SoCal’s Ryan Garcia KOs Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Cruz in L.A. Debut


By David A. Avila

A new group of young prospects has arrived.

Victorville’s Ryan Garcia, who just recently turned 18, cranked out a second round knockout victory in his first fight on American soil on Wednesday night.

Garcia (pictured in the blue and red striped trunks), arrived with three pro bouts already tucked away from wins across the border in Mexico. On Wednesday the slender welterweight out-classed Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Cruz (1-3) at the L.A. Exchange in front of a raucous crowd.

Both had good size for super featherweights with each showing speed along with height. Puerto Rico’s Cruz spent the first round mugging and daring Garcia to hit him. They exchanged vigorously with Garcia showing good hand speed.

Cruz wasted more time sticking his chin out and shaking his head at Garcia’s power. The Southern Californian ignored the taunts and fired off combinations until the first round ended. It was an easy round for Garcia.

The second round was a different story as Garcia stepped on the gas. If Cruz thought he had seen the Californian’s best, he was in for a surprise. A left hook and two follow up blows sent Cruz down on the floor.  He beat the referee’s count and was met with a four-punch combination including a big right hand. Down went Cruz again. It could have been stopped by the referee but he allowed it to continue. Garcia coolly stepped in and unleashed a six-punch combination that left Cruz helpless. The referee stopped the massacre at 1:44 of the second round.

Garcia, winner of 15 national tournaments as an amateur, showed the California fight crowd what he is all about. Several boxing promoters are now vying for his services.

Other bouts

Elvis Buenrostro won his pro debut by close decision over Osman Rivera (2-10-1) after four rounds of a super lightweight contest. Buenrostro trains in Riverside with Robert Garcia.

Damien Lopez (2-0) of Burbank defeated the awkward Hugo Padilla (3-8) after four hard rounds in a welterweight bout.

Daniel Bastien (4-1) won by disqualification over Kazakhstan’s Akshat Ualikhanov who was making his pro debut. The DQ came midway through the third round when Bastien was held on the top of the head and hit during a warning from the referee in their super lightweight bout. It was a bang bang moment but referee Raul Caiz Jr. had ordered the fighters to break a split second before the infraction occurred. Bastien was badly hurt and could not continue so he was awarded the victory.

Enrico Gogokhia (2-0) knocked down Even Torres (4-2) in the first round and cruised to victory after four rounds of a super welterweight contest.

Bryan Flores (5-0) won by decision over Tavorus Teague (3-14-2) after four rounds.

Madiyar Ashkeyev (5-0) dominated Lenwood Dozier (9-12-2) in four lopsided rounds.