Ryan Garcia Impresses with Sixth-Round Knockout of Javier Fortuna

Ryan Garcia is celebrating a decisive win…

Following a disappointing performance in April, the 23-year-old Mexican American boxer logged an impressive sixth-round knockout of Javier Fortuna in a 140-pound bout in Los Angeles.

Ryan GarciaGarcia floored Fortuna in Rounds 4, 5 and 6, all the result of Garcia’s lightning-quick left hook. The first knockdown was produced by a body shot — and set up by a feint — but the following two hooks crashed into Fortuna’s chin.

After the last knockdown, Fortuna received the referee’s 10 count on one knee, the end of the fight coming 27 seconds into Round 6.

“I know that I was sharp. … I know how good of a fighter I am, I just had to put it all together,” Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) said. “The fight speaks for itself. … When I face harder punchers, I box better. … I hit hard; it doesn’t take a lot to hurt somebody.”

Garcia is ESPN’s No. 6 boxer at 135 pounds, but his last two fights have been contested at 140, a weight he said he’s far more comfortable at.

“I’m not going back down to 135 for nothing, but I will fight ‘Tank’ next,” Garcia said, referring to a super fight with Gervonta Davis. “If ‘Tank’ wants it at 140 … let’s get it.”

Davis, also a star fighter, campaigns at 135 pounds, but did fight at junior welterweight once, an 11th-round TKO of Mario Barrios last June.

A matchup between Davis and Garcia is one of the biggest commercial events boxing can deliver, but consummating a deal won’t be easy, given the promotional and network divide. Davis is aligned with PBC and fights on Showtime, whereas Garcia is aligned with Golden Boy and fights on DAZN.

Whomever Garcia fights next, he plans to fight December, and it’s apparent he’s improving after a tumultuous 2021.

Following a January 2021 TKO of Luke Campbell in a career-best victory, Garcia was set to fight Fortuna last July but withdrew to address his mental health. A November fight with former champion Joseph Diaz Jr. was scrapped after Garcia underwent surgery to repair his right wrist.

He returned in April to outpoint Emmanuel Tagoe, but there wasn’t much action in the fight and Garcia surprisingly never put the Ghanian away despite hurting him several times.

Garcia had no such issues against Fortuna, a 33-year-old Dominican who is ESPN’s No. 10 lightweight. He appeared to inflict damage every time he touched him. But Garcia wasn’t just far bigger than Fortuna, he was also much quicker. He consistently beat Fortuna to the punch and kept him at the end of his jab.

Fortuna rarely threw a punch, and when he did, the shots rarely met the mark. The right eye of Fortuna (37-4-1, 26 KOs) was swollen by the end. It was Fortuna’s second loss in three fights; he was outpointed by Diaz last July.

“They told me I was some guy who doesn’t care about boxing and who made up mental health [issues],” Garcia said.

He added: “It’s not weakness. It’s strength. It’s courage.”

With Garcia now returned to form, and with a second fight under the tutelage of Joe Goossen, he should be ready for far better opposition, whether it’s Davis, undisputed lightweight champ Devin Haney or any of the best fighters at his new weight class.

“Let’s get the big fights going,” Garcia said. “I’m sure Devin can’t make 135 either, let’s be honest. That dude is big, too. … None of us are gonna be at 135, let’s be real.”

Ryan Garcia Agrees to Fight Javier Fortuna in July

Ryan Garcia has lined up his next opponent…

The 23-year-old Mexican American boxer and Javier Fortuna have agreed to a deal for a 135-pound fight on July 16 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on DAZN, according to ESPN.

Ryan GarciaGarcia and Fortuna were set to fight last July, but Garcia withdrew to address his mental health. The star boxer was then lined up to fight Joseph Diaz Jr. in November 2021 but was forced to pull out after he suffered a wrist injury that required surgery.

Garcia, who hails from Southern California, finally returned in April with a unanimous-decision win over Emmanuel Tagoe, and was ringside on Saturday in Brooklyn to call out Gervonta Davis after Davis’ sixth-round TKO of Rolando Romero.

“Let me handle business July 16th, I’m going to get Tank,” Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) tweeted Sunday. “He was screaming the whole fight ‘I’m next,’ so let it be. December, let’s get it.”

But first, Garcia is set for perhaps the toughest assignment of his career, even if Fortuna isn’t on Davis’ level (though Fortuna is ESPN’s No. 10 lightweight). The 33-year-old Dominican boxer shapes up as a second world-class opponent in three fights for Garcia after a seventh-round TKO of Luke Campbell in January 2021.

Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KOs) possesses a powerful left hand and an aggressive, free-swinging style, but he’s coming off a clear decision defeat to Diaz in July. Fortuna bounced back in February with a stay-busy first-round KO and now lands the fight he’s been lobbying for.

“Ryan Garcia should take this fight very seriously and train properly because he will be facing, by far, the best fighter of his career,” Fortuna said last April before the July 2021 bout was cancelled.

“Hopefully on fight night, there will be no excuses for his loss. … I have too much of everything for Ryan Garcia. His [win over Campbell] showed how easy he is to hit. And his power won’t mean anything to me. But mine will put him to sleep.”

If Garcia, ESPN’s No. 6 lightweight, can push past Fortuna, a fight with “Tank” Davis is among the biggest in all of boxing.

Ryan Garcia Outboxes Emmanuel Tagoe in First-Ever 12 Round Fight to Remain Undefeated

Ryan Garcia is still undeated…

Going an entire 12 rounds, the 23-year-old Mexican American boxer scored a unanimous-decision win over Emmanuel Tagoe on Saturday in San Antonio.

Ryan GarciaThe rising star remained undefeated via scores of 119-108, 119-108 and 118-109.

Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) scored a flash knockdown of Tagoe in Round 2 with a grazing right hand, but was unable to produce a second knockdown as the Ghanaian seldomly engaged.

Garcia picked Tagoe (32-2, 15 KOs) apart with right hands to the body and left hooks to the head as the massive underdog languished on the ropes in a shell.

Garcia, ESPN‘s No. 6 lightweight, sent Tagoe reeling in Round 10 after he connected with another right hand, but the 33-year-old was able to buy time and make it out of the round.

“I hit him with some shots, he was crafty with the holding,” said Garcia. “He was moving a lot, I have to be better at cutting off the ring. I had to trap him down, it was a new experience trying to cut the ring off with a guy who’s looking to survive.

“I caught him with a super good right hand and he was really hurt but I couldn’t find the next shot.”

The 139-pound catchweight bout was Garcia’s first since a seventh-round TKO of Luke Campbell in January 2021, a breakthrough performance. Garcia was slated for another step-up bout in July of last year against Javier Fortuna, but Garcia withdrew to address his mental health.

Garcia was then set to fight former titleholder Joseph Diaz Jr., in November, but he suffered a wrist injury while training and underwent surgery that October.

When he returned to the gym, Garcia did so with a new trainer, Joe Goossen, whom he worked with during his amateur days. Garcia had trained with Eddy Reynoso at Canelo Alvarez‘s San Diego gym for his past five fights before they parted ways.

Ryan Garcia to Make Comeback Against Emmanuel Tagoe in Lightweight Fight in April

Ryan Garcia is preparing for his return to the ring…

The 23-year-old Mexican American boxer will meet Emmanuel Tagoe in a lightweight fight on April 9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio on DAZN, according to Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Garcia.

Ryan Garcia

The bout will be Garcia’s first since January 2021, when he scored a seventh-round TKO of Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell in a career-best performance.

Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) was slated to fight Javier Fortuna in July 2021, but he withdrew from the fight to address his mental health. A bout against Joseph Diaz Jr., set for November 2021, was cancelled after Garcia suffered a wrist injury while training that required surgery.

“I went through a hard year. … Everything came tumbling down on me mentally,” Garcia said on ESPN+‘s State of Boxing in December. “It was a hard time in my life. It got really dark … to the point I didn’t know if I wanted to live anymore. I had a lot of thoughts about that throughout the whole year.”

Garcia possesses arguably the quickest hands in boxing and packs plenty of power, too. He’s trained by Eddy Reynoso at Canelo Alvarez‘s San Diego gym, and under Reynoso’s tutelage, Garcia rose to No. 6 in ESPN‘s 135-pound rankings.

Garcia has lobbied for a super fight with Gervonta “Tank” Davis but first must impress against Tagoe coming off a 15-month layoff, the longest of his career.

Tagoe, a 33-year-old fighting out of Accra, Ghana, will be competing in the U.S. for just the second time. He’ll do so against his best opponent by far; Tagoe (32-1, 15 KOs) has fought only a handful of recognizable names. His last bout was in October 2020, a majority-decision win over Mason Menard, who is best known for a first-round KO loss against Teofimo Lopez.

