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(Reuters) - Danny Garcia overcame a sluggish start to win a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday and claim the WBC welterweight title vacated by Floyd Mayweather Jr.
With Mayweather, who retired in September, sitting ringside, Garcia (32-0) took control from the middle rounds and was awarded the decision 116-112 by all three judges.
“I'm back where I belong. I am now a two-division world champion,” said Garcia, who also holds the WBC super lightweight belt. “Guerrero is tough. No one has ever stopped him. He came to fight, he was in shape. I'm taking nothing away from him.”
Guerrero (33-4-1) controlled the early going, landing big shots and forcing Garcia to retreat, but things took a turn in the sixth round where Garcia respond with a series of strong right hand shots.
Garcia poured it on late in the fight but Guerrero thought he had done enough.
“Not one person out there thought Danny won but his team. I pressured him, I nailed him, busted his body up. I out-jabbed him,” Guerrero said. “I want a rematch and that's it.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford