“Right now my goal is not defined, but I want to face the best 154-pounders that are out there,” said Tellez, who recorded the stoppage 2:02 into the frame.
The early action saw the significantly more experienced Garcia press forward from the outset as he looked to close down the distance on Tellez and wing power shots from the inside. He appeared to fluster the Ronnie Shields-trained Tellez over the first two frames, as Tellez had more success from distance.
“My strategy didn’t change once the fight started,” said Garcia. “My goal was to tire him out, and I didn’t get the opportunity to do so. He got me with a good shot and screwed the fight up for me.”
In round three, Tellez was able to adjust to the pressure and land a brilliant right-left combo that staggered Garcia, who miraculously was not sent to the mat from the shots. Tellez stayed alert and landed a straight right moments later that sent the determined Garcia to the canvas.
“My trainer Ronnie Shields and my whole team behind me – we worked on this during training camp, especially the right hand, and it came out just the way it was supposed to come out,” said Tellez.
Garcia was able to rise to his feet, but Tellez showed poise to keep the pressure on and deliver a series of powerful blows that eventually forced referee Robert Hoyle to jump in and call the fight.
“I’m so disappointed,” said Garcia. “I told the ref that I could keep going, but I guess that’s his job and they are there to stop the fight when they feel it’s right. As a fighter, I’m always going to want to continue and persevere.”
“The finish was the assassin instinct that us Cubans have,” said Tellez. “As soon as I saw him hurt, I knew it was time and that he was done, so I went for it.”