Ryan Garcia makes statement in dismantling Romero Duno in Canelo vs. Kovalev co-main event

LAS VEGAS — Unbeaten lightweight prospect Ryan Garcia's path to stardom remains wide open following Saturday's statement win. 

Armed with a massive new deal following a successful standoff with Golden Boy Promotions, Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs) made quick work of vocal rival Romero Duno (21-2, 16 KOs) in a first-round knockout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. 

A protege of Canelo Alvarez, Garcia recently joined forces with the Mexican superstar's trainer Eddy Reynoso and has shown instant improvement. The 21-year-old's placement in the co-main event slot of Alvarez's light heavyweight title bout against Sergey Kovalev was also no coincidence as Golden Boy continues to build its next big star. 

"I'm only 21 and a lot of people forget that," Garcia said. "I'm growing at my pace. Those big fights will be there down the road when I'm ready. 

With over three million Instagram followers watching his every move, Garcia came to a high level of fame before his ability caught up. The native of Victorville, California, showed he's getting closer against the hard-charging Duno, a native of the Philippines who called Garcia out in his last fight by wearing a t-shirt that said "Stop running Ryan." 

After Garcia signed his new deal, he instantly called for a fight with Duno, who wasted no time off the opening bell by leaping in and clipping Garcia with an overhand right. 

"Everyone knows he has a big opening right and has put a lot of people to sleep but when I took it, I felt good," Garcia said. "It's kind of what I expected but all respect to Duno. He came to fight and came in shape. He caught me with that overhand right and I took it and from there I knew I could keep on coming. When I took his best shot, I knew I had him."

Garcia seemed to deal with Duno's aggression well and begin to tag him with stinging right hands. After a flurry of combos, Garcia split the guard with a hard counter right hand that dropped Duno to his seat. 

Referee Tony Weeks applied the count before waving off the fight at 1:38 of the opening round. 

"He came at me like a bull. I was like, 'Damn! Oh shit. I'm just going to start swinging and let my hands go!'" Garcia said.

Click here for complete results and highlights from Canelo vs. Kovalev

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories