Ryan Garcia moves so fast he’s already out-sped two nicknames.
First there was “KingRy” then “Flash,” pretty soon it’s going to be “Gone,” as in baseball jargon for a home run.
Victorville’s meteoric sensation Garcia has zipped by the competition like a Ferrari racing a Ford Probe. It’s really not a contest at all.
Well, now come the speed bumps.
Garcia (14-0, 13 KOs) enters the den of gladiators known as the StubHub Center where prospects are fed to lions on Friday May 4. One of those beasts awaiting is Jayson Velez (26-4-1, 18 KOs) a Puerto Rican super featherweight with a rock chin. ESPN will televise the fight for the NABO and NABF super featherweight titles.
Only one foe has ever heard the final bell against Garcia and that guy was decked several times for his reward. Velez has never been knocked out. Never. Garcia has plans to change that.
“This fight is going to end in the fourth round. I may end it early, but I say it’ll end in the fourth round. The knockout doesn’t have to be with one punch because I also know how to end fights with a barrage and force the referee to end it,” said Garcia.
Velez has never been dominated despite suffering four consecutive losses against Ronny Rios, Jojo Diaz, Rene Alvarado and Alfredo Santiago. In all those defeats he was standing at the end, simply out-worked and out-pointed. Never was he overwhelmed.
In fact, Velez knocked out former two-division world champion and fellow Boricua “Juanma” Lopez in his last fight this past March. It was a career saving victory for Velez.
Few other prospects have rocketed up the ranks at the speed Garcia has achieved. With his size, reach, speed and power the lanky and confident teenager has out-sped dozens of prospects Golden Boy Promotions has in its bullpen.
Garcia is headlining a fight card at the StubHub, not only participating but serving as the main event. That’s quite an achievement and seldom achieved by any prospects in a mere year and a half.
“This is going to be an amazing event,” said Garcia, 19, “This will be another step in my legacy, and I look forward to a world-changing fight.”
On Saturday boxing fans will be able to witness another lap in the race for fame by the teen protégé and whatever nickname is appropriate.
“These two belts [NABF and NABO Super Featherweight Titles] will be on the line, and I know the next fight will be for a world title,” Garcia said.
It’s either a pit stop or victory lane for Garcia.
East L.A.’s Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada returns to the boxing ring in what looks to be a tune-up fight before a major showdown with Marlen Esparza later this summer.
Estrada (12-0, 2 KOs) meets Puerto Rico’s Amarilis Adorno (1-6) in an eight round light flyweight bout that will not be televised.
Adorno has lost three times to Noemi Bosques, a veteran of many fights with world champions and contenders. Her other losses were to undefeated fighters.
Women prizefighters in the lower weight classes, especially under 118 pounds, are very difficult to find. Thus, Estrada faces someone who fans feel is under her skill level.
After this fight, Estrada will probably never fight anyone less than a contender.
“I train how I always do, no matter who my opponent is,” said Estrada, 25. “Of course, it is helpful to know who I am fighting from the beginning, but either way I’m going to be very much prepared.”
If you know Estrada she’s a gym rat who spends most of her time with hand wraps on, constantly perfecting her craft.
Fans of female prizefighters can get an opportunity to see Estrada whose style is unique and who often is the smaller fighter. Speed is her ally and she uses it wisely.
Awaiting Estrada during the summer heat is the former Olympian Marlen Esparza.
Other bouts include Ireland’s Spike O’Sullivan (27-2) against Berlin Abreu (14-1) in a middleweight fight. O’Sullivan was considered to be an opponent for Gennady “GGG” Golovkin before Vanes Martirosyan was chosen. In a super welterweight contest Marvin Cabrera (7-0) faces Wilfrido Buelvas (18-8); super welterweight Richard Acevedo (1-0) meets Edward Aceves (0-3).
Doors open at 5 p.m. and first bout takes place at 5:30 p.m. For tickets call (888) 929-7849 and range from $10 to $75.
Photo credit: Tom Hogan / Hogan Photos / Golden Boy Promotions
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