jr. in November.

Santos was part of the team that had led Garcia to an upset victory over Chris Colbert in February 2022, one of the biggest upsets of the year. Santos took over the reins, leading Garcia to become an outright world champion soon thereafter, in an August 2022 defeat of Roger Gutierrez.

The fruits of Garcia’s labor saw him land a big fight against Gervonta Davis. But Garcia was stopped by Davis, and then he lost his WBA super featherweight title to Roach via split decision. After a storybook year, Garcia went 0-2 in 2023.

“We got to go back to the drawing board,” Santos told BoxingScene. “We will probably go up to [lightweight], try to make a title push at 135 [pounds]. Then again, that is up to Al Haymon and Luis De Cubas Jr. on what they want to do. But I am pretty sure [Garcia] is going to go up to 135 and try to make a title push. He is getting a little older; I think that will be a much more comfortable weight for him.

Santos reflected on the loss to Roach, which occurred on the David BenavidezDemetrius Andrade pay-per-view undercard.

“It was what it was,” Santos said. “Unfortunately, we had the 10-8 round in the last round. That was a hook behind the head. It wasn’t a knockdown. That kinda cost us the fight, but there is no perfect referee.”

Without the 12th-round knockdown, the bout would have been scored a split draw, as the deciding card of Tim Cheatham was 114-113. The 10-8 round decided the contest.

“Sometimes things of that nature are going to come into play,” Santos said. “What I told [Garcia] is, there is really no reason the fight should’ve been that close. I think he should’ve pressed on the gas more. I think some of those closer rounds, he could have definitely thrown more punches and won rounds clearly. Then, maybe we wouldn’t have been in that situation.”

“That is a lesson for him to learn. I told him in the corner, you got to trust your corner. In his mind, he was winning the fight. I thought he was winning the fight, matter of fact. Going into that last round, we were winning the fight on the judges scorecards. You leave it that close, now a knockdown happens, and now you lost the fight.”