Tapia, Garcia to fight on Sept. 28

The last time junior middleweight Glen Tapia was in the ring on July 12, he handed fellow prospect Abie Han his first loss, stopping him in the eighth round of a fierce battle on "Friday Night Fights."

To follow up his breakout win, Tapia, 23, of Passaic, N.J., is ready to return after a short rest from that tough fight. The crowd-pleasing brawler will be back in action Sept. 28 (UniMas) at Bally's Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., Top Rank announced on Wednesday.

Tapia (19-0, 11 KOs) will face 42-year-old Denver-based Mexican veteran Elco Garcia (27-8, 13 KOs), who has won eight of his past nine bouts, in a scheduled 10-round fight.

"That was a big win, showing everyone I am no longer a prospect, but a real contender working towards a title fight," Tapia said of the thriller against Han. "I always want to entertain when I am in the ring. This is what I live for. I love boxing more than anything."

The fight with Garcia will be Tapia's first main event and he will get to have it at home.

"Glen really showed his 'Jersey strong' mentality in that fight with Abie. The next step is to showcase him as a true headliner in New Jersey, which Sept. 28 will provide," Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said.

In his two most notable fights, Garcia was stopped by former junior middleweight titleholders Raul Marquez (seventh round) and Vernon Forrest (10th). It's no wonder Tapia likes to brawl. His co-manager is Pat Lynch, who managed the late Hall of Famer Arturo Gatti for his entire career.

The Sept. 28 card also will include two blue-chip prospects and former amateur standouts: super middleweight Jesse Hart (9-0, 8 KOs) of Philadelphia, the son of 1970s middleweight contender Eugene "Cyclone" Hart, and junior lightweight Toka Kahn Clary (7-0, 5 KOs) of Providence, R.I. Their opponents are not set.