Victorville, California’s Ryan Garcia Kicks off Canelo-GGG Weekend on ESPN
September 11, 2017 Share

Victorville, California’s Ryan Garcia Kicks off Canelo-GGG Weekend on ESPN

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña | Staff Writer

Follow @StacksRingside

LAS VEGAS — As fight fans flock to Las Vegas for one of boxing’s biggest weekends, undefeated lightweight prospect Ryan Garcia will make his national television debut on the eve of the Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin bout, as he opens up the Golden Boy on ESPN broadcast.

Garcia last entered the ring on the undercard of the Takashi Miura vs Miguel Berchelt card in July and came away with an impressive knockout victory over Mario Macias. Now, Garcia (10-0, 9 KO’s) will enter the ring for a chance to capture the WBC/NABF Lightweight title as he takes on Miguel Carrizoza (10-2, 2 KO’s) of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Carrizoza last entered the ring in Ontario, California in June as part of a Thompson Boxing Promotions’ card and was easily defeated by another highly touted prospect in Michael Dutchover. Garcia, who is a 15x amateur national champion and is managed by Roger Ruiz, is no stranger to the bright lights of “Sin City” as in May he was part of the Canelo vs Chavez Jr. undercard. This Friday night, Garcia will look to take the next step in his bright career with a victory over Carrizoza.

The ESPN card, which will be held at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom immediately after the Canelo vs GGG weigh-ins, will be headlined by a WBA Interim Featherweight Championship fight, as Claudio Marrero (22-1, 16 KOs) of  Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic will make the first defense of his title against Jesus Rojas (25-1-2, 18 KOs) of Caguas, Puerto Rico. Marrero recently captured the Interim WBA Featherweight Title with a devastating first-round knockout of Carlos Zambrano in April 2017.  In 2013, Marrero suffered the only loss of his career against Jesus Cuellar. Since that defeat Marrero has had six consecutive victories with five of them coming by way of knockout. Rojas will return to the ring after an impressive eighth-round technical knockout victory against the previously undefeated Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez. Rojas has taken on the likes of former world champion Jorge “El Travieso” Arce and Jorge “El Pilón” Lara of Mexico. With a victory, Rojas will look to take yet another step towards the top of the featherweight division.

In the co-main event, Boston’s Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis (18-0, 12 KOs) will make the second defense of his IBF North American title against Juan Carlos “Merengue” Abreu (19-3-1, 18 KOs). Ellis earned his crown with an impressive first-round knockout victory over Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez in December 2016. In his first defense, Ellis fought in a toe-to-toe battle against John Karl Sosa en route to a majority decision victory in April 2017. Ellis faces a tough challenge in Abreu, a veteran of the Dominican Republic with tough fights against Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano and Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto on his resume.

Also on Friday night’s card is Horacio “Violento” Garcia (32-3-1, 22 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico, as he takes on fellow countryman Diuhl Olguin (11-7-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight rematch. In their first encounter in July, [Horacio] Garcia lost via an upset unanimous decision.

In the night’s swing bout, Alexis “Laberinto” Salazar (11-3, 3 KOs) of Tlaquepagque, Mexico will take on Evan Torres (6-4, 5 KOs) of El Paso, Texas, in a scheduled six-round middleweight fight. The bout will be a rematch of their May 2017 fight, which Salazar won via close split decision.

Other bouts include undefeated lightweight Damon “No Smilin'” Allen, Jr. (12-0-1, 5 KOs) taking on an opponent to be announced and Minimum-weight former IBF champion Jose “El Tecuala” Argumendo (20-3-1, 11 KOs) also taking on an opponent to be announced.

Marrero vs. Rojas is a 10-round featherweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with TGB Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD; Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle; and Interjet. The event will beheld at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas on Friday, Sept. 15. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. PT, and the first fight begins at 3:30 p.m. PT. The ESPN3 livestream of the undercard bouts begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. on ESPN Deportes and streaming live on ESPN3 and on ESPN2 at 1:15 a.m. ET / 10:15 p.m. PT.

Tickets priced at $10, $25, $50 and $75 for Marrero vs. Rojas will go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 10:00 a.m. PST.  *Receive VIP seating to the Canelo vs. Golovkin Weigh-in with the purchase of a $75, $50 or $25 ticket, subject to availability. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call the TicketMaster Contact Center at (800) 745-3000 or MGM Resorts Contact Center at (866) 740-7711.  Tickets will also be available for purchase online at or and various MGM Resorts Box Offices.  All ticket prices do not include service fees or applicable service charges.

(Feature photo: Cynthia Saldaña/Supreme Boxing)