“I’m not going to give up and I’m going to keep being an inspiration for people that are struggling,” said Garcia, who is approaching 9 million followers on Instagram. “I’m right back on track and I’m not going to let anything that all these people are saying outside of the ring, trying to come at my character and who I am as a fighter, I’m not going to let any of that get to me.”

Joseph Diaz Jr. Agrees to WBC Lightweight Title Fight Against Devin Haney

Joseph Diaz Jr. is thisclose to a title fight…

The 28-year-old Mexican American boxer and Devin Haney have agreed to terms for a WBC lightweight title fight on December 3 or December 4 in Las Vegas on DAZN, according to ESPN.Joseph Diaz Jr.

Contracts haven’t been signed yet but details are in the process of being finalized, sources said. The framework of the deal includes a rematch clause in the event Haney loses.

The fight is part of an intriguing three-week stretch for the lightweight division. Teofimo Lopez, who holds four lightweight titles, fights George Kambosos on November 27 on DAZN.

One week later, Eddie Hearn will promote another important lightweight fight with the Haney-Diaz clash. That same weekend, on December 5, Gervonta Davis fights Rolando Romero on Showtime PPV.

And then on December 11 on ESPN, Vasiliy Lomachenko meets Richard Commey.

The Haney-Diaz agreement caps months of back-and-forth insults traded between the boxers. When Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KOs) agreed to fight Ryan Garcia on November 27, Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) accused Diaz of ducking a chance at him.

But that fight fell through when Garcia suffered a hand injury in training and underwent surgery on Monday. With Haney and Diaz both in need of an end-of-year fight, the matchup made too much sense for all parties.

Haney, ESPN’s No. 3 lightweight, is coming off the biggest win of his career, a May decision victory over former champion Jorge Linares. Diaz, too, is coming off a strong performance, a July points win over Javier Fortuna that earned him the No. 7 spot in ESPN’s lightweight rankings.

That was the Olympian’s first fight at 135 pounds. He defeated Tevin Farmer in 2020 to win a 130-pound title and in his other title bid, lost to Gary Russell Jr. at 126 pounds in 2018.

Haney, No. 3 on ESPN’s list of the top 25 boxers under 25, is one of the sport’s fastest-rising stars. The Las Vegas-based fighter boasts over 1 million followers on Instagram, and with his abundant charisma, surely has a chance to break through to the mainstream. What’s stopped him thus far is lack of opposition.

The 22-year-old Haney often calls himself the most-avoided fighter in the sport. That can no longer be said with a stern challenger in Diaz lined up for December.

Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. Defeats Javier Fortuna to Claim Vacant WBC Interim Lightweight Title

Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. is celebrating his good fortuna

The 28-year-old Mexican American professional boxer delivered the most impressive performance of his career on Friday in Los Angeles, scoring a unanimous decision over Javier Fortuna to claim the vacant WBC interim lightweight title.

Joseph "JoJo" Diaz Jr.

Scores were 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112. ESPN also scored it 115-112.

In his lightweight debut, Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KOs) showed he could absorb heavy shots from a dangerous puncher and carry his own power, too. He wobbled Fortuna toward the end of the 10th round of a fight that featured some brutal exchanges on the inside, often waged at a frenetic pace.

“I can fight all the top guys at 135 pounds,” said Diaz, who entered the bout as ESPN’s No. 5 boxer at 130 pounds. “I want Ryan Garcia or Devin Haney. Let’s make this s— happen.

“I’ve been sparring 160 pounders. I’ve always worked with bigger guys my whole life.”

Despite fighting for his first world title at 126 pounds (a close decision defeat to Gary Russell Jr.) before capturing a championship at 130, 135 appears to be Diaz’s most natural weight class. He looked stronger than ever, and without the tough weight cut, showed off energy down the stretch to unleash four- and five-punch combinations against a crafty contender.

The 2012 Olympian was forced to deal with adversity yet again. He suffered a cut over his left eye in Round 3 following a clash of heads — a gash in the same area he bled from in his title-winning effort vs. Tevin Farmer in January 2020.

The following frame, Diaz was penalized one point by referee Raul Caiz Jr., for hitting behind the head, a point deduction that seemed borderline. Diaz argued that he was hitting Fortuna on the side of the head to no avail.

