Saturday, September 30, 2023  |


Ryan Garcia knocks out Braulio Rodriguez in first fight with Eddy Reynoso

Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia. Photo credit: Getty Images
Fighters Network

NEW YORK — Ryan Garcia showed improved poise in his first fight with new trainer Eddy Reynoso, knocking out the frustrating Braulio Rodriguez in the fifth round on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding.

Garcia (17-0, 14 knockouts) scored a knockdown in the first round with a right hand and a left hook off a clinch, but Rodriguez (19-4, 17 KOs) survived the count. An overhand right started the ending of the ten-round scheduled lightweight bout four rounds later, sending Rodriguez into the ropes.

Two rights followed by a left uppercut set up the knockout blow, a left hook again, putting Rodriguez onto the ring apron, looking up at the lights of Madison Square Garden as Garcia’s sizable fan base cheered.

Referee Ron Lipton reached the count at the 1:14 mark.

“When I was first coming up, I made the mistake thinking when I was knocking everyone out that I can conquer the world. I know it’s a process and I’m going to trust everyone and trust my team. I’m not scared of nobody,” said Garcia

Garcia, 20, of Victorville, California was making his New York debut in his first fight since switching trainers to the coach that guides Alvarez’s career. The change came after an underwhelming majority decision win over Carlos Morales in September.

“This was the first time I had a real camp. You all saw something different. I came in showing skills. You didn’t see me getting reckless. I came to show my skills and I did that,” said Garcia.

“They took me in like family. They took care of me good. I don’t speak Spanish but they took care of me. I don’t speak Spanish, but I got the Mexican blood in me. Viva Mexico!”

Garcia kept his composure as Rodriguez, who had lost two straight and had been mostly inactive for the past two years, began clowning. Rodriguez, 30, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republican began poking his head out and shuffling his feet, ripping off the moves of commentator Sugar Ray Leonard at ringside, but quickly retreated whenever Garcia turned on his offense.

Lipton took a point away from Rodriguez in the second after repeated low blows, and Rodriguez was never able to organize any effective offense.

“We knew from the weigh-ins when [Rodriguez] pushed me that he would try to intimidate me, I think that’s what he was trying to do, but I came in here and I was like, that’s not going to happen,” said Garcia.