Ryan “Kingry” Garcia contested his 13th professional fight in 18 months when he faced Noe Martinez on Saturday evening. The young American has had a busy start to life as a pro and is attracting more attention every time he gloves up.
The bout took place on the Billy Joe Saunders – David Lemieux under-card at the brand new Place Bell Arena in Laval, Quebec, Canada.
Garcia, aged just 19 and from California, is climbing the rankings and it will be interesting to see how quickly his handlers at Golden Boy Promotions move him towards title fights in 2018. Competing in the 130lb division, Garcia is considered one of the best prospects in the sport.
Noe Martinez of Mexico was clearly “the opponent” in Canada, although at this stage the matchmaking looked wise as it offered an opportunity for “Kingry” to face a southpaw with far more experience. Martinez, 24, came in having fought 34 times as a pro prior to the opening bell in Quebec.
Despite his edge in experience Martinez was only fighting outside of his home country for the second time. Garcia was competing outside of America for the fifth time having boxed four times in Mexico in the opening stages of his pro journey.
Boxing on a big card and available around the globe on ringTV.com, this was a fantastic opportunity for Garcia to demonstrate his burgeoning abilities to a large audience.
Here is how Garcia vs. Martinez played out.
The opening rounds saw Garcia in a hurry to add to his eight fight stoppage streak. Ryan was loading up and while enough success was being had to bank the rounds, Martinez knew enough not to get caught with anything.
The fourth session saw Garcia settle down and start to get behind his boxing fundamentals more. A third round injury to his right hand may have forced this change of pace but the young boxer dealt with the issue well as the eight round contest moved into its second half.
Despite the injury, Garcia was still using his right hand although it was clear he couldn't turn it over to the extent he can usually.
Martinez, smaller, slower and less powerful was making Garcia work for everything he was getting as the fight neared its conclusion. Ryan was keeping his more experienced opponent on the back foot and mixing in good combos, particularly behind his jab and on occasion a lead left uppercut. An inferior ring general would've been stopped earlier but as it happened we were nearing the end of proceedings.
The eighth and final round started and Garcia wanted the stoppage. Backing his foe against the ropes, an eye-catching uppercut with the right buzzed Martinez and after several more fast shots landed the overpowered Mexican elected to take a knee on the canvas. The fight continued after the count and Garcia showed his predatory instincts by pursuing his hurt opponent across the ring. A six punch combo landed and although Martinez was still on his feet the referee had seen enough. The time was 1:45 of round eight and Garcia had his ninth stoppage in a row.
After the conclusion Garcia was clearly in pain as his corner tried to remove his glove. Here at NYF we hope the damage to his hand is not serious and we wish Ryan a speedy recovery. The ringside broadcasters mentioned that the commission in Quebec had prevented Garcia from boxing in his preferred style of Everlast gloves and he was also stopped from using his usual hand wraps. Whether or not this contributed to the injury we will probably never know but for any fighter there is a lesson there – when boxing on the road every country and commission are going to have slightly different rules when it comes to the type of equipment you can use.
“It was a great experience for me,” said Garcia. “I went eight rounds. I fought through adversity for the first time, and I felt like I pulled through it. I showed the true colors of a champion, and I even gave the fans a knockout in the last round because I always put it all on the line for the fans.”
So after a whirlwind start to his pro career Garcia moves to 13-0-0 (12KOs) and I suspect will be getting written into many ballots for ‘Prospect Of The Year' by the people who vote on those sorts of things. Noe Martinez drops to 23-10-2 (10KOs) but certainly earned his money and made Garcia work for his win in Canada.
If he isn't already on it, put Ryan Garcia on your not to miss list. 2018 should be a big year for “Kingry.”