Story by: Rahmon Ford
Ryan “KingRy” Garcia
Jayson “Maravilla” Velez
|Record:||14-0, 13 KO||26-4-1, 18 KO|
|Hometown:||Los Angeles, CA||
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Garcia’s Strengths: Exceptional hand speed is the first thing that comes to mind. He punches in combinations and has some of the fastest hands in boxing. He’s very explosive and has good punching power. He has excellent height for the weight class. He can counter well with either hand.
I also love the jab this kid throws. Garcia has fantastic reflexes and understands how to close the show when it presents itself.
Velez’s Strengths: Velez certainly has the edge in professional experience. He’s been in with Garcia’s stable-mate Joseph (JoJo) Diaz and Ronny Rios. He’s also defeated Dat Nguyen, Juan Manuel (Juanma) Lopez and has a draw with Even Gradovich, who was 19-0 at the time. He also defeated Salvador Sanchez. Velez has good power and a very exciting style.
He has good size and length for the division. he has KO power in both hands. He is a solid combination puncher and can mix it to the head and body.
Garcia’s weaknesses: Garcia stands up too straight at times in terms of offense and defense. On offense, as he’s punching, it prevents him to score from an accuracy standpoint. It hasn’t caught up to him yet, but will in the future. On defense, he sometimes moves straight back. That is a problem that needs to be corrected. On top of that, when you go straight back and have your head straight up, you can be caught and dropped. See Judah vs. Tszyu.
Velez’s weaknesses: Sometimes Velez loads up and relies too much on his power. In doing so, he abandons attempts to win rounds and outscore his opponents. Consequently, Velez also leaves himself vulnerable to boxers to pick their shots and consistently counter him. Sometimes during his attack he leans over, which could lead to Garcia landing the big uppercut in this fight.
This is by far the best challenge of Ryan Garcia’s professional career. The question I keep asking myself is if it’s too much too soon for the 19 year old. Ryan Garcia is an accident waiting to happen. You can see a train wreck coming. The signs are all there. A loss at this point in his career could be a blessing in disguise. On the flip side, how can you tell a kid with so much success this early to discipline himself? At age 19, it no doubt will fall on deaf ears.
The big challenge for Jayson Velez in this fight will be to keep Garcia off of him. Velez can do that by getting off first with his jab. Velez also needs to tighten up his defense in this fight. Garcia will look to throw every punch with bad intentions, especially since he has a natural dislike for Velez.
As fast as Garcia is, Velez needs to be able to time Garcia. he must look for punching patterns from Garcia. if he finds those punching patterns, he needs to punch with Garcia (not before or after) and catch the phenom with something he doesn’t see. Also, if Garcia backs straight out, Velez must be prepared to counter with big shots. Velez also needs to send a message early. Whether that be landing a power shot- or simply winning some early rounds- he needs to slow the kid down and get him to start thinking.
For Garcia, he needs to make this a distance fight. Establish the range to his liking and go to work on Velez. He also needs use angles when backing away or Velez will eventually catch him.
KingRy needs to box intelligently and not merely feed off of the home crowd. Garcia should mix boxing in and not throw every shot with the intention of ending the fight.
In the end, I like Ryan Garcia here by decision. I believe Velez tests him and possibly gives him a big scare before being outworked in the final two or three rounds. I wouldn’t’ be surprised if both guys went down. I wouldn’t be surprised if Garcia wins inside of five rounds. However the official pick is Garcia by close decision. Cards will read something like 96-93, 97-92, 96-94 or something like that.
Garcia by UD/MD