Garcia and Fortuna strike deal for July showdown

The immensely popular Ryan Garcia will return to action in July against leading lightweight contender Javier Fortuna after a deal was agreed for their WBC-mandated clash. The bout is expected to take place in either Los Angeles or Las Vegas on a Golden Boy Promotions card, streamed live worldwide on DAZN, according to Mike Coppinger of The Athletic.

In March, the WBC ordered the duo meet to establish the Mexican sanctioning body’s No.1 contender in the bustling 135lbs division with Garcia’s ‘Interim’ belt also at stake and an agreement has now been reached before purse bids.

In his last appearance in January, Californian Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) impressed by rising from the canvas and adversity to halt the seasoned Luke Campbell in seven rounds. After unleashing a series of highlight reel KOs and cultivating a huge 8.6 million Instagram following, the win proved Garcia was for real and no flash in the pan.

A former WBA ‘Regular’ champion at 130lbs, Dominican southpaw Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs & 2 NCs) brings no-nonsense pressure and will pose different problems than the slick Campbell. 

The Garcia-Fortuna winner will be first in line to meet WBC ‘full’ title holder Devin Haney who defends his belt against three-weight champion Jorge Linares in Las Vegas on May 29. Teofimo Lopez is the WBC’s ‘Franchise’ champion in the division.