Story by: Rahmon Ford
Carson, California – On Golden Boy Promotions on ESPN’s card Friday evening, Ryan “KingRy” Garcia passed his biggest test as a pro as he won a unanimous decision over Jayson Velez in front of 6,625 fans. Garcia improved to 15-0, (13 KOs). The tough-as-nails Velez drops to 26-5-1, (18 KOs). Official scores were 99-91 across the board.
Although he passed the tests (and should be commended), here are a few tidbits I took from the fight:
- Ryan Garcia probably won the fight by a few rounds, but certainly not by the 100-90 score ESPN tabulated.
- Ryan Garcia needs to continue being developed and not rushed into a title opportunity at this point.
- Ryan Garcia needs to stick with the jab. he abandoned his piston-like jab after a few rounds and I think it could’ve made life easier for him.
- Ryan Garcia has no clue on how to fight on the inside. Once Velez started to rough him up, he seemed to glance at the big screen at StubHub Center to see how much time remained in each round.
- Ryan Garcia did way too much, and I mean too much holding. I’m surprised a point deduction wasn’t at least threatened.
I’m not beating up on the kid. As a matter of fact it’s the opposite. I see so much talent with Garcia and I don’t want to see it go to waste by way of rush job.
Let’s talk about some other nuggets from Friday’s main event:
- Maybe the fans and media put too many checkmarks in the expectation boxes next to Ryan’s name. He’s had so many early nights that maybe expecting more was too much for a 19 year old with 14 fights coming in. The rounds were much needed.
- Garcia was in with the best opponent in his pro career and this outing will do more help than harm to the prized prospect.
- Garcia was able to buzz Velez twice, once in the second round and once again in the sixth. To his credit, Garcia hurt Velez more than anyone I’ve seen in the past.
- Garcia took some steam off his punches and boxed a bit. It was a pleasure to see this happen, as in previous fights all punches were power shots.
- Garcia held Velez to 18% punches landed to 29% of his own.
“I feel good, but I need to learn somethings. I need to learn how to handle roughhousing. Either way, I’m only 19, so it was a good experience. It taught me a lot. He was a tough guy, but I landed a lot of crazy shots.
I thank Jayson Velez. I will learn from this experience.”
“I didn’t think he would last with me, but I was proven wrong. He needs a little more experience, but he’s going to be big. He moves well, and was able to keep up with me. He’s a great opponent, and we put on a great show. I’m proud of what we did here.
My advice is to TAKE YOUR TIME with this project Golden Boy. He has plenty of talent and plenty of time to develop. There are concerns because I believe the kid thinks he’s ready. It potentially leads to the question when does the fighter become the decision maker?
To be frank, Ryan Garcia at the moment of this writing is a cross between a train wreck and a blue-chip star. Sounds kinda like a description with no middle ground right? Well, this is the life of a promoter and matchmaker of an Instagram and Twitter sensation.
How will it end? Will he be more Victor Ortiz than Zab Judah? Or more Judah than Pete Whitaker? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out!
In the co-feature Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan scored a third round stoppage win over undersized and overmatched Berlin Abreu. O’Sullivan moved to 28-0, with 20 KOs. Abreu dropped to 14-2 (11 KOs). Abreu quit on his stool between rounds.
“He could punch, and caught me with a couple of good ones. I came to do my job, and that was get the win. This win doesn’t compare to what’s waiting for me – I’m waiting for my next big stage. Who knows? You might see me on the next major Mexican Holiday Weekend.”
I wonder why O’Sullivan is in the boxing business. He had a lucrative fight where he would’ve been the main event at the same venue a day later. He declined a shot at boxing’s version of Powerball and instead settled for peanuts.
O’Sullivan’s opportunity at top billing, win or lose, would’ve put him in line for additional paydays much better than the $20K he made Friday night. Best wishes to him. I hope the gamble pays off.
As far as the fight, Abregu shot his load in the first two rounds. In the second, he opened up a little and tried to trade with Abregu. By doing so, he absorbed punches in return from the much bigger O’Sullivan. In the third round, O’Sullivan’s punches took their toll as a big shot drove Abregu into retreat mode. Abreu spit his mouthpiece out to buy time. The referee deducted a point and Abregu spent the fight in retreat mode.
Abregu, not in the best shape and absorbing punishment, called it a night.