By: Sean Crose
“Most of the tickets are gone, Ryan Garcia says in a recent video from ESNews. “The good seats, they’re going.” There’s no doubt that Garcia is a popular fighter. With a 22-0 record, the 23 year old Californian already has endorsement deals and millions of social media followers and he’s yet to have won a single world title. Here’s the thing, though – the guy can hit like a sledgehammer. He’s also from the looks of it, pretty hungry for big challenges. Little wonder then that tickets are moving quickly for Garcia’s July 16th fight against fellow lightweight Javier Fortuna at LA’s Crypto.com Arena.
“This is the fight you guys are going to see,” he continues, “to assess for the next big one.” Sure enough, Garcia last fought in April, when he battled Emmanuel Tragone until the final bell. Although Garcia got the unanimous decision nod, all but three of his previous bouts had ended early. Sometimes you can be a victim of your own success. Garcia, though, hadn’t fought in over a year due to personal reasons before he squared off against Tragone, so there’s still good will for the man among boxing’s often supercritical fandom. “I will definitely beat Fortuna,” Garcia says assuringly.
It’s clear in the brief video that the rising star sees himself as still having to learn – not just about boxing, but perhaps about life. “I’m just growing up,” he says, “maturing, but I’m still a kid at heart.” Although far from the worst trash talker out there, Garcia likes to engage in verbal sparring. “If you have brothers,” he says, “you talk shit.” To Garcia, such things are simply good natured ribbing. “If you take life too serious you’re going to miss out on the good parts in life,” he adds. “It’s boring if I don’t say anything.” Ultimately, Garcia insists “it’s all in fun.”
As Garcia is well aware, however, the boxing ring is a serious place where tragic things can happen. A fighter with 18 knockouts in 22 fights knows better than anyone the impact a boxer’s punches can have. And indeed, Garcia is openly aware of the seriousness of the fight game. While he has no particular problem with Fortuna, Garcia isn’t going to hold back when the opening bell rings in California next month. “In there it’s war,” he says. “If he (Fortuna) gets hurt, it’s not my fault.”
Boxing is a cold game.
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