Fortuna, ESPN’s No. 8 fighter at 135 pounds, pressed the action in Rounds 5 and 6, beating Diaz to the punch with power shots. But the 31-year-old couldn’t sustain.

Fighting in front of a hometown crowd at Banc of California Stadium, Diaz ratcheted up the pressure and began to dig away at Fortuna’s body with a two-fisted attack that stunted the Dominican’s momentum.

Diaz simply landed the cleaner, flusher shots in the exchanges down the stretch, winning the favor of the judges in a bout that featured many tit-for-tat rounds. Fortuna threw 761 punches — 240 more than Diaz — yet landed 10 less shots.

With the convincing victory, Diaz set himself up for a career-high payday in one of boxing’s most star-driven divisions. Gervonta Davis, Teofimo Lopez, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia all reside at lightweight.

The easiest matchups to make are with Haney and Garcia, both of whom also compete on DAZN. Haney and Garcia also are available; they each have no fights scheduled. But it’s the Garcia fight in particular that is more appealing for many reasons.

Garcia was actually set to fight Fortuna (36-3-1, 25 KOs) on this night before he withdrew from the bout to seek treatment for his mental health. When he pulled out, Diaz quickly lobbied for the opportunity to step in, looking for redemption after losing his title at the scales in February before settling for a majority draw against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.

Now that Garcia is back in training with Eddy Reynoso at Canelo Alvarez’s gym in San Diego, a bout between Diaz and the social media sensation is a natural. They’re both Mexican Americans from Southern California who are promoted by Oscar De La Hoya. Stage the fight this fall in L.A., and they can practically guarantee a windfall at the box office.

“JoJo once again showed a lot of guts, a lot of courage and a big heart,” De La Hoya said. “His first fight at 135 was not too shabby. I think he did a great job against a guy who’s been avoided for years.”

Ryan Garcia Agrees to Terms with Javier Fortuna on a Fight This Summer

Ryan Garcia is sealing the deal…

The 22-year-old Mexican American budding lightweight contender has agreed to terms with former champion Javier Fortuna on a fight this summer, according to ESPN.

Ryan Garcia

In March, the WBC ordered Garcia to fight Fortuna in a defense of the WBC’s interim lightweight title. The winner will likely be in contention to face Devin Haney, who holds the sanctioning body’s top belt in the 135-pound division.

The location and date is yet to be determined, but sources confirmed to ESPN it likely won’t occur on July 10, which is the same date as UFC 264 featuring the trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) is coming off a January win over Luke Campbell, which was the toughest bout of the 22-year-old’s young career. Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs), who was once the junior lightweight champion, has won three straight fights since a no-contest against Adrian Granados in 2018.

Friday’s development comes exactly two weeks before a scheduled purse bid if Garcia and Fortuna’s promoters couldn’t come to an agreement.

Garcia, who has one of the biggest social media followings in boxing, has long viewed as one of Golden Boy Promotions‘ top prospects. Garcia defeated Campbell with a 7th-round technical knockout via a big body shot, Garcia’s fifth consecutive stoppage victory.

News of the Garcia-Fortuna bout was first reported by The Athletic.

World Boxing Council Orders Ryan Garcia to Face Javier Fortuna for Interim Lightweight Title

Ryan Garcia has lined up his next opponent…

The World Boxing Council has ordered the 22-year-old rising lightweight boxing star to face contender Javier Fortuna for the interim lightweight title and right to be mandatory challenger to champion Devin Haney.

Ryan “Kingry” Garcia 

The negotiation period has begun for a Garcia-Fortuna bout with a purse bid scheduled for April 16 if no deal is in place by then.

Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) won the WBC interim lightweight title with a seventh-round TKO victory over Luke Campbell. Despite significant interest from Haney, Garcia decided not to enter negotiations with Haney for a title shot, instead pursuing bigger deals with Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Manny Pacquiao. Neither deal materialized, and now Garcia appears set to face Fortuna this summer.

Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs) is a former champion coming off a sixth-round knockout victory over Antonio Lozada Jr. in November. He was the secondary WBC mandatory challenger.

Garcia is one of boxing’s biggest young stars with a significant following, particularly from Gen Z and social media communities. But his mission has been to gain respect for his boxing ability. He made his first big step in that by overcoming a first-round knockdown to beat Campbell earlier this year.

If a bout with Fortuna is finalized, Garcia would have his second consecutive contender to add to his résumé and continue to raise his profile.

