For the first time since 2019, Ryan Garcia will fight at least twice in a calendar year and he plans to make it a memorable performance against Javier Fortuna.
“I’m determined to do something amazing, entertain the fans and give them a show,” Garcia said at Thursday’s fight-week news conference. “He wants to knock me out too, so we’re going to come in and throw our punches and give the fans a great show.”
There was some tension between the fighters at the news conference as they are getting ready to square off in 12-rounder in the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card on Saturday (DAZN, 8 p.m. ET) at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. For non-DAZN subscribers, the card is also available via traditional pay-per-view on cable and satellite services as well via streaming on PPV.com, and it includes a free month of DAZN.
Garcia and Fortuna campaign as lightweights but the fight billing was changed a couple of weeks ago to being a junior welterweight bout in that it will take place over the 135-pound lightweight limit but less than the 140-pound junior welterweight limit. The exact contract weight had not been determined as of Thursday night, according to Golden Boy.
Whatever the weight is Garcia looked to be in immaculate condition at his fight-week workout, going through the paces with trainer Joe Goossen. Garcia parted ways with Eddy Reynoso and will be in his second fight with Goossen, having also worked with him for his near-shutout decision of Emmanuel Tagoe in April.
“I’m focused and locked in,” Garcia said. “I’m ready to do my job. I’m done talking. I just bring my good energy and speak the truth.”
Hear us previewing Garcia-Fortuna on the latest “Big Fight Weekend Preview” by clicking play below,
Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs), 23, of Victorville, California, was originally scheduled to face Fortuna last July 9. Garcia signed for the fight last April but then pulled out in order to deal with mental health issues.
A November return against former junior lightweight titlist and Golden Boy stablemate Joseph Diaz Jr. was planned but Garcia withdrew from that fight also due to a right hand injury that required surgery and kept him out until the fight with Tagoe.
When it came time to plan Garcia’s next fight and the prospect of a WBC lightweight title eliminator with Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz fell through, former secondary junior lightweight titlist Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KOs), a 33-year-old southpaw from the Dominican Republic, came back into the picture.
Last July, Fortuna lost a clear decision to Diaz and has won his only fight since, a first-round knockout of a journeyman opponent in the Dominican Republic in February.
He and Garcia are both predicting they will win by knockout.
“Obviously there have been a couple of times in my career where I left it up to the judges and it wasn’t a good thing,” said Fortuna, who lost decisions in two of his three defeats, to Diaz and then-lightweight titleholder Robert Easter Jr. “It’s either he kills me or I kill him.”
Said Garcia: “I am at the point that it wouldn’t matter if I am at 65 percent (ready). I am destroying Fortuna. He cannot beat me. I am levels above him.”
At the news conference, Fortuna approached Garcia and gave him a Chicago Bulls hat after Garcia had previously said he likes the Bulls.
“Me giving you this hat doesn’t guarantee I won’t break your face on Saturday,” Fortuna said. “I don’t want any excuses.”
Garcia’s response to Fortuna’s gift?
“We know what we do,” Garcia said. “I’m coming to f*%k him up too. I don’t care if he gave me a hat or not.”
Garcia has spent as much time — maybe more — talking about his dream fight with Gervonta “Tank” Davis in the weeks leading up to the fight with Fortuna. Fortuna has heard the constant talk from Garcia about wanting to face Davis, which would be a major pay-per-view fight if it was made.
“I see that he is very focused on another fight instead of focusing on the fight he has this Saturday,” Fortuna said. “And we hope that after I beat him on Saturday he doesn’t have any excuses.”