INDIO, Calif., March 29, 2019 – Junior lightweight Ryan Garcia of Victorville, California, burst onto the boxing scene in 2016, dazzling fans equally with his flashy knockouts and his Instagram star charisma. Then Garcia’s trajectory seemed to stall as he moved up in opposition with two decision wins in 2018. Whether the cause was all the out of the ring distractions or his skill development, Garcia made the decision to move to San Diego, joining the Canelo Alvarez camp to train with Eddy and Chepo Reynoso.
The early returns are promising. Garcia returned to knockout form in December at Madison Square Garden against Braulio Rodriguez. Garcia gets the chance to start a new knockout streak on Saturday at a sold-out Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California on Saturday against Jose Lopez of Puerto Rico (20-3-1, 14 KOs). DAZN USA airs the Garcia vs Lopez card starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Ryan Garcia keeps building on his promising future
Garcia looks to confirm the decision to join the Reynosos was what he needed to push his career toward championship heights. Alvarez calls the 20-year-old Garcia a “fast learner.”
“I would say that I’ve gotten even better,” said Garcia. “The way I’m looking in sparring, I’m just looking super sharp. Everything’s just coming along. Once again I’m going to show everybody how much I’ve improved. I definitely want to make a statement, send notice to all the champions that whatever you think about me, erase the doubts in your mind, I have a different mindset right now.”
“I’m just grateful that Canelo and the team accepted me with arms open and treated me like family,” added Garcia.
Garcia says he is fixed on becoming a world champion and fighting the names necessary to make it happen. But first, he needs to dispatch Lopez.“I’ve been thinking about it 24/7, the guys I want to beat. I’ve been thinking about it over and over again, thinking what I have to do to get to that level. This guy Jose Lopez is in my way to reach those fights. I’m going to have to do what I have to do to get to him.”
Lopez, age 24, is a top ten ranked challenger, coming off a stoppage loss to Jonathan Oquendo last October. The Cotto Promotions talent said, “Ryan is a great fighter and a top prospect at Golden Boy. I know the challenge that I have in front of me, and I am ready to make a great fight.” It’s exactly what fans want to hear.
This fight may not last long if Garcia shows the same form he did three months ago. His hometown fans won’t mind leaving a little early to celebrate. Garcia’s ambitions to fight for a title against someone like Miguel Berchelt are admirable. But impatient fans need to remember Garcia is still just 20 years old with little amateur experience. He needs a few more years and rounds in the ring to be ready to take on the top talent.
Undercard features fan friendly fights with names to know
The undercard is packed with fan friendly fights featuring old and new faces, tailor made for the high desert crowd and DAZN viewers looking for a break from basketball, including a world title defense.
WBO junior flyweight titleholder Angel Acosta of Puerto Rico (19-1, 19 KOs) will defend his title against former world titleholder Ganigan Lopez of Mexico City (35-8, 19 KOs) n a 12 round bout. Acosta is a high volume power puncher in a small package. He brings in a perfect knockout rate of 100 percent in his wins. Expect the same in his title defense against Lopez, a 37 year old veteran a decade older.
Junior lightweight contender and rising star Eduardo Hernandez of Mexico (27-0, 24 KOs) makes his American debut against Ibrahim Class of Tanzania (22-5, 10 KOs) in a 10 round bout. The 21-year-old Hernandez is now newly co-promoted by Golden Boy and Promociones del Pueblo. He is ranked tenth in the division by RING Magazine. The WBC Youth World Super Featherweight title is at stake.
Veteran junior welterweight contender Antonio Orozco of San Diego (27-1, 17 KOs) fights for the first time since his unanimous decision loss to WBC champion Jose Ramirez last September against Jose Luis Rodriguez of Mexico (25-12-1, 13 KOs). Despite the loss, Orozco earned a tremendous amount of respect for his determination to stay in the fight and hear the final bell on his feet despite taking his first loss. Orozco needs to show that he’s recovered from the rough and tumble fight against Ramirez to stay relevant at 140 pounds.
‘The Rooster’ gives fans plenty to crow about
Expect the Indio crowd to crow when local hero Necco “Rooster” Macias of Lancaster, California (17-1, 10 KOs) steps into the ring against Jeremy Ramos of Puerto Rico (10-6, 4 KOs). Macias is a guns ablazing guy, a whirling dervish in the ring who lands an average of 100 punches per round, way above the division average. He holds the record for third most punches thrown ever in a single round, 196. Macias’ energy level borders on manic. He wears out opponents rather than relying on one punch power. He suffered his first loss to veteran Jesus Soto Karass in narrow majority decision at Fantasy Springs in November. It hasn’t diminished the loyalty of his fans. Guys like The Rooster are just a plain good time.
Rounding out the card, undefeated featherweight Joet Gonzalez (21-0, 12 KOs) of Los Angeles takes on veteran Rodrigo Guerrero of Mexico (26-7-2, 17 KOs) for Gonzalez’ WBO NABO Featherweight belt. Daniellito Zorrilla of Puerto Rico (10-0, 8 KOs) puts his undefeated record on the line against veteran Gamaliel Diez of Mexico (40-19-3, 19 KOs).
In the opener, 19-year-old Irish welterweight Aaron McKenna (6-0, 4 KOs) makes his fourth Fantasy Springs appearance against Loretto Olivas of New Mexico via Mexico (3-0, 1 KO). McKenna is turning heads with his exciting early performances. Trained by former heavyweight contender Courage Tshabalala at Buddy McGirt’s gym in Northridge, California, even his sparring sessions create chatter among the knowledgeable Los Angeles area boxing community. Tall for a welterweight at 6-foot-1, McKenna is quickly developing a loyal Southern California fan base and he won’t want to let them down. Olivas is coming down from middleweight to take the fight.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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