By Francisco Salazar
CARSON, California - One done. One more to go.
The first of the two-night boxing extravaganza that is taking place at the Stubhub Center during 'Cinco de Mayo' weekend went by with 19-year-old Ryan Garcia winning a 10 round unanimous decision over Puerto Rico's Jayson Velez.
The card drew an announced crowd of 6,625, which is impressive considering the fight was announced on Apr. 16, less than three weeks ago. The crowd likely drew a big crowd because of the ticket prices, which started at $10 and went up to $65 ringside.
Many family, friends, and young ladies made the drive down Interstate 15 from Garcia's hometown of Victorville to watch Garcia outbox Velez, who made it difficult for Garcia early on.
Where Garcia (15-0, 13 knockouts) goes from here will be interesting to watch. Golden Boy Promotions wants Garcia to fight another two to three times more this year, but the matchmaking will be key.
Garcia is 19 years of age and has 15 bouts under his belt. He did say he wants to fight the big names, but realistically, he needs more experience and improvement on the inside to face the likes of Gervonta Davis. Both have verbally sparred on social media over the last several months.
The sky is the limit for Garcia in terms of talent. He is also a marketing dream for Golden Boy and a self-promoter. He does attract a fan base that is not too accustomed to watching boxing: teenage girls.
Look for Garcia to come back either August or on the undercard of the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas, if it happens.
Speaking of Golovkin, hardcore boxing fans will return to the Stubhub Center in this Los Angeles suburb on Saturday to watch 'GGG' against Vanes Martirosyan.
The 12 round bout, along with the 10 round welterweight bout between undisputed champion Cecilia Braekhus (32-0, 9 KOs) and Kali Reis (13-6-1, 4 KOs), will air live on HBO (11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT).
Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) told promoter Tom Loeffler he wanted to fight on May 5, and facing someone like Martirosyan makes sense from a ticket standpoint. Martirosyan, who resides in Glendale, will bring a decent walk-up crowd of Armenian-Americans to Stubhub Center.
Golovkin has received his fair share of criticism from a certain segment of boxing fans for facing Martirosyan, but Golovkin could then fulfill his IBF mandatory (Sergey Derevyanchenko) should a fight with Alvarez does not get made.
The IBF is not sanctioning this fight, so Golovkin will be able to keep his title.
For boxing fans, two fight cards in two days is great. It is rare, but weekends like this give boxing more print and publicity with casual boxing fans.
Enough from Stubhub. Time to go home, recharge, and come back for round two of this boxing weekend.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing