What a time it’s been for Ryan Garcia. He’s getting a full dosage of what it feels like to be a young gun celeb, to be crazily touted, hyped, over-hyped, adored, has a TV show, is scorned, lusted after and slayed daily on social media.
He’s dealt with changes in his camp, in his family dynamic, and he welcomed a baby girl, Rylie, into the world March 21; all these, and he’s just 20.
On Saturday, the 20 year old sold out the joint in Indio, CA.
“Can he handle it, will he handle it,” asked Golden Boy executive Bernard Hopkins, who helped call Ryan’s fight against Jose Lopez, which streamed on DAZN.
Garcia set the bar high for himself when he called himself “King Ry.” And he made the leap on Saturday at Fantasy Springs, downing Lopez (“The Wonder Boy;” from Puerto Rico), who entered at 20-3-1.
The lightweight Garcia (entered 17-0 with 14 KOs; from California), now trained by Eddy Reynoso and mentored by Canelo Alvarez, came in a 15 to 1 favorite, for the record. So yeah, the bar wasn’t set as high as it will be, he’s being moved along smartly, and by the matchmaking sages Roberto Diaz and Eric Gomez.
A composed Garcia flurried to good effect at the bell in round one. Lopez’ team asked him to “jab, jab, jab” after the round.
Lopez is a banger, who comes in face first and tries to flurry and be the more aggressive pugilist.
Jab, stiff and hard, then hook and slide over—good stuff from Garcia in the second. A flurry, some hit and some missed, sent Lopez to the mat. The second round ended and then the loser didn’t come out for the next round.
“He’s the real deal…no hype…looks good, talks good, got a good fan base,” said Hopkins.
Hopkins says he can fight Gervonta Davis by the end of the year. “No hype,” he declared, someone like this comes along rarely.
Garcia said after to LZ Granderson that his improvement comes because he’s with Reynoso. What about a fight for a world title? Ryan said “hell yes” that he’s ready for a world title shot. Then, he addressed Mayweather Promotions. “Also I wanna say something to the Mayweather camp, that keeps running their mouths, man. Don’t worry, you get your fights up, and I will whip your ass, anywhere, let’s do it. I ain’t intimidated by Mayweather, nobody can intimidate me.”
Lopez landed just seven blows and the kid says he’s “learning from the best” in Reynoso and Canelo. He watched his finishing blows on a monitor, his right hands that were buzzing Lopez.
Canelo listened as Granderson queried. He said he thinks the kid is “the best prospect” in the game and he loves how the kid learns. He will need to concentrate hard on boxing, he said, and try to steer away from romance dramas and such, that was the implication.