Jose Ramirez In Talks to Face Josh Taylor in 140-pound Unification Fight

Jose Ramirez could possibly be fighting the biggest battle of his career in May…

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has reserved the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 8 for a long-awaited 140-pound unification fight between the 28-year-old Mexican American boxer, the WBC and WBO champion, and IBF and WBA champion Josh Taylor (17-0).

Jose Ramirez

Canelo Alvarez will fight WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders — also in Las Vegas — on either May 1 or May 8, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday, but the Taylor-Ramirez date will not change, according to Top Rank.

Arum said he’s “looking forward” to having fans in attendance “in accordance with strict standards imposed by the state of Nevada.”

Arum said Taylor is already working on a obtaining a visa and that the purses between the two ex-Olympians will be equal.

“From our side of the table, we are happy moving forward with Taylor-Ramirez,” said Jamie Conlan, vice president of MTK Global, which advises Taylor and also has a relationship with Ramirez’s manager, Rick Mirigian.

Mirigian, however, said deal isn’t yet locked up with his client.

“I’m optimistic, but negotiations continue,” Mirigian said. Another interested party is undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez, who has said he wants to fight the winner to become the only undisputed four-belt champion at both 135 and 140 pounds.

On Thursday, Arum hosted a lunch at his Beverly Hills home with Golden Boy‘s Oscar De La Hoya and Eric Gomez. Among the subjects discussed was a possible mega fight between Lopez and Garcia.

Garcia’s team was not at the lunch

The idea, according to Arum, was for Lopez to defend against his IBF mandatory challenger, and Garcia to fight Javier Fortuna, then meet in a mega fight.

“It would have to be this year,” Arum said. “Because after that, Teofimo is going up to fight the winner of Taylor-Ramirez.”

Jorge Linares to Fight Javier Fortuna in August

Jorge Linaresis heading back to the ring this summer…

The 34-year-old Venezuelan professional boxer and three-time world champion will fight Javier Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs) on August 28 at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casinoin Indio, California.

Jorge Linares

After Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) dispatched Carlos Morales in four rounds on February 14, a showdown with the undefeated Ryan Garcia was heavily rumored for the summer. That fight never materialized, and Linares and his representatives shifted their focus to another fight.

“We wanted that fight [with Garcia], Jorge wanted that fight more than anybody,” said Jose de la Cruz, who manages Linares. “I guess their camp is not being reasonable with Golden Boy.”

In regard to the potential July 4 fight, Garcia representative Lupe Valencia said, “What they offered Ryan was not acceptable. We can’t just accept it if we know it’s not reasonable.”

Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, told ESPN, “Fortuna was willing to fight pretty much anybody, he was available. So we made the offer to Linares, and he took it right away.”

Gomez said there is a chance that this bout could be contested for the WBC interim lightweight title.

“It was a no-brainer,” said de la Cruz. “I think it’s the right time for Jorge to fight for a world title, and to stay active, number one. He’ll be 35 by the time he fights. How many fights does he have left? We all want to know.”

Linares, who is ESPN’s No. 6 lightweight, has had a memorable career, filled with substantial victories and mind-boggling defeats. 

He’s captured world titles at 126, 130 and 135, but never had a long title run with any of those belts. Linares has victories over the likes of Oscar LariosKevin MitchellAnthony Crolla and Luke Campbell, and gave Vasiliy Lomachenko his toughest test to date as a professional. 

But Linares has also been knocked out in all five of his losses, the latest of which was when he was stopped in the first round by Pablo Cesar Cano in an ill-fated experiment at 140 at the beginning of 2019.

The 31-year-old Fortuna, who is ESPN’s No. 8 lightweight, once held the WBA 130-pound title and had a strong showing as he knocked out a faded Jesus Cuellar in two rounds last November. 

Fortuna, a southpaw from the Dominican Republic presents a formidable challenge for Linares with his above-average power. Should Linares overcome the challenge of Fortuna, he’ll be in line for even bigger fights.

“There’s [DevinHaney,” said De La Cruz, mentioning the current WBC lightweight titleholder as one option. ”If Golden Boy can make the Ryan Garcia fight, if the virus doesn’t affect us late in the year, everything goes well, we want a championship fight or a big fight at the Staples Center. That’s what Golden Boy wants.”

The August 28 Golden Boy card is scheduled to be the promotion’s second of the summer, following a July 24 show headlined by Vergil Ortiz and Samuel Vargas.