Based on the way Ryan Garcia felt throughout his recently completed training camp, the emerging lightweight was certain he would put on a special performance Friday night.
That’s exactly what Garcia produced when he knocked Francisco Fonseca unconscious with a left hook in the first round of their scheduled 12-rounder at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
“I was comfortable,” Garcia told BoxingScene.com following his quick knockout of Fonseca. “I know I improved, so I felt even 10 times more comfortable in the ring, you know? I was chillin’. I was chillin’. I knew I could set him up with something nasty. I just felt it. The whole time, going into the fight, I was on some special stuff. You know, I knew that I was gonna do something special. So, once I was in there, I was like, ‘Here we go. I’m gonna land something nasty right now.’ ”
The 21-year-old Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) believes his past two performances, first-round knockouts of the Philippines’ Romero Duno (21-2, 16 KOs) and Nicaragua’s Fonseca (25-3-2, 19 KOs), have helped convince critics that he legitimately has developed into an elite lightweight.
“Once I turned 20, 21,” Garcia said, “I was like, ‘Oh, it’s a wrap.’ I put in so much work, so now I look like a f--kin beast at 21. And I ain’t even that filled up yet.”
The Victorville, California, native’s immediate demolition of Fonseca left Garcia wondering how Fonseca lasted so long against Gervonta Davis and went the distance with Tevin Farmer.
Baltimore’s Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) knocked out Fonseca in the eighth round of their fight on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor undercard in August 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Davis was comfortably ahead, but the powerful southpaw appeared to hit Fonseca on the back of the head with the punch that ended their scheduled 12-rounder.
Philadelphia’s Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs, 1 NC), a southpaw who’s not known as a puncher, soundly defeated Fonseca by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight for the IBF junior lightweight title in December 2018 at Madison Square Garden.
“So, what does that mean about Gervonta?,” Garcia asked. “What does that mean about Tevin Farmer? They fought the same person, had hella problems with him. I knocked him out cold. When I was fighting him, I literally had a thought in my mind, like, ‘How did Tevin and Gervonta even go a round with this guy?’ Like all respect to Fonseca, like that’s a good, chill dude, respectful dude. But I was literally in the ring, like, ‘Are you serious?’ Like, ‘Damn, my level must be crazy right now, because I seen that shot from a mile away.’ ”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.