Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California - Super featherweight prospect Ryan Garcia (14-0, 13 KOs), 19 years old, made a statement on Thursday with a vicious first round knockout of veteran Fernando Vargas (33-16).
The fight headlined Golden Boy Promotions' televised card on ESPN.
Garcia will now return to the ring on May 5th, as part of the undercard to the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin rematch at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Garcia's punches were too much for Vargas, who went down and out from a combination at the end of the first.
"I'm sorry it's the first round," Garcia said, who wanted a longer bout to satisfy his fans who came out in support.
"It was my first 10-round fight and the dude has experience, so I expected some rugged fighting, but if I see the shot opening, I can't let it slip. It was there and I took it. Once I landed the first jab, I said, 'Let me set him up.' I shortened the hook and he was out."
In the last few weeks, Garcia has been calling out some big names and feels that he's ready for all comes in the weight class.
During a recent interview with BoxingScene.com, Garcia called for a fight with former IBF world champion, Gervonta Davis.
In tonight's co-main event, Eddie "Eboy" Gomez (20-3, 12 KOs) of The Bronx, N.Y. knocked out KeAndre "The Truth" Gibson (18-2-1, 7 KOs) of St. Louis, Mo in the second round of a welterweight fight originally scheduled for 10 rounds. Gomez landed a powerful counter right hand that stiffened and dropped Gibson, who was no longer allowed to continue at :54 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."
Irish welterweight prospect Aaron "Silencer" McKenna (2-0, 1 KO) blasted Jose Palacios (1-2, 1 KO) of Chihuahua, Mexico via knockout in the first round of a scheduled four-round super welterweight fight in tonight's televised swing bout.
"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."
Featherweight contender Joet Gonzalez (19-0, 11 KOs) of Glendora, Calif. scored a fifth-round knockout victory against Rolando Magbanua (26-7, 18 KOs) of Cotabato, Philippines. Though the fight was originally scheduled ten rounds, Gonzalez's power was too much for Magbanua, who was stopped at 2:06 of the fifth round.
"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."
Raul "El Cugar" Curiel (3-0, 2 KOs) scored a second-round knockout victory against Quantavious Green (1-2, 1 KO) of Shreveport, LA. After Curiel dropped Green twice with body shots, the fight was stopped at 1:29 of the second round.
"My trainers worked on hitting the body and 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."
In a surprising upset victory, Filipino pugilist Eugene Lagos (13-5-2, 8 KOs) scored a one-punch knockout victory against Pacoima, Calif.'s Emilio "The Kid" Sanchez (16-1, 11 KOs) at :35 of the second round of a scheduled eight-round super bantamweight fight.
"I'm really happy about my victory," said Eugene Lagos. "I won today because of my hard work and discipline."
Jonathan "Thunder" Navarro (13-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. scored a TKO victory at 2:58 of the second round of a scheduled eight-round welterweight fight against Gabriel Gutierrez (5-7, 3 KOs) of El Paso, Texas.
"I felt great. I was just getting warmed up," said Jonathan Navarro. "I felt the referee stopped it too quick. I know I got with him four or straight fight shots, so I understand why he stopped it."