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Ryan Garcia vs. Jose Lopez – preview & prediction

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By Sean Jones: Unbeaten lightweight contender/prospect Ryan Garcia (17-0, 14 KOs) will be fighting this Saturday night against the recently twice beaten José ‘Wonder Boy’ López (20-3-1, 14 KOs) in a 10 round fight on the Tito Acosta vs. Ganigan Lopez card on DAZN at the Fantasy Springs Casino, in Indio, California.

This will be Ryan Garcia’s second fight with trainer Eddy Reynoso, who also trains superstar Saul Canelo Alvarez. Garcia is hoping that Reynoso can improve his game to the level to where he can accomplish things that Canelo has. It’s going to be hard though, because Canelo is naturally quick, both at learning, and with his hand speed. Canelo also packs a punch, and that’s an area of Garcia’s game that he’s lacking.

Garcia can hurt guys with an accumulation of shots, but he’s not really a knockout puncher. The high 82% knockout percentage that Ryan has is more of a product of him being matched against a lot of third tier opposition that lacked the chin, and boxing skills to stay upright against him. Against the two best opponents Garcia has faced during his three-year pro career against Jayson Velez and Carlos Morales, he never came close to knocking either of those guys out.

Shockingly, Garcia came close to losing the Morales fight in winning by a 10 round majority decision. That fight, which took place last September, showed that Garcia isn’t ready to fight any of the talented lightweights in the division. Garcia is too upright, and be walked down by his opponents if they have some talented like Morales.

In Morales’ last fight after his loss to Garcia, he was beaten by journeyman Rene Alvarado (30-8, 20 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision. Alvarado did a better job beating Morales than Garcia did. Styles make fights obviously, but it was surprising to see Alvarado, 30, doing a better job of beating Morales than Garcia did, because the Argentinian fighter isn’t hyped in the same way the Golden Boy fighter is being done right now.


Garcia, 20, needs to look good against the 25-year-old Lopez, as there’s a chance that he can get the co-feature spot on the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Danny Jacobs card on May 4 on DAZN at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although Garcia hasn’t done much in his career to rate a co-feature spot, but he’s got a large following on social media. Many of Ryan Garcia’s Twitter and Instagram followers will happily subscribe to DAZN to see him fight in the co-feature bout on the Canelo-Jacobs card.

Garcia has some stiff competition in vying for the co-feature spot on the Canelo vs. Jacobs card. Undefeated light welterweight prospect Vergil Ortiz (12-0, 12 KOs) also has a chance of getting the co-feature spot, and he’s looking a lot more polished and impressive than Ryan at roughly the same age. Ortiz is 21, and he’s knocking everyone out with huge shots. Ortiz isn’t a guy that gets his knockouts through an accumulation of shots in the same way that Garcia is. There’s also highly ranked featherweight Joseph ‘Jo’Jo’ Diaz Jr. and former International Boxing Federation middleweight champion David Lemieux that would make for a great option for the co-feature position. Lemieux is someone that Canelo may wind up facing at some point. For that reason, it’s important that Golden boy make sure the boxing public sees Canelo and Lemieux fighting on the same card so that the fight can be built up properly.

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In Ryan Garcia’s last six fights, he’s had these results:

– Braulio Rodriguez TKO 5

– Carlos Morales MD 10

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– Jayson Velez UD 10

– Fernando Vargas Parra TKO 1

– Noe Martinez Raygoza TKO 8

– Cesar Alan Valenzuela TKO 3

Garcia is doing what’s been expected of him against the type of opposition that is typically fed to prospects, but he’s going to need to show more if he’s to be trusted by being put in against a world champion in a few years. Right now, Garcia isn’t ready to be matched against any of the lightweight champions or even the top contenders in the division. It would be a bad idea for Golden Boy to let Garcia share the ring with highly rankted lightweight contenders Teofimo Lopez, Luke Campbell, Devin Haney, Anthony Crolla, Jorge Linares, Jose Pedraza or Rances Barthelemy. These guys are all older than Ryan Garcia, so they’re expected to be a lot more advanced them him in terms of their boxing ability and punching power.

Saturday’s fight by Garcia will show what he can do against a tough but limited Jose Lopez, who tried his best but was knocked out in the sixth round by Jonathan Oquendo in his last fight last October. If Garcia can knockout Lopez faster than Oquendo, he might be able to make a statement. Oquendo, 35, is still fighting at a high level, and he would likely beat Ryan if Golden Boy dared make the fight. Garcia has a long ways to go before he’s in his prime of his career, so you can’t expect him to do things that more experienced, and more powerful fighters like Oquendo, Teofimo Lopez and Mikey Garcia can do at lightweight. We don’t really know how good Garcia is or how good he’s going to be in the future. What we do know is it would be a bad idea for Golden Boy to match him tough before he’s ready to make that leap.

Garcia, 20, weighed in at 134.6 lbs at Friday’s weigh-in. His opponent Lopez weighted in at 134 lbs.

Prediction

Given the way that Jose Lopez was beaten by Oquendo, Avery Sparrow and Angel Luna, it should be an easy win for Garcia on Saturday night. Lopez might give Garcia some rounds, but then again he might not. Lopez fell apart in his last fight against Oquendo, and you can expect the same thing to happen against Garcia. Lopez will get stopped by the eighth round if Garcia is able to connect with a lot of his speedy combinations.

Other weights on Saturday’s Acosta vs. Lopez card:

Tito Acosta 108 vs. Ganigan Lopez 107.4
Rocky Hernandez 128.8 vs. Ibrahim Mgender 129
Joet Gonzalez 125.8 vs. Rodrigo Guerrero 125.2
Antonio Orozco 142.4 vs. Jose Rodriguez 138.6
Danielito Zorrilla vs. Gamaliel Diaz
Neeco Macias 153.6 vs. Jeremy Ramos 153.4
Herbert Acevedo 140 vs. Alfonso Olvera 140
Aaron McKenna 146.8 vs. Loretto Olivas 145.6

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