By Ponciano “John’ Melo Jr.
LAS VEGAS — Romero Duno donned a shirt that took a shot at Ryan Garcia for seemingly “running” away from him after failed attempts of a fight with the latter.
For their Saturday (Sunday, November 3 Manila time) bout, however, Garcia didn’t even need to run, he just needed one round.
The 21-year-old pulverized the Filipino fighter only halfway through the first round with a left hook to the temple that sent the Pinoy boxer to the canvass en route to a KO win for the up-and-coming star Garcia at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Garcia has now captured the World Boxing Council silver lightweight belt after knocking out Duno at the 1:38 mark of Round 1 of their scheduled 10-rounder that made schedules a little earlier for the night’s main event featuring the light heavyweight clash of Sergey Kovalev and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“I feel good,” Garcia said after the KO win.
“It’s kind of what I expected like I said. But all respect to Duno. He came to fight. He came in shape,” said Garcia.
The still undefeated Garcia, now with a record of 19 wins and 16 KOs, says it could have been a different bout, as he did absorb some crunching blows from Duno.
“He caught me with that overhand right, “ said Garcia as highlight plays of the fight were projected on screen at the soldout arena.
“You seen right on the chin, and I took it. And then, from there, I knew I could just keep taking ‘em and keep coming at him. So, when I took his best shot, I felt good. I was like, ‘All right, I got him,” he explained.
Garcia now also holds the NABO 135-pound championship belt from Duno who falls to a 21-2 (16 KOs) record, ending a three-year undefeated run since May of 2016.