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  First Round KO For Ryan Garcia

By Albert Castillo
Photos: William Trillo


In the main event of the evening at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA. all eyes were on huge fan favorite and rising star “King” Ryan Garcia (14-0 13 KO’s) and he didn’t disappoint.

At 2:55 of the first round the sold-out crowd of 1,807 fans went wild as he landed two crisp right hands followed by a devastating left hook that put Fernando Vargas (33-16-3, 24 KO’s) down and out to retain the Junior NABF Super Featherweight title.

The kid is proving to be the real deal. "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 the co- main event of the evening a premature stoppage gave the win to East LA kid, Jonathan, “Thunder” Navarro (13-0 7 KO’s) over Texan Gabriel Gutierrez (5-7, 3 KO’s). This had the makings of an entertaining fight. Gutierrez was game and although he was getting hit with some bombs, he also had his moments.

At 2:58 of the second round Navarro took advantage while Gutierrez was complaining to the referee about being hit in the back of the head. It was at that point that Navarro connected with a quick combination. Gutierrez appeared clear-eyed, coherent, and was on his feet when the referee stopped the fight. The crowd booed mercilessly.

In the books Navarro collects his 7th knockout. “I felt great. I was just getting warmed up,” said Jonathon Navarro. I felt the referee stopped it too quick. I know I got him with four or five straight shots, so I understand why he stopped it.”

In this Ireland vs. Mexico match-up, Aaron “The Silencer” McKenna (2-0 1 KO) came roaring out of his corner like a raging bull. Mexico’s Jose Palacios (1-2 1 KO) was no matador and he was met with a furious and relentless body and head attack that dropped Palacios early in the first round.

McKenna pursued Palacios with quick combinations and an uppercut that stunned the Mexican. Late in the round Palacios basically quit by telling the referee that he was hit on the back of the head. The truth is that his entire head was hit with so many punches that he decided he didn't want anymore of McKenna. Referee Hernandez stopped the fight at 2:46 of the first round.

Aaron has great potential and everyone looks forward to seeing more of him in the near future. "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.

Quick Eddie Gomez of the Bronx, New York, (21-3 12KO’s) surprised Keandre Gibson (18-2, 7 KO’s) with a lightning fast right hand that sunk Gibson to the canvas.

Gibson struggled getting to his feet and referee waved off the contest at: 54 seconds 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."

Popular featherweight of Glendora, California, Joet Gonzalez (19-0, 11 KO’s) maintained his unbeaten win streak by stopping tough Filipino fighter, Rolando Magbanua (26-7, 18 KO’s), at 2:06 of the fifth round.

Gonzalez had a tentative start as Magbanua outpunched him in the early rounds. However, Gonzalez masterfully paced himself and caught many of Magbanua’s looping punches on his gloves. By the fourth round Gonzalez was warming up and began to connect with sharp right hands, but it was an explosive left uppercut at the end of the fifth that dropped Magbanua to his knees.

Referee determined that Magbanua could not continue and Gonzalez recorded his 11th knockout. "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."

Up and comer Raul Curiel (3-0), 2 KO’s) out of Tamaulipas, Mexico, continued his winning ways by scoring a second round knockout of Louisiana’s, Quantavious Green (1-2, 1 KO). Curiel stopped Green with a left hook to the body at 1:29 of the second round. “My trainers worked on hitting the body in 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.

Filipino fighter Eugene Lagos (13-5-2 8 KO’s) upset formerly undefeated, Pacoima, California fighter Emilio Sanchez (16-1, 11 KO’s) in the second round of a scheduled 8 round bout. Underdog Lagos’ counter right hand dropped Sanchez at :35 seconds of the second round. Lagos garnered his 13th win and 8th knockout. “I’m really happy about my victory,” said Eugene Lagos. “I won today because of my hard work and discipline.”


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