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.

Isaac Cruz Set to Fight Yuriorkis Gamboa in Lightweight Bout This April

Isaac Cruz has lined up his next opponent…

The 23-year-old Mexican professional boxer has reportedly agreed to a lightweight fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa on April 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, according to ESPN.

Isaac CruzThe bout will serve as chief support to the April 16 Showtime PPV headlined by the Errol Spence Jr.Yordenis Ugas welterweight title unification, sources said.

The 147-pound bout between Radzhab Butaev and Eimantas Stanionis also will appear on the undercard, leaving one more slot.

Cruz (22-2-1, 15 KOs) stunned the boxing world by pushing star fighter Gervonta Davis to the brink in a December decision loss. Cruz accepted the fight on a month’s notice after Rolando Romero withdrew from the bout, and Cruz established himself as a player in the stacked 135-pound division with the spirited effort.

Despite being a major underdog, Cruz lost by just two rounds on two cards and four on the third.

Now, Cruz will receive another night in the spotlight on the undercard of the anticipated Spence-Ugas fight at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

He meets Gamboa, a former two-division champion and Olympic gold medalist. At 40, Gamboa hasn’t shown much in recent bouts, but he has proved durable.

 

The Cuban boxer’s previous two fights came against Davis and Devin Haney.

Gamboa (30-4, 18 KOs) tore his Achilles tendon in the defeat to Davis but made it to Round 12 before he was stopped. Eleven months later, Gamboa was shut out on two scorecards in a unanimous decision loss to Haney.

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.

Rolando Romero Defeats Jackson Marinez to Become Interim WBA Lightweight Champion

Rolando Romero is a champion…

The 24-year-old Latino boxer defeated Jackson Marinez by unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Connecticut to become the new interim WBA lightweight champion.

Rolando Romero

The judges scored the fight 115-113, 116-112 and 118-110 for Romero.

But the victory didn’t come without controversy, as Marinez outlanded Romero and appeared to control the majority of the rounds.

The hard-hitting Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) came out fast, throwing punches with bad intentions from the very beginning, but the savvy Marinez (19-1, 7 KOs) was able to evade most of those attacks and soon he was controlling things with his jab.

There wasn’t much sustained action as the fight fell into a familiar pattern. Romero would throw punches with all his might, miss most of them, then Marinez would land a few jabs and the occasional right hand.

“I don’t think I had a bad performance,” Romero said. “I thought I won the fight. Regardless of everything, I’m the world champ now. I’m happy.

“He came out a little bit tougher and slicker than what I thought. But all he did was move around the entire fight. He didn’t even try to engage so it’s hard to knock out someone who doesn’t want to get knocked out or doesn’t try to engage. I hurt him multiple times, with body shots, with a few hooks. There was one moment I hurt him with a right hand and he pulled my head down. It was hard to finish him off because I hurt him a lot at the end of the rounds.”

Marinez outlanded Romero 103-86 in total punches and appeared to outbox him for much of the night.

“That was pure robbery,” Marinez said. “I won the fight. I out-jabbed [him], outboxed him. You could tell he didn’t think he won the fight right afterwards. It’s a robbery.”