A professional boxing bout scheduled for later this month in glitzy Los Angeles, the lightweight division will see some shockwaves as Ryan Garcia squares off with veteran Javier Fortuna. Known as “the Flash,” Garcia is one the sport’s rising stars at only 23 years of age. With an unblemished record of 22-0, this will be Garcia’s second bout of the year after over a year hiatus away from the ring. Opposing him will be Javier Fortuna who has an impressive professional record of 37-3-1. A former WBA champion, this will also be Fortuna’s second fight of the year after he knocked out Rafael Hernandez in the first round in February.
For this breakdown, SBS will be looking at what to expect from each fighter and also our selection for who will walk away as the victor.
About to enter the prime of his career, Garcia made his long-awaited return to the ring earlier this year against Emmanuel Tagoe. Following a hiatus from the sport to “manage his health and well being,” the 23-year old returned to the ring with a unanimous decision victory over Tagoe at the Alamodome. In his bout against the former IBO lightweight champion, Garcia was easily able to dominate Tagoe and scored a knockdown in the second round. With a clear and concise victory under his belt, Garcia is now firmly set on reclaiming the lightweight throne.
Prior to his return fight in April, no one had been able to touch the native of Victorville, Calif. for long in the ring. With 18 of his professional victories coming by way of knockout, Garcia was able to flummox his opponents with a blistering combination of speed and controlled power. Also before 2021, the 23-year old had won numerous titles including the WBC Silver lightweight belt and the WBO-NABF super featherweight title. With the same trainer as Canelo Álvarez (Eddy Reynoso), it would appear that the sky’s the limit for Garcia in professional boxing.
On the other side of the ring will be Fortuna who is no slouch and is an accomplished fighter. A former multiple belt champion (he was most recently the WBA super featherweight title holder), the 32-year old is one of the most consistent fighters in his weight class. Following a 29-0 start to his career, Fortuna was one of the best fighters in the sport at one point. However, he has had a mixed bag (atleast to his standards) as of late with a record of 1-1 in the last calendar year. Nonetheless, one would be a fool to overlook this fantastic competitor.
If Fortuna is going to be victorious against Garcia, he will need a much better showing than what he turned in against former WBC lightweight champion Joseph Diaz in July of last year. In that bout, Diaz was able to overwhelm Fortuna and scored a unanimous decision victory. However, Fortuna rebounded earlier in 2022 with a knockout win over Hernandez in the first round. A fighter with 26 knockout victories, if he can score some powerful punches in bunches he might be able to upset Garcia in L.A.
Prediction: This should be a fantastic bout, but look for Garcia to pull away here as he continues his ascent up the lightweight rankings.
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