By Jake Donovan
Ryan “KingRy” Garcia will once again play to a sold-out crowd at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. The unbeaten lightweight prospect—who boasts a wildly popular social media presence—takes on Puerto Rico’s Jose Lopez in Saturday’s main event, which streams live on DAZN.
Also on the show, Puerto Rico’s Angel “Tito” Acosta makes the third defense of his junior flyweight title as he takes on Mexico’s Ganigan Lopez, once a title holder himself.
On the undercard, Aaron McKenna maintained his unbeaten ways following a one-sided six-round decision victory over New Mexico’s Loretto Olivas. Scores were 60-53 across the board in a bout which marked the longest of McKenna’s still very young career.
McKenna—a 19-year old from Ireland who now lives and trains in Los Angeles—asserted his dominance from the opening bell. A steady jab was expected from the 6’1” welterweight who boasted a seven-inch height and reach advantage over the squat Olivas. He managed to get his trajectory down, flooring his foe late in the frame.
Heading into the night, McKenna (7-0, 4KOs) predicted a 4th round knockout. The round came and went without any such threat, instead heading back to his corner of the realization that he was about to see round five for the first time in his career.
The night would end with McKenna going the distance for the first time in four career appearances at Fantasy Springs, He at least left with the consolation prize of snatching the “0” from the record of Olivas (3-1, 1KO), who gets credit for recovering from the opening round knockdown to force the bout to go to the cards.
Mexico’s Rodrigo Guerrero had never been stopped or even dropped through 14 years and 35 pro fights. The former super flyweight titlist can no longer claim either to be true, as unbeaten Joet Gonzalez was merciless in a round stoppage in their featherweight battle.
Gonzalez (22-0, 13KOs)—a rising prospect from Los Angeles who sold more than 100 tickets for the show—dominated the contest with precision punching. The 25-year old used a stiff jab to repeatedly score with long right hands, breaking the dam late in the first round with a series of straight shots upstairs to bust Guerrero’s nose and willing him to the canvas.
The night never got better for Guerrero, who fought back as hard as he could but was simply outgunned by his younger, bigger and fresher foe. Even when Gonzalez had his back to the ropes, he was able to turn the situation to his advantage, clipping Guerrero with left uppercuts and left hooks.
Guerrero (26-8-2, 16KOs) found himself on the deck once again, midway through the fourth round and absorbing enormous punishment after beating the count and being permitted to continue. The 31-year old was given a long, hard look by referee Jerry Cantu and the ringside physician in between rounds but was permitted to continue. Gonzalez continued to pick apart the former titlist until forcing a stoppage at 2: of round five.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox