By: Hans Themistode
Despite claiming that he is only interested in facing either Gervonta Davis or Manny Pacquiao, Ryan Garcia will reportedly settle for a lesser-known foe.
Garcia, the interim WBC lightweight champion, will face off against multiple division champion Javier Fortuna on July 9th from a yet-to-be-determined location.
The 22-year-old California native is coming off his most impressive win to date, a seventh-round stoppage victory over lightweight contender Luke Campbell on the second day of the New Year. Garcia picked himself up off the deck in round two and subsequently dropped and later stopped Campbell in the seventh round.
Oscar De La Hoya, Garcia’s promoter, believes his young star is inlined for a similar performance come July 9th.
“Little by little, Ryan Garcia is silencing all of the skeptics,” said De La Hoya. “The only way to keep doing that is by continually facing tougher challenges. Javier Fortuna is an experienced southpaw who can be very slippery when he wants to avoid punches. It’s a dangerous fight for Ryan, but I expect him to show newer elements in his arsenal before ending matters by knockout.”
For Garcia, his showdown against Fortuna represents arguably the most difficult fight of his career, but one many weren’t expecting. Following his highlight reel level knockout over Campbell, Garcia revealed that he was deep in negotiations with Manny Pacquiao for what Garcia described as his “dream bout.”
For reasons that are unclear, negotiations between the pair never materialized as both sides pointed a blaming finger in the direction of the other. Still, even without a Pacquiao showdown on the table, Garcia held the mandatory position to face full WBC belt holder Devin Haney. Yet, it was reported that both sides would rather wait for the moment until their contest builds more momentum to generate an even bigger buzz.
Haney, 22, will now face former multiple division champion Jorge Linares on May 29th in Las Vegas. A win for both Garcia and Haney could see the two young stars share the ring with one another later on this year.
Seemingly ready to throw a monkey wrench into the Frey is Fortuna. The 31-year-old has reeled off three straight victories, including two by knockout since a controversial split decision loss against Robert Easter Jr. in 2018.
With the possibility of facing either Haney or long-time rival Gervonta Davis seemingly on the table, Garcia is fully aware of what’s at stake. He’s also conscious of the danger that lies ahead come July 9th.
“Fortuna is eager and will be ready,” said Garcia. “But so will I.”