Ryan Garcia awaits big moment on May 4th
Ryan Garcia (14-0 13KOs) is headed to the StubHub Center one day prior than Gennady Golovkin, a star in the sport of boxing, as Garcia faces veteran Jayson Velez on Friday, May 4th in a headlining bout that will also be shown on ESPN.
Garcia, a 19-year-old super featherweight seems to be the head of the class of a new era of young fighters, who not just have skills, but also want to expedite their route to a title shot ASAP. Garcia has stated multiple times he wants to fight for a world title by the end of the year and has already started his braggadocious claims explaining that he will KO Velez in four round or less.
Garcia has good reason to gloat though as he stopped Fernando Vargasin just one round on March 22nd in Fantasy Springs, CA. Garcia has as fast of hands as anyone in the sport of boxing and his speed creates oppurtunties.
The big question is this; will Garcia’s habit of pulling straight back hurt him at the highest level of boxing? All of the greats in boxing have habits that most observers can’t understand from Mayweather’s low lead hand to Roy Jones Jr doing anything he wants, etc. Is Garcia’s head movement his caveat to the boxing game or is he simply fighting outclassed opponents?
Enter Jayson Velez, a former prospect, who now is a battle-tested veteran, who is coming in on a three-fight winning streak along with his last win coming over former boxing star Juan Manuel Lopez. Velez just a few years ago went on a downward trajectory losing four straight bouts to mostly Golden Boy Promotions including Ronny Rios, Joseph Diaz Jr. and Rene Alvarado as well as draw against former world champion Evegeny Gradovich in 2014.
On paper this seems like a passing of the guard as a boxer for the last generation will more than likely put over the new guard, but some close to me have grown a bit frustrated with the new found attitude of Garcia. Though Garcia has always had a pressence in person and on social media over the past six months he has become an internet sensation getting thousands of views with every post. That being said, a lot of old school boxing coaches feel Garcia is more focused outside of boxing than on his performance in the ring and those detractors feel that fights like Friday night will show how focused he is.
I am fairly in the middle, I think Garcia is very talented and moreso than talent people care about what he does, which is increasingly rarer and rarer in professional boxing. This Friday will be a good assessment of where Garcia is at.