Rising sensation Ryan “The Flash” Garcia (13-0, 7 KOs) exceeded all expectations in his headlining debut as he scored an explosive first-round knockout win against Tijuana, Mexico’s Fernando Vargas (33-16-3, 24 KOs) to defend his Junior NABF Super Featherweight Title in the main event of the March 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN and in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,807 boxing fans at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. After calmly measuring Vargas for most of the first round, the pride of Victorville, Calif. landed a three-punch combination that finished Vargas at 2:55 of the same round.
“Vargas is a rugged veteran,” said Ryan Garcia. “I thought the fight could go 10 rounds, so I relaxed and started slow with the jab. But then I landed my right hand and it really stunned him. I landed it again, and because he moved in exactly the same way, I was able to set up the left hook that knocked him out. I can’t wait to come back and fight again.”
In tonight’s co-main event, Eddie “Eboy” Gomez (20-3, 12 KOs) of The Bronx, N.Y. knocked out KeAndre “The Truth” Gibson (18-2-1, 7 KOs) of St. Louis, Mo in the second round of a welterweight fight originally scheduled for 10 rounds. Gomez landed a powerful counter right hand that stiffened and dropped Gibson, who was no longer allowed to continue at :54 of the second round.
“I saw that he kept dropping his hands after he jabbed,” said Eddie Gomez. “So, I waited for that and landed the right hand cleanly. I was patient, and when he threw punches, I saw every punch clearly. Training camp was long and hard, so now I can finally breathe and relax.”
Irish welterweight prospect Aaron “Silencer” McKenna (2-0, 1 KO) blasted Jose Palacios (1-2, 1 KO) of Chihuahua, Mexico via knockout in the first round of a scheduled four-round super welterweight fight in tonight’s televised swing bout.
“I’m feeling terrific and happy with my performance,” said Aaron McKenna. “I’m glad to have been given a great performance on my ESPN debut. Once I hit him and he felt my power, I knew he didn’t want any more.”
Featherweight contender Joet Gonzalez (19-0, 11 KOs) of Glendora, Calif. scored a fifth-round knockout victory against Rolando Magbanua (26-7, 18 KOs) of Cotabato, Philippines. Though the fight was originally scheduled ten rounds, Gonzalez’s power was too much for Magbanua, who was stopped at 2:06 of the fifth round.
“He [Magbanua] came out strong with power shots,” said Joet Gonzalez. “He tried to get me to open up and exchange. But I stuck to the game plan and kept boxing. Eventually I wore him down and dropped him with an uppercut and a hook. He was a little wobbly after he got back up, so the referee stopped the fight.”
Raul “El Cugar” Curiel (3-0, 2 KOs) scored a second-round knockout victory against Quantavious Green (1-2, 1 KO) of Shreveport, LA. After Curiel dropped Green twice with body shots, the fight was stopped at 1:29 of the second round.
“My trainers worked on hitting the body and camp,” said Raul Curiel. “We saw that he was struggling to make weight, so we aimed for the body even more. I’m ready for whatever is coming. We want to stay busy.”
In a surprising upset victory, Filipino pugilist Eugene Lagos (13-5-2, 8 KOs) scored a one-punch knockout victory against Pacoima, Calif.’s Emilio “The Kid” Sanchez (16-1, 11 KOs) at :35 of the second round of a scheduled eight-round super bantamweight fight.
“I’m really happy about my victory,” said Eugene Lagos. “I won today because of my hard work and discipline.”
Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro (13-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. scored a TKO victory at 2:58 of the second round of a scheduled eight-round welterweight fight against Gabriel Gutierrez (5-7, 3 KOs) of El Paso, Texas.
“I felt great. I was just getting warmed up,” said Jonathan Navarro. “I felt the referee stopped it too quick. I know I got with him four or straight fight shots, so I understand why he stopped it.”
Garcia vs. Vargas was 10-round fight for the Junior NABF Featherweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event was sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights took place on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com and http://www.espn.com/boxing/; follow on Twitter @GoldenBoyBoxing, @OscarDeLaHoya, @ESPN, and @ESPNBoxeo; become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing; and follow on Instagram @GoldenBoyBoxing and @OscarDeLaHoya. Follow the conversation using #GBPonESPN.
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