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On Saturday night, Javier Fortuna believes Ryan Garcia will already have his mind on another fight – and that in itself is a dangerous thing.
Garcia’s match-up with Gervonta “Tank” Davis is not yet a formality, and indeed he may have to face Joseph Diaz Jr first after their original fight was postponed due to Garcia’s hand injury.
Indeed he was initially due to face Fortuna too 12 months ago, though the date was then scrapped while Garcia took a break from boxing to focus on his mental health.
Fortuna was not willing to entertain that reasoning in their final face downs this week. “Ryan is a good fighter, but we hope that this time around he doesn’t have any excuses not to fight me,” he said.
“I see that he is very focused on another fight [against Davis] instead of focusing on the fight he has this Saturday. And we hope that after I beat him on Saturday he doesn’t have any excuses.”
The important thing is that Garcia is back, is still undefeated after easing past Emmanuel Tagoe in April – despite going the distance for the first time in his career – and remains one of the most promising contenders in the lightweight division.
The Davis fight can happen now that “Tank” has split with Mayweather Promotions and, as such, is free to take on boxers from other companies. First, the 23-year-old still feels he has something to prove.
In that sense, Fortuna is the perfect opponent, a former world champion at featherweight who is now in the twilight of his career at 33 and is unlikely to be able to compete with Garcia’s pace. Garcia is currently landing around 30 per cent of his shots from him per fight, which should be enough.
There are flaws to the American’s approach nonetheless. While he eventually knocked out Luke Campbell, the British fighter affected his first knockdown on him. Garcia insists he has learned plenty since then and despite his relative lack of ring time in the last year, he believes Fortuna is no longer a match for him.
“It doesn’t matter if you are not 100 per cent,” Garcia said.
“We are at the point where that doesn’t ever matter. I am at the point that it wouldn’t matter if I am at 65 per cent, I am destroying Fortuna. He cannot beat me. I am levels above him.”
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Garcia vs Fortuna
- Date: Saturday 16 July
- Venue: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles
- Fight time: Ring walks for the main event are expected around 4am
- TV/live stream: The fight can be streamed on DAZN, with subscriptions starting from £7.99
- Undercard highlights: Ricardo Sandoval against David Jimenez really has the potential to be a thrilling contest at flyweight, while Oscar De La Hoya’s cousin Diego is also in action against Enrique Bernache
- Yo predictions: Garcia to win by TKO in the later rounds; Fortuna definitely could make this one go all the way, but there’s a possibility he won’t be comfortable enough at this weight and Garcia’s power will be the difference
Subject to change
- Ryan Garcia vs. Javier Fortuna
- Ricardo Sandoval vs. David Jimenez
- Alexis Rocha vs. Samuel Kotey
- Lamont Roach Jr vs. Angel Rodriguez
- Ricardo Sandoval vs. David Jimenez
- Diego De la Hoya vs. Enrique Bernache
- Miguel Gaona vs Jonathan Guzman
- Lawrence King vs. TBA
Any other business
Frank Warren is putting on a card at the Copper Box tonight and as well as Young Boxer of the Year Hamzah Sheeraz, Lennox Clarke’s fight with Mark Heffron sees the IBF Intercontinental championship belt on the line. Nick Ball is also in action for the first time since stunning Isaac Lowe on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s KO of Dillian Whyte.
That’s the present of British boxing, but there is likely to be an upcoming bout for the nostalgists when Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr meet almost 32 years after their fathers Nigel and Chris Sr’s grudge match. Benn has denied that the fight is signed but it’s believed to be penciled in for 8 October at The O2.