Super featherweight contender Ryan Garcia (15-0, 13 KOs) defeated an out of shape former world title challenger Jayson Velez (26-5-1, 18 KOs) in beating him by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision on Friday night at the StuHub Center in Carson, California.
Velez was dominated by Garcia when he was on the outside. Velez took the fight to the inside in hopes of minimizing Garcia’s hand speed advantage. Garcia adapted by using clinches, shoe shine flurries and movement to keep Velez from crowding him and getting the better of him.
The fight was televised on ESPN. Garcia’s promoters at Golden Boy are trying to turn him into a star. Having him on ESPN will allow him to be seen by more boxing fans. However, Golden Boy is going to need to take some risks with Garcia sooner or later. He’s been calling out WBA featherweight champion Gervonta David. It would be nice to see those two fight each other.
The judges scored the fight 99-91, 99-91 and 99-91. Boxing News 24 scored it for the 19-year-old Garcia by a 9 rounds to 1 score. Velez appeared to win the 1st round, but it was all downhill for him after that. Garcia used his jab, quick feet, clinching and rapid fire shoeshine punches to win rounds.
What made Ryan Garcia look bad were these things:
• His constant holing to prevent Velez from fighting on the inside
• His running
• Garcia’s inability to stand stationary for any length of time
• Falling for Velez’s feints
Velez looks like he’s ready for retirement. He’s suffered too many losses in the last 8 fights of his career. He’s losing too many fights at this point in his career, and he doesn’t have the game that he once did.
Velez was too slow on his feet and he was missing with his attempts to catch Garcia. In the second half of the fight, Velez changed his tactics and began to put everything he had in his shots in an attempt to try and knockout Garcia. Velez’s shots weren’t connecting cleanly often enough, because Garcia was staying on the outside and making Velez reach for him when he’d throw a shot. When Velez would and. he was often too far away to get the power on his punches that he needed to hurt Garcia. The crowd didn’t seem to like all the movement and holding that Garcia was using. The fans wanted to see action, not running, and Garcia was not up to the task. He was pulling back each time Velez would use a feint. Garcia did not want to get hit, and he was a sucker for the feints from Velez. That made the fight boring to watch, as did the movement from Garcia.
Velez didn’t look like he was in good enough shape to give Garcia a tough fight of it. I think Velez would have lost the fight even if he had a full training camp. Velez was too slow of hand and foot to give Garcia a good fight. It’s obvious that Velez was picked because of his slow hand speed and movement. Velez being inactive and not having a full training camp obviously didn’t help him any tonight. The way that Velez was picked out for Garcia to fight reminded me how the out of shape Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland were picked out to fight Saul Canelo Alvarez in the past.
Ryan Garcia looks like a good prospect, but he doesn’t look he’s ever going to be good enough to beat the two best fighters in the super featherweight division in Miguel Berchelt and Gervonta ‘Storm’ Davis. Vasyl Lomachenko is too good as well. If Garcia makes major improvements in his game in the next seven or eight years in the power department, he might have a chance against those two, but I don’t see it happening. Garcia looks too timid when it comes to mixing it up with his opponents, and he’s not daring enough to stand and fight.
The boxing fans at ringside seemed to get irritated at Garcia in the second half of the fight due to the movement, holding and spoiling tactics that he was suing to keep Velez from landing his shots.
The loss the 30-year-old Velez was his fifth defeat in his last eight fights. Velez’s once promising career has completely disappeared since 2015 with him suffering one loss after another. You know things are bad for Velez when you see him losing to journeyman Rene Alvarado (29-8, 20 KOs).
I don’t know if Garcia is going to be ready for Gervonta Davis anytime soon. I suppose Garcia will keep name dropping Tank’s name so that he can get attention from the boxing public, but Golden Boy are likely going to wait for Garcia to develop more before they eventually make the fight if they ever do.
Golden Boy probably should have picked a different opponent for Garcia to have a showcase fight. Velez took every shot Garcia threw at him, and he was able to pressure him and put hands on him. Garcia was forced to run from Velez, and that looked really bad. It looks like Golden Boy is building up Ryan Garcia to be an Oscar De La Hoya 2.0 type of fighter. In other words, a young matinee idol type fighter, who has a lot of teen girls going crazy for him, and who uses his hand speed to throw flurries to impress the judges. Garcia fights more like Amir Khan than Oscar De La Hoya. I don’t think Garcia is ready for Berchelt, Vasyl Lomachenko, Kenichi Oawa, Tevin Farmer, Alberto Machado or Gervonta Davis. I would also pick Naoya Inoue to beat Garcia as well if the Japanese fighter were willing to move up three divisions to fight him.
If Golden Boy really believes in Ryan Garcia, then they need to contact WBA super featherweight champion Alberto Machado and make a big offer to him to take the fight with Garcia I doubt that Golden Boy will do that though, because they’re not going to want to risk his future. Unbeaten Christopher Díaz would be another great option for Garcia if Golden Boy doesn’t like the idea of putting the 19-year-old with Machado. At some point the age can’t be an excuse given for not putting Garcia in with the good opposition.