DALLAS, TEXAS: Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. captured the interim WBC Lightweight Championship with a seventh-round body-shot knockout against Luke Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) of Yorkshire, United Kingdom at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The bout was stopped at 1:58 of the aforementioned round. The fight was streamed live exclusively on DAZN in more than 200 countries and territories, including the U.S., Mexico and the UK.
Ryan Garcia switched gears mid-fight and made a STATEMENT tonight 😤
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) January 3, 2021
“This is the kind of fight where superstars are made,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “Down on the mat early for the first time in his career, Ryan got up, rallied, broke down his man and got the knockout. Everyone in the lightweight division should consider themselves on notice. 2021 will be the year of Ryan García.”
“My performance definitely showed a lot of people who I really am,” said Ryan Garcia. “Going into this fight I wanted to show people that you are not what people call you. You are what you choose to be. I chose to be a champion tonight. I didn’t let anything stop me from being a champion tonight. Even when he dropped me, I knew that couldn’t stop me from being champion.”
“I got too excited in the moment,” Garcia said of being knocked down for the first time. “I felt I could just walk him down, but he ended up cracking me. So, I had to adjust and calm down. I was a little dizzy with the knockdown, but I wasn’t worried. He’s not used to going forward, so I just knew I had to cover up. He never fights coming forward, so I knew he would back up throughout the fight. I’m naturally a counterpuncher. But today I showed I can take it to somebody and knock them out. God told me that it would end with a body shot, and that’s what happened.”
“He’s very heavy handed,” said Luke Campbell. “Even when I was blocking the shots, I could feel them. That was the hardest shot I was ever hit with. I tried and tried to get up, but I couldn’t. I felt him coming on, and I was moving back. And when I moved back, my body relaxed a little bit and that’s the exact time he hit me.”
In the co-main event, Roger “The Kid” Gutierrez (25-3-1, 20 KOs) of Maracaibo, Venezuela scored an upset 12-round unanimous decision victory against Rene “El Gemelo” Alvarado of Managua, Nicaragua. Gutierrez won with three scores of 113-112.
“I am so happy for this victory,” said Roger Gutierrez. “I did this for my mother. There’s not much more I can say. I had to look for the knockout. I knew I had to do that to win. I want to thank my manager Rafael Moron, the WBA and Golden Boy. This is for Venezuela and for my children.”
Felix “El Gemelo” Alvarado (36-2, 31 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua defended his IBF Junior Flyweight World Championship with a technical knockout victory against former 105-pound champion DeeJay Kriel (16-2-1, 8 KOs) of Gauteng, South Africa. The fight was stopped at 1:39 of the 10th round.
“I knew this would be a tough fight,” said Felix Alvarado. “He was a mandatory challenger and a former world champion, so I knew it would be tough. I got a bit tired, but that was because of his experience. I also dropped him with a hook, and I didn’t even expect for a punch like that to land. But rather than keep looking for that punch, I kept pushing him to the ropes to wear him down. I’m very happy to obtain this win because it is a dream come true for the Alvarado brothers to fight on the same card.”
Welterweight prospect Raul “Cougar” Curiel (9-0, 7 KOs) of Tampico, Mexico scored a second-round technical knockout victory against Ramses Agaton (22-13-3, 12 KOs) of Tlalnepantla, Mexico in a scheduled 10-round fight. The fight was stopped at 1:16 of the aforementioned round.
“I felt really good and strong,” said Raul Curiel. “I felt that my opponent was a bit heavy. But I’m happy that I was able to deliver a great performance. I’m ready for any opponent that they bring to me at welterweight.”
Sean Garcia (6-0, 2 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. opened the DAZN broadcast with a four-round unanimous decision win against Rene Marquez (5-6, 2 KOs) of Scottsbluff, Nebraska in a lightweight bout. One judge scored the bout a 36-36 draw, which was overruled by two scores of 39-37.
“There were so many things going as we went into this fight,” said Sean Garcia. “I was a bit nervous. I came off of a year-and-half layoff. I had to find my distance. It was also hard to land shots on him because of his unorthodox style. Now, I just have to keep training hard and learn from my mistakes.”
Unified world champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn (7-1, 2 KOs) of Baltimore, Maryland scored an eight-round unanimous decision win against Ashleigh Curry (8-14-4, 1 KO) of Saint Joseph, Missouri in a cruiserweight bout.
Alex Rincon (8-0, 6 KOs) of Dallas, Texas scored a six-round unanimous decision win against Sergio Gonzalez (6-8-1, 2 KOs) of Tamaulipas, Mexico in a middleweight battle. Rincon won with three scores of 60-54.
Tristan Kalkreuth (7-0, 5 KOs) of Duncanville, Texas scored a knockout win against Jorge Martinez (4-6, 1 KO) of Guadalajara, Mexico in a scheduled four-round cruiserweight battle. The fight was halted at :50 of the first round.
Hawaiian prospect Asa Stevens (1-0) made a successful pro debut with a four-round unanimous decision victory against Francisco Bonilla (6-8-3, 3 KOs) of Chihuahua, Mexico in a super bantamweight bout. Stevens won with scores of 58-55, 58-56 and 58-55.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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