No Knockout, But Ryan Garcia Wins Convincingly

CARSON, CALIF.-As expected Ryan Garcia got stiff competition from hardnosed Puerto Rican Jayson Velez, but retained the NABF and NABO super featherweight titles by unanimous decision on Friday.

An unexpectedly large crowd of 6,625 at the StubHub Center showed that the undefeated Garcia (15-0, 13 KOs) has drawing power, and the win by decision over Velez (26-5-1, 18 KOs) proved the Victorville fighter known as the “Flash” has staying power too.

Although Garcia’s 10-fight knockout streak, ended he did show he could face a veteran with experience in the trenches. During all 10 rounds Velez never stopped trying to rough up the youngster with hard charges to get inside that long reach. But the long limbed youngster was able to keep the head butts and punches inside at a minimum.

Fans unwary of Velez’s staying power were upset at the lack of a knockout or knockdown. Though Garcia nearly dropped Velez a couple of times, the tough Puerto Rican fighter did what most experts expected and that was to survive until the final round.

At the end of 10 rounds all three judges scored it 99-91 for Garcia.

“It taught me a lot. He was a tough guy,” said Garcia. “I landed a lot of crazy shots. I thank Jayson Velez. I will learn from this experience.”

It was a different scenario for Garcia this time. Usually that whip-quick left hook renders the opposition on the floor. But instead of landing first, Velez connected with an overhand right that caught Garcia on the jaw. For several rounds Garcia seemed troubled by his jaw.

Soon Garcia unleashed those flashy combinations. In the second round and third round a left hook followed by a right cross seemed to stun Velez who stayed upright, but dazed. But whenever he could Velez charged with his head toward Garcia’s head and forced clinches multiple times every round.

Garcia showed technique in being able to avoid the bum rushes and head butts. He also was able to muffle any effective inside blows. For a 19-year-old his technical skills are very advanced.

“I feel good but I need to learn somethings,” said Garcia. “I need to learn how to handle roughhousing.”

Other Bouts

East L.A.’s undefeated Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (13-0, 3 KOs) won by technical knockout over Puerto Rico’s tough Adorilis Adorno (1-7) who despite her record was a much better fighter than expected. Though she couldn’t match Estrada’s speed or power, she hung in there and managed to evade the kill shots coming her way through two rounds. But by the end of the second round a bad cut had opened up after an Estrada barrage and the end was near. In between rounds the ringside physician inspected the cut along her left eye but allowed Adorno to compete in the third round. At 38 seconds of the third, Estrada unleashed another assault and the fight was stopped by referee Zack Young on the advice of the ringside physician.

Estrada now seems to be on a direct path to meet former Olympian Marlen Esparza sometime this summer in a clash of light flyweights.

Irish middleweight Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 KOs) had little resistance from Puerto Rico’s Berlin Abreu (14-2, 11 KOs) who gave up at the end of the third round. O’Sullivan was pounding away at the body and head at Abreu who purposely spit out his mouthpiece after being warned the previous round. A point was deducted from the Puerto Rican fighter who looked to quit and did at the end of round three.

O’Sullivan used a strong left jab to keep the fight at his pace. Abreu was effective with a left uppercut through the Irish fighter’s guard but after several successful blows, O’Sullivan used a right counter blast that ended that tactic. Now is he ready for the likes of champion Gennady Golovkin?

Marvin Cabrera (8-0, 6 KOs) won the battle of middleweight southpaws against Colombia’s Wilfrido Buelvas (18-9, 12 KOs) by knockout in the third round. Cabrera used the same right jab, left cross, right hook combination to stun the Colombian in both round two and three. Later in the third, a barrage of blows inside by Cabrera to the head had Buelvas hurt and claiming he was hit behind the head. Referee Jerry Cantu did not agree and began counting out the Colombian who was on one knee. Though he beat the count the referee called the fight at 1:11 of the third round to give Cabrera the knockout win.

L.A. super welterweight Richard Acevedo (2-0) wasted no time in bludgeoning Pomona’s Edward Aceves (0-2) to capitulation with more than a dozen blows. A left hook to the body at 59 seconds of the first round ended the fight and resulted in a knockout win for Acevedo.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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