Ryan Garcia vs Javier Fortuna Set For July 9th
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.”
Devin Haney is WBC Lightweight Champion Once Again
By: Hans Themistode
Devin Haney fought long and hard to be called a champion once again. But this time, he didn’t have to step foot inside of the ring.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines like the rest of the world while the Coronavirus continues to be dealt with by medical officials, Haney took this time off as an opportunity to regain what he never lost in the first place. The WBC Lightweight title.
Haney first won the title with an easy stoppage win over Zaur Abdullaev. It was an interim title at first, but with the WBC handing out more belts than necessary, unified champ Vasiliy Lomachenko went from full title holder to Franchise champion. A distinction many still don’t fully understand.
Haney didn’t want to be simply handed a belt. No, he wanted to fight for it. Nevertheless, he was awarded the belt and made one successful title defense against Alfredo Santiago. From there, Haney was set to take on the biggest test of his career in multiple division champion Javier Fortuna.
While Haney has never turned down an opponent, he was forced to this time with a shoulder injury which led to surgery. Haney was then stripped of his title and made “Champion in Recess.” What that officially means is that once Haney was fully recovered, he could fight for his title immediately.
In the meanwhile, Fortuna was ordered to take on multiple title challenger Luke Campbell for the vacant belt. That contest, along with every other bout on the boxing schedule was forced to cancel due to the Coronavirus.
Never has there been good news that came from the virus, but Haney became the first. He petitioned to have his belt returned to him since boxing is on hold and is now 100 percent healthy.
“I feel like they should reinstate me—I was stripped because they felt I wouldn’t be active to fight my mandatory,” Haney pointed out prior to filing an official petition with the WBC. “But the two (top contenders) never fought.”
“So, what sense does that make? If I’m ready to fight the mandatories… let’s make this happen.”
His petition was heard and granted as he is now the WBC champion once again.
The moment boxing returns to its regular schedule, Fortuna will get his shot at a title. But for Luke Campbell, that effectively leaves him out of the loop.