It’s the summertime so while the UFC schedule is heating up, boxing is having a bit of a cooldown before the fall and winter rush. There are still some fight nights to look forward to over the next several weeks, including popular lightweight boxing contender Ryan Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) taking on Javier Fortuna (37-3-1-2 NCs, 26 KOs) in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 16th. It’s Garcia’s second fight of the year as he looks to build up towards his first title shot, and a rebooking of a matchup initially slated for 2021.
Let’s get to previewing this Golden Boy Boxing on DAZN card!
Tale of the Tape
Ryan Garcia: 23 years old | 5’8” | 70” reach
Javier Fortuna: 33 years old (happy birthday, Javier!) | 5’6 1⁄2” | 68.5” reach
Ryan Garcia has been one of the staples of Golden Boy Promotions over the past few years. A fantastic amateur who won countless national championships, Garcia turned pro at just 17 years old in 2016. Garcia racked up the knockouts and enhanced his popularity outside of his social media presence. Consecutive opening round KOs of Romero Duno and Francisco Fonseca set him up for a major test in early 2021. In a main event held in Texas, Garcia overcame a hard knockdown to eventually drop and stop Olympic gold medalist and former world title challenger Luke Campbell. It was by far his biggest win to date and remains as such today. He was scheduled to fight Fortuna last summer but withdrew to focus on his mental health. A November comeback against JoJo Diaz (who defeated Fortuna after Garcia pulled out) was scrapped when Garcia suffered a hand injury. We finally saw ‘KingRy’ back in the ring this past April, when he defeated Emmanuel Tagoe by decision but didn’t exactly look great even in a one-sided win.
The Dominican Republic’s Fortuna is a former secondary titleholder at 130 lbs who has a lot of experience fighting quality competition. He holds notable wins over Mickey Roman, Cristobal Cruz, and Bryan Vazquez, but hasn’t managed to get a major title around his waist. As WBA “regular” super-featherweight champion, Fortuna was stopped by Jason Sosa in 2016, after which he won four straight fights and earned a crack at IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr, who prevailed in a split decision. Since then, Fortuna’s best win was a sixth-round melting of Antonio Lozada Jr, and his one fight after his decision defeat to JoJo Diaz was a “get well” win against Rafael Hernandez in the D.R.
Odds and Prediction
DraftKings Sportsbook has Garcia as a hefty -1200 favorite to Fortuna’s +650 underdog tag. No reason to raise any eyebrows looking at those lines. Garcia is faster, bigger, and the heavier puncher. The dud that was the Tagoe fight could be pinned more on his opponent than himself, but this could give us a clearer view as far as what’s changed stylistically for Garcia under new trainer Joe Goossen.
Don’t get me wrong here — Fortuna is a really good boxer without being an elite one. He’s got a good workrate and can effectively punch in combination. We’ve also seen that he doesn’t mind roughhousing a bit (if you watch my drift), which could make Garcia uncomfortable at times. The problem for him is that this fight is at 140 lbs (which was at Fortuna’s request) and he was already pretty undersized at 135 lbs. Fortuna really only has anywhere from a puncher’s chance to a “Garcia gets his tactics wrong/does something stupid” chance. Historically Fortuna is pretty durable, so I think Garcia will take awhile to finish him and he’ll do that by attacking Fortuna’s body heavily.
Really the focus of this fight is how Garcia performs, and whether or not he is ready to take on the likes of Gervonta Davis or Devin Haney any time soon. He needs the type of showing to assert himself as well beyond the Fortunas of the world.
Ryan Garcia by TKO, round 10.
Ryan Garcia vs. Javier Fortuna airs live exclusively on DAZN starting at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, with prelims streaming for free at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT.