Yoenis Tellez stepped up impressively tonight, stopping Sergio Garcia in the third round of the opening bout on the Spence vs Crawford pay-per-view.
Tellez (6-0, 5 KO) stepped in for this fight on short notice, replacing Jesus Ramos, and the 23-year-old Cuban junior middleweight was taking a massive leap in competition compared to his first five pro bouts.
The cagey veteran Garcia (34-3, 14 KO) was going about 50-50 and landing good shots, but Tellez rocked the Spaniard badly in the third round on a right hand, scoring a knockdown and then finishing things off with a sustained attack.
Garcia did complain, but the 30-year-old was eating shots and trying to cover up, and really just trying to survive at that point. Part of that is what he should do, but fighters know they have to throw punches back, and he just wasn’t really doing it.
“We worked on this during training camp, especially that right,” Tellez said through an interpreter. “That was the assassin instinct us Cubans have. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was time to get rid of him, that he was done already, so I went for it.”
Tellez said his goal is to face “the best” at 154 lbs, and the 23-year-old definitely made a statement tonight, overwhelming a former European champion who went a tough 12 with both Sebastian Fundora and Tony Harrison.