Ryan Garcia has left boxing fans gobsmacked with one of the most technically brilliant knockouts of recent memory.
Garcia said part of his plan for 2020 included shocking the world and in his lightweight contest against Francisco Fonseca in California over the weekend, the American delivered in spades.
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The 21-year-old with nearly five million Instagram followers timed a perfect left hook to the face of Fonseca in the first round of their main event matchup.
Even when played back in slow motion, the vicious punch looked fast.
Fonseca never stood a chance and referee Raul Caiz Sr. waved off the lightweight fight as Fonseca (25-3-2) lay motionless on the canvas.
To his credit, Garcia immediately knelt on the canvas in concern for his stricken rival.
"It was a good performance," Garcia told DAZN’s Chris Mannix in the post-fight interview.
"[The fight] didn't last long, but I watched a video of Sugar Ray Robinson before coming into this fight, he did a little feint and he caught [his opponent] with a perfect left hook. So when I seen Fonseca move that way I just faked him a little bit and caught him clean with that left hook.
“I was planning for it to go a little longer, I’m not going to lie, but respect to Fonseca.”
Plenty of fans described the brutal left hook as a 'KO of the year contender', with the technical expertise of the punch only able to be truly appreciated via slow motion replays.
There are some people who believe boxing is dying, but the talent pipeline and the potential big matchups are deep. Ryan Garcia is the new generations' De La Hoya. This KO is going to be part part of his highlight package for years to come. https://t.co/o9FJVSTDSv— BigBoss (@joe_super0) February 16, 2020
Just seen Ryan Garcia's KO....he's gonna be special, man— Thigbackup (@LetsThiagooo) February 16, 2020
ryan garcia is single handedly saving the sport of boxing wow you love to see it— Adam Kudeimati (@iamadamthe1st) February 15, 2020
Only now got to the Ryan Garcia KO. 😳😳😳 sweet jaysus the left hook is ridiculous. That’s as fast a punch as I’ve seen in a long time.— Raffles (@NoleRaffles) February 16, 2020
That check hook from Ryan Garcia will cause problems for all lightweights, that was one of the cleanest KO’s in recent memory— Isidro Nunez (@c_dro99) February 15, 2020
Once @KingRyanG gets this down, he will be a KO artist!!!! Garcia’s left hook is lethal...— JohnnyG (@GamboaJs) February 15, 2020
Absolutely brutal knockout. Ryan Garcia’s counter left hook came in under Fonseca’s straight right. Goodnight https://t.co/CNiKLj8g7D— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) February 15, 2020
@KingRyanG Gonna go down as an all time great. Crazy fast hands paired with insane KO power. Sheesh I would not want to trade punches with him.— Ethan Betancourt (@YoungPettisEB) February 15, 2020
Garcia win sets up potential blockbuster
The 80-second knockout victory was a spectacular follow-up to Garcia’s first-round knockout of Romero Duno less than four months ago on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight title fight in November.
Now with 20 wins in his pro career and no losses, Garcia welcomed a matchup with undefeated WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney, who was also interviewed in the ring Friday night in an attempt to build anticipation for their eventual bout.
“If he wants a real fight, he can fight me,” Haney said.
However, the fight that looks to be next before Garcia challenges for the lightweight title is a matchup with veteran Jorge Linares (47-5, 29 KOs), who scored his own knockout win earlier in the night against Carlos Morales.
Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya has reportedly already reserved a date at the Staples Center this summer for Garcia-Linares.
The fight would be a huge step up in competition for the talented Garcia, but he told Mannix he’s ready and confidently declared that he’d take out Linares, as well as Luke Campbell, Gervonta Davis and Haney.