By Francisco Salazar
Robert Garcia served as both trainer and promoter Friday night.
Garcia and brother Mikey Garcia co-promoted their first fight card in Southern California and it will not be the last.
In the main event, junior lightweight Luis Coria stopped veteran David Michel Paz in the third round at the Club Events Center in San Bernardino, California.
Coria (10-2, 5 knockouts), who was fighting near his hometown of Moreno Valley, was coming off a split-decision loss to Thomas Valdez two months ago.
The 20-year-old Coria was the aggressor from the opening bell, landing the more effective combinations to the head and body of Paz.
It was a barrage of punches that dropped Paz to begin the opening round. Paz was able to get up and was game throughout the fight, but he was overmatched by the more technical and stronger Coria.
Coria continued to break down Paz during round three. A right uppercut followed by a right cross dropped Paz against the ropes. Paz would get up, but Coria would drop him again, this time with an overhand right to the head, prompting referee Ray Corona to immediately stop the fight.
Paz (4-6-1) has now lost his last four bouts, including losses to Shakur Stevenson and Murodjon Akhmadaliev.
Another fighter that is trained by Robert Garcia also won by knockout. Junior lightweight Izaac Colunga stopped Patrick Gutierrez (0-9) at the end of the opening round.
Colunga (3-0, 2 KOs) trapped Gutierrez in a corner where he landed a right cross to the head, dropping Gutierrez to one knee. Gutierrez beat the count, but referee Jerry Cantu stopped the bout at 3:00.
In junior lightweight action, Anthony Chavez won a hard-fought four round unanimous decision over Emmanuel Castro.
Chavez, who is trained by Henry Ramirez, was the more-effective fighter throughout the fight.
All three judges scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Chavez, who improves to 7-0, 2 KOs.
Castro, who resides in the Los Angeles area, drops to 2-5, 2 KOs and has lost his last four bouts.
Two more fighters that trained by Robert Garcia also fought on Friday night with mixed results.
Junior welterweight Raymond Muratalla stopped Argentina’s Nicholas Velazquez in the second round.
Muratalla (6-0, 4 KOs) dropped Velazquez with a right uppercut to the head. Velazquez stood up on wobbly legs, prompting referee Ray Corona to immediately stop the fight.
Velazquez (10-4, 3 KOs) has now dropped three of his last four bouts.
Bantamweights Breenan Rhys Macias and Giovanni Noriega fought to a four round majority decision draw.
One judge scored the bout 39-37 for Macias (3-0-1, 2 KOs), while the other two judges scored the bout 38-38.
The shorter Noriega goes to 2-3-2, 2 KOs.
Robert Garcia told Boxingscene that the next Garcia Promotions card will take place on Mar. 15 in the Dallas area. The card will take place one night before Mikey Garcia will challenge Errol Spence for the IBF welterweight title.
Garcia also told Boxingscene there will be at least one fight card later this year in Oxnard, where Robert and Mikey Garcia, along with brother Danny, grew up.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing