By Miguel Rivera
At the young age of 19 years, Californian Ryan Garcia is considered by many to be a solid prospect in the super featherweight division.
He will get his stiffest test to date on May 4th at the StubHub Center in Carson, when he faces veteran Puerto Rican contender Jayson Velez in the main event of a Golden Boy on ESPN card.
Velez has a record of 26-4-1 and 18 KO's. He was a fighter who was built up by Miguel Cotto Promotions. They parted ways a year ago and he is currently managed by the company Universal Promotions, which is run by promoter Javier Bustillo.
Garcia has a perfect record of 14-0 and 13 knockouts.
Velez was actually surprised that Golden Boy Promotions, who handle Garcia, reached out to offer him this fight.
He believes Garcia will bite off more than he can chew come fight night.
"He has quick hands and a decent punch, although that will have to be tested when he gets into the ring," said Velez to Carlos Narvaez.
"Basically they want to use me as a stepping stone. But here... this is not a test for me... rather I will be the test for him. I'm coming back from beating a former world champion and although I know that Garcia was the ESPN Prospect of the Year in 2017, for me it is the opportunity to get closer to a world title and Ryan Garcia is the opponent. I will show him that speed is not everything. I have checked him out and I will show everyone that Jayson Velez is back and that I am better than Ryan Garcia.
"There are levels and there are levels. He will realize that on May 4th. He says he doesn't know why Golden Boy Promotions asked me to face him, and according to him I'm not at his level. And in that sense he is right, I'm not at his level, I'm at a higher level. At his age I also thought the same thing, but little by little I realized that I had to make adjustments. He does not have his feet on the ground, but I will help him with that."