Boxing Preview: Ryan Garcia, Lucas Browne vs. Dillian Whyte, Golden Boy in PR & MORE
Ryan Garcia headlines ESPN2, Thursday
Ryan Garcia returns this Thursday against Fernando Vargas, no not the legend, but a fighter barring the same name, but not the same skillset. Garcia, Golden Boy Promotions overnight heartthrob who has a cult-like following that has his videos going viral within minutes, will be in action and more than likely sell-out the Fantasy Springs Casino and Resort in Indio, CA, the closest venue to Garcia’s hometown of Victorville, CA.
Garcia, a thirteen win pro has caught fire over the past year with his big social media presence and devastating knockouts including a one-punch first round knockout over Miguel Carrizoza on ESPN that made Sportscaster’s top plays of the night.
Garcia is ready for stardom and a win in front of his hometown crowd on national television could catapult him into a big fight on Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II on May 5th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Gibson, Navarro and Sanchez on the undercard
The undercard to the Ryan Garcia headlined card is as a solid one as with three fighters signed to Golden Boy Promotions who are worth mentioning in this piece. Welterweight KeAndre Gibson coming off his loss to Antonio Orozco will face a game veteran in Eddie Gomez, both fighters are evenly matched with Gibson having a slight advantage, but lacking the experience at the higher level in the pros that Gomez has, albeit Gomez has not had success at the next level. This bout will determine whether Gibson is viewed as a prospect still after this bout. This fight to me will assess where Gibson is at after his loss last year.
Junior welterweight Jonathan Navarro coming from the fighting Navarro family in Southern California will look to cement his families legacy in the pros as he enters the double digits of his professional career.
Junior featherweight Emilio Sanchez, who trains with the highly likable Manny Robles will also be in action as Sanchez enters the fight with a record 15-0, he should be an interesting bout in the not so distant future. I have seen Sanchez in the gym and have been impressed with his ability and fast hands.
360 Promotions debuts Hollywood cards (NEXT TUESDAY)
Likable and fan-friendly promoter, Tom Loeffler will introduce 360 Promotions fights at The Avalon in Hollywood, CA headlined by super lightweight contender Ryan Martin, a fighter I personally believe could be a star in boxing. Loeffler’s card will be on a Tuesday and as far I know no broadcast options to watch the fight whether online or on television are available just yet though as a fight fan I am optimistic this might change.
Welterweight knockout artist Serhii Bohachuk who has won all of six of his fights in the professional ranks and is trained by Abel Sanchez, the coach of Loeffler’s most famous current fighter, Gennady Golovkin, will also be featured on this card.
Other notables on the card are featherweight Anthony Chavez, who trains with Henry Ramirez in Riverside, CA, who is a talented boxer, who has already been tested early his career beating an undefeated fighter Sergio Quiroz in his last bout. Also heavily touted New York prospect Brian Ceballo will make his well.
Stephon Young, Payano return in Florida
After a good day in the gym, me and former WBA World Champion Juan Carlos Payano are ready for WAR this upcoming Friday. He looked at me after training and simply said ITS YOUR TIME, then he said remember in the ring it's NO GOOD PEOPLE, basically telling me F my opponent it's war time and unless the ref talking we ain't hearing it ? hearing that from a person who already experienced the feeling of being a World Champion makes me feel good… it's my time ? #AndTheNew
Stephon Young of St Louis, Missouri will fight for the interim WBA bantamweight title against unbeaten Filipino fighter Reymart Gaballo in a competitive bout that will more than likely live in obscurity to most fans.
I have seen Young fight in Oakland, CA on an Andre Ward undercard and remembered that it felt like the moment got to him, fighting on a large stage, but feeling that he had the skills to compete at the world level when he fought to a draw with Antonio Nieves.
Gaballo is a knockout artist with most of his fights coming via stoppage.
This fight is an interesting stylistic match-up as Young is more of a boxer and from the little footage I have seen of Gaballo, he is much more reliant on his power.
Former world champion Juan Carlos Payano, who won the WBA super bantamweight title against Rau’shee Warren only to lose it back to Warren in his next bout will be in action. Payano will face undefeated Mike Plania.
The card is taking place in Hollywood, Florida.
Golden Boy in Puerto Rico
Golden Boy returns on Saturday on ESPN2 with a card from Puerto Rico that is headlined by Jose Martinez rematching Alexandro Santiago for the NABO Super Flyweight Title in his native Puerto Rico. Martinez and Santiago fought to a draw in November of 2016 and have been unbeaten since their bout. Martinez has failed to stand-out to me at this point and spent the majority of his career fighting at home, hopefully, this performance leaves a memorable impression on such a marquee platform.
Joshua “The Professor” Franco will fight in the co-feature and could possibly challenge Martinez in the very near future if Martinez were to win. Franco, one of the standouts from Robert Garcia’s Boxing Academy is a decorated amateur, who has moved quickly in the division as he is a ten-round fighter in only his fourteen fight.
Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis will be back in action as he will look to regain the magic he had when stopped Eddie Gomez in one round. Ellis followed the performance up with a very close fight with John Karl Sosa in which he edged a majority decision in a very tough fight. Ellis has blazing hand speed and explosive power, but also appears to slow down as the fight progresses. It’ll be interesting to see if Ellis is able to have a vintage performance against what we assume will be lower level competition or if he has a repeat performance of his last outing.
One-time prospect Zachary Ochoa who suffered a devastating loss to contender Yves Ulysses Jr. in March of last year will face Puerto Rico’s Ryan Pino. Ochoa is an exciting fighter, who is willing to enegage with his opponent.
Whyte vs. Browne
Dillion Whyte will face Lucas Browne in a battle of heavyweights looking to challenge the champions of the division. Whyte is best known for rocking Anthony Joshua and a hellacious battle between himself and Derrick Chisora. Lucas Browne is an undefeated heavyweight who has yet to face a truly world level opponent with his best win being over top 25 heavyweight Ruslan Chagaev, as well as Browne, has a confusing history with PEDs.
This fight will put someone in position to fight one of the major draws in the heavyweight that being Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua. This bout will also be aired on HBO in the United States and more than likely will end brutally.
Boxing returns to Fresno, CA
I will be live at Tower Theater this Saturday in Fresno, CA as lightweight Jose Salinas, who now trains in Indio, CA with legendary boxing coach Joel Diaz, will headline the card which also features a good bout between Jesus Sanchez of Fresno, Ca vs. Cesar Lomeli of Fairfield, Ca, William Fienoy, Eduardo Sanchez and Ivan Varela all will make professional debuts as well as a great bout between heavyweights Tamis Long and Ignacio Zambrano.
This is a very enjoyable card that is worth going to if you’re in the area.
Frank Buglioni, Chisora
Frank Buglioni, a British action-fighter who will be in action this coming weekend has been in many wars and is a good regional fighter, who is fun to watch. Buglioni is a fan-friendly slugger that could find himself in a fight of the year in any fight against any level of opposition. Buglioni has said he is working on his boxing skills, but the fact that he enjoys battling his foe so much, we will have to see it to believe it.
Heavyweight Dereck Chisora will be in action on this card looking to pick up a win on the undercard as well.
Anabel Ortiz defends her title in Mexico
In the often disrespected sport of women’s boxing Anabel Ortiz will look to defend her WBA women’s minimum weight title against Etsuko Tada in Mexico. The bout is an interesting clash between an orthodox and southpaw fighter but will go largely unnoticed based on the weight class and gender of the fighters, sadly.
Titleist Tyron Zeuge in action
Tyron Zeuge has spent his whole career in obscurity on the world stage as he has fought solely in Germany. Zeuge, who beat Paul Smith in his last outing will look defend his version of WBA super middleweight title against largely unknown Isaac Ekpo, who he fight before, but a headclash stopped the bout. Zeuge actually impresses me through the video clips I have seen, interested to see how he progresses over the years, but it will be interesting how he fairs in this rematch.
Michel Soro returns, Goulamirian-Merhy title fight
The vacant WBA cruiserweight title is on the line as Arsen Goulamirian, the Armenian cruiserweight who resides in France, but trains in Big Bear Lake, CA with Abel Sanchez (if that isn’t a confusing long-winded sentence I don’t know what is) will look to win his first world title win he takes on unbeaten Ryad Merhy. Not unlike all cruiserweight bouts, we can more likely expect this one to be an all-action affair as both fighter seem to be training like heat seeking missiles.
Veteran spoiler Michel Soro, who has spent the majority of his career dethroning prospects will face undefeated John Vera in France for the interim WBA super welterweight title. It is hard for me to tell who is the A-side in this bout.
The card will take Marseille, France.