LAS VEGAS – Yoenis Tellez couldn’t say no.

The 23-year-old Tellez’s professional record consists of only five fights. The Cuban junior middleweight prospect wasn’t afforded much notice, either, but Tellez knew he couldn’t have been offered more exposure than to oppose experienced Spanish contender Sergio Garcia on the Errol Spence Jr.-Terence Crawford undercard Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.

Garcia needed a new opponent 2½ weeks ago because unbeaten contender Jesus Ramos suffered a hand injury while training. The 10-round bout between Tellez (5-0, 4 KOs) and Garcia (34-2, 14 KOs) will open a four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast (8 p.m. EDT; 5 p.m. PDT; $84.99).

The five fighters Tellez beat since he made his pro debut in June 2020 had a combined record of 24-62-8 before they faced him. The ambitious right-handed boxer-puncher is nonetheless confident that he is more than ready for this step up in class against Garcia.

“I’m good enough, I’m skilled enough, I am hungry enough to take on something like this,” Tellez told Premier Boxing Champions’ Ray Flores during an open workout Wednesday at MGM Grand. “And when you have an opportunity to fight [on] a not big, huge card like this one, it’s impossible to turn it down.”

Garcia outpointed Ricardo Cabana (then 8-1) unanimously in a 10-rounder April 15 to win his only fight since he lost back-to-back unanimous decisions to former 154-pound champions Sebastian Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) and Tony Harrison (29-4-1, 17 KOs) over a four month-span late in 2021 and early in 2022. The 30-year-old orthodox boxer acknowledged that Tellez is much more formidable than his record indicates, though Ramos (20-0, 16 KOs), a strong southpaw from Casa Grande, Arizona, was definitively favored to beat Garcia.

Tellez is trained by respected corner man Ronnie Shields, who also works with emerging Cuban super middleweight David Morrell Jr. (9-0, 8 KOs), a highly skilled, 25-year-old southpaw who has already positioned himself to secure big fights in the 168-pound division early in his career. Tellez, who hasn’t boxed beyond six rounds, considers Morrell “a great friend” who has helped prepare him mentally for the biggest moment of his career thus far.

“He’s an example I want to follow,” Tellez said, “because he has achieved so much and been such a great inspiration to me, that I definitely wanna replicate what he has done throughout his career so far.”

According to most oddsmakers, Garcia is an extremely slim favorite over an unfazed Tellez.

“There are so many things that we’re gonna do that night that I can’t tell them all right now,” Tellez said. “But we’re gonna put on a show and you’re gonna see me just show out on Saturday night.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.