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By David A. Avila

It will take more than Uber to get to the desert town of Indio from Los Angeles and see Ryan “the Flash” Garcia in action.

Golden Boy Promotion’s star prospect with the speedy churning fists and beach model looks steps into the boxing ring for the first time in 2019.

Garcia (17-0, 14 KOs) meets Puerto Rico’s Jose Lopez (20-3-1, 14 KOs) in the main event on Saturday March 30. DAZN will stream the main event from Fantasy Springs Casino.

It’s been six months since the slim speedster from Victorville, Calif. was welcomed into the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez study group in San Diego. The last time we saw Garcia he blazed some wannabe ruffian like shrugging off a piece of lint. But there were flashes of a new defensive approach.

The Golden Boy brain trust must have been pleased.

Certain physical attributes just can’t be taught like height, speed and instincts. Over the years a very select few enter the prizefighting world possessing these gifts. I remember seeing these in Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao

Perhaps the one component that can’t be taught pertains to absorbing a knockout blow to the chin. All of those legendary fighters mentioned could withstand jaw breaking blows from the best. It remains to be seen with young Garcia, but he has remained unscathed so far.

As for the rest of Garcia’s fighting skills, he’s only 20 years old and has a little time to learn from Eddy Reynoso the finer points of defense. Watching the under the legal drinking age Garcia step through the trials of prizefighting has a déjà vu quality.

Will Garcia ever reach the same plateau as De La Hoya or even world champion status? The fun is in watching him become a shiny finished product.


Speaking of finished products, Terence “Bud Crawford has a date with former world champion Amir Khan.

Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) is set to meet United Kingdom’s Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) on April 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Top Rank show will be televised by ESPN pay-per-view.

As a welterweight Crawford doesn’t have the height or power of previous world champions at 147, but as a technician in the fistic arts few can match his pedigree.

He’s an artist, a musician, a painter.

When I watch Crawford it’s like breaking down a saxophone solo by Charlie “Bird” Parker or a soulful melody by Miles Davis. You can’t explain where the movements come from, only that when put together it’s a joy to watch. There’s beauty in his combinations.

Crawford is a master at age 31.

Facing the Nebraska master will be Khan.

For those who forget too easily, at one time the British speedster was considered one of the top prizefighters from England. Losses to Canelo Alvarez and Danny Garcia should not relegate the very formidable Khan to also-ran status.

“Khan boxes really good. He is really crafty. He is a veteran. His is going to be a tough fight,” said Crawford.

Khan also happens to one of the smartest prizefighters in and out of the prize ring. He’s also one of the bravest and proved that in challenging Alvarez three years ago. Yes, it’s already been three years.

“I fought Canelo and that was maybe too much, but even that fight I think I was winning. When it comes to boxing skills and being smart and knowing that I couldn’t make any mistakes, I got hit with a big shot that probably would have knocked out any welterweight,” said Khan, 32. “But this is where I want to tell everybody I’m not just a number – I’m not just going to come into this fight to just make it a night of boxing. I’m coming to win this fight.”

What could be more intriguing than watching these two welterweights calculate and perform in front of the always intelligent fight crowd at Madison Square Garden. It promises to be enlightening.

It’s also a good opportunity to compare Crawford or Khan to Errol Spence Jr. We’re entering the age of welterweight dominance.

Swift and Dangerous

Welterweights are not forgotten in the West Coast either. Not at all.

On the same day Manhattan hosts a welterweight showdown the film noir capital of Los Angeles hosts its own welterweight feud.

Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia meets Chicago’s Adrian “El Tigre” Granados in another battle of 147-pounders and this occurs at the Dignity Health Sports Center in Carson, otherwise known as the gladiator’s arena where so many other notable battles took place since its inception.

Upon their arrival at a downtown Los Angeles restaurant, Garcia wore a dark pinstriped suit a la a character from a Raymond Chandler novel. Granados must have been tipped off as he showed up at the steak eatery dressed in a tailored suit that would have made Alan Ladd proud in “This Gun for Hire.”


And don’t think their patter didn’t match their drapes. Both Garcia and Granados got the gift for gab as deft as their jabs. Their vocal smoke left the audience in stitches. These guys are colorful personalities who, if given more opportunities, could be a roving circus and drum up business without any help.

It’s becoming a welterweight world out there. Four intriguing guys from different points of the world matching wits and boxing smarts.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel