Golden Boy prospects shine at LA Fight Club '17 opener

Golden Boy prospects shine at LA Fight Club '17 opener

February 06, 2017


Ryan "KingRy" Garcia celebrates after his KO victory on Feb. 03, 2017. Photo: Cynthia Saldaña/FrontProof Media.

Ryan "KingRy" Garcia celebrates after his KO victory on Feb. 03, 2017. Photo: Cynthia Saldaña/FrontProof Media.

LOS ANGELES - This past Friday night, Golden Boy Promotions kicked off its highly popular "LA Fight Club" series at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles. It was “Lades Night” as the music was blaring and the drinks were flowing. But an event that was supposed to bring fans a stacked card, turned into a short night.

For starters, the opponent for the undefeated Hector Tanajara Jr. failed to make weight on Thursday afternoon (Feb. 2), so the fight was subsequently canceled, and the opponent for Edgar Valerio wasn’t medically cleared to fight -- scratching him from the card as well. The large crowd, however, was fortunate enough to see four great action-packed bouts.

Headlining the show in the main event was Joshua “The Professor” Franco (9-0, 5 KO's), from San Antonio, Texas as he took on Victor “The Dragon” Pasillas (8-7-2, 5 KO's) from Ensenada, Mexico in the eight-round super flyweight bout. Franco who has looked impressive to start his young career, and continued to shine against Pasillas. Franco took control from the start and beat Pasillas to the punch, as he clobbered him early and often. Franco continued to pick apart Pasillas for the next two rounds and in the third, Franco caught him with a vicious uppercut followed by a right cross that sent Pasillas to the canvas. Referee Raul Caiz Sr. shook his head and waived off the fight at the 2:32 mark of the third. 

I was definitely expecting a tougher fight. I had watched a lot of his fights online, and I expected a knock out later in the fight.
— Joshua Franco

In the co-main event and what was definitely fight of the night, Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro (8-0, 5 KO's), from East Los Angeles, faced off against Angel “El Picosito” Rodriguez (5-7-3, 4 KO's) from Houston, Texas in a scheduled six-round super lightweight match. Navarro came out banging with Rodriguez, and stood toe-to-toe with his opponent throughout the fight. Navarro used his ring generalship, speed and defense to stay one step ahead of the rugged Rodriguez, but in the middle rounds, Rodriguez was able to catch the tiring Navarro with some heavy shots. Navarro answered back with hard counter jabs and fight fans witnessed a war. After six solid rounds, the three judges scored it 60-54 (Twice), and 59-55 all in favor of Navarro.

This fight shows that I can rumble with tough opponents. My opponent fought against Diego Magdaleno and Adrien Broner, so I knew he had to be tough, and he was. I came into the ring slowly, trying to figure him out, and Rodriguez came forward aggressively. He was a tough opponent, and I am definitely thankful for the experience. I’ll be back in the ring soon, hopefully increasing my rounds.
— Jonathan Navarro

To open up the television portion of the card, recently signed Golden Boy top prospect, Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (8-0, 7 KO's) from Victorville, California, looked to continue his winning streak and showcase his talent against Devon Jones (2-2, 1 KO) of Alexandria, Louisiana in a scheduled six-round lightweight bout. Garcia wasted no time and came out firing on all cylinders, dropping Jones twice in the first round and continued his barrage of punches in the second dropping Jones two more times, forcing referee Raul Caiz Sr. to call a halt to the bout at the 55 second mark of round two.

You heard the crowd tonight. I think they enjoyed the fight. I give myself a B- for my performance since I got cobbled in my head a couple of times. I had to adjust because I didn’t know that my opponent was a southpaw. But we got the knock out and that’s what makes champions.
— Ryan Garcia

Also on the card this past Friday night was super-lightweight David “June Bug” Mijares (5-0, 3 KO's) from Pasadena, California as he entered the ring against Evincii Dixon (7-16-2, 2 KO’s) of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in a six-round fight. Mijares methodically broke down his opponent using precise punching, solid defense, and quick combinations to control the tempo and force Dixon to fight his fight. Dixon did catch Mijares with a big overhand right in the fourth round, leaving Mijares bleeding for the next two rounds, but it was too little too late as the judges scored the fight 60-54 (Twice) and 58-56 all in favor of the undefeated Mijares. 

This was a great learning experience for me. It was the first time I went all six rounds with someone who has the experience and patience inside the ring. I definitely want to work on being more aware throughout the fight. He got me with a couple of punches high up on the head that threw me off. I want to pursue more experienced opponents like this, and build myself up as a fighter for this year, and get used to fighting at six rounds.
— David Mijares

Golden Boy Promotions' next "LA Fight Club" event will be on Friday February 17, from the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles.  


Anthony "Stacks" Saldaña is a contributing writer for FrontProofMedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter @StacksRingside 

(Feature photo: Cynthia Saldaña/FrontProof Media)

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