Unbeaten lightweight star Ryan Garcia was looking for a knockout to crank up enthusiasm for his world title chances and on Saturday night in Los Angeles he got it.
In his second bout of 2022 for Golden Boy Boxing and after taking considerable time off for mental health issues and a hand injury, Garcia overwhelmed veteran Javier Fortuna by knocking him down three times, including for the final time less than 30 seconds into the six round for the win,
— Golden Boy (@GoldenBoyBoxing) July 17, 2022
The bout was the headliner for Oscar De La Hoya’s promotion at the downtown L.A. Crypto.com Arena. And not unlike Hollywood action stars and their hit movies, Garcia delivered with some memorable big moments.
Fighting at the jr. welterweight limit of 140 lb. for the first time, Garcia looked bigger than Fortuna from the jump and took advantage of his size and reach advantage scoring with good right jabs and lefts early on in the fight.
Garcia built the early lead in the scheduled 12 rounder as he used his hand speed to keep Fortuna at bay. The veteran from the Dominican Republic was only able to occasionally land a punch to the first three rounds. Then came the first knockdown of the fight on a body shot. This, as Garcia connected to the right rib cage area in Fortuna went down on all fours.
The punch was very similar to Garcia’s body blow knockout of England’s Luke Campbell in January of 2021. Fortuna, however, rose and survived the fourth round, but Garcia was still on the attack and dropped him just a minute into round five with a hard left the right side of his head.
The veteran Fortuna hopped up and took the mandatory 8 count shaking off the cobwebs to last until the bell. But, in between rounds there was serious concern in his corner about whether Fortuna, now 37-4-1, would come back out, including them asking him what was wrong or if he still wanted to fight?
As it turns out, Fortuna did continue, but Garcia scored the final knockdown with another big left and Fortuna went to the canvas to be counted out while seated at the :27 mark.
Victory is the 23rd straight for Garcia and his 19th by knockout and it solidifies him as one of the top contenders at lightweight or even if he chooses to stay at 140 lb. for those belts as well. This was his second showing in the last four months, as he defeated Emmanuel Tagoe by Decision in April.
Back to Saturday night. After the fight Garcia said he knew it was a matter of time before he could deliver the KO on Fortuna telling DAZN in the ring,
“I was crisp. I was sharp. And, I stayed in my ‘truth.’ I know how good of a fighter I am. I just had to put it all together,” Garcia said. “And you seen (sic) that came together today. The fight speaks for itself. I don’t need to say anything. You see how I fought.”
Then when asked about his next fight, Garcia picked up a similar refrain as we’ve heard for the last couple of years- he wants Gervonta “Tank” Davis next.
“That’s gonna give me the respect I deserve and I’m never afraid. I’ve been trying to tell you that I have a spirit of competition in me and you’re gonna see that, when I fight Tank.”
But, realistically, that fight will be almost impossible to make, as the unbeaten, multi-division world champ Davis is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and under the Premier Boxing Champions umbrella. And, those two are hated archenemies of De La Hoya/Golden Boy.
Still, the immensely popular fighter in California Garcia certainly reignited his momentum, as he wants to get a big time fight either later this year or early next year against someone.