“It’s time to show the world Ryan Garcia as an elite level fighter.”
Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya wants ‘KingRy’ to prove to everyone that his name belongs at the highest echelons of the lightweight division in his next fight.
It was confirmed yesterday that Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) will take on southpaw Javier Fortuna on July 16 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
At one stage a WBC final eliminator against Isaac Cruz looked like being the next hurdle to overcome for Garcia as he attempts to keep up with rivals Gervonta Davis, George Kambosos Jr and Devin Haney.
A year ago, Garcia had been scheduled to fight Fortuna however that was pulled when it was revealed the 23-year-old star was to take a break from the sport due to mental health issues.
“If there is any doubt, I was hesitant to fight Fortuna a year ago, that will all be made clear after our fight,” said the Californian in a press release.
“This was the fight I wanted and now it’s time. I am so grateful to my friends, family, and especially my fans for their support. I have never felt better, stronger, and more motivated. It’s time to silence all the doubters and it starts on July 16.”
Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KOs) represents a significant step up from the last opponent Garcia faced in Emmanuel Tagoe. That being said the 33-year-old former world super featherweight champion won’t be a walkover and spoke confidently about his chances.
“This is going to be a very exciting fight,” said Fortuna.
“I know it didn’t take place last year like originally announced but I hope that this time it will be real so that I can offer a good show to the public.
“I feel very happy with the work that I have been doing with my promoter, Sampson [Lewkowicz] who has been trusting me since the beginning of my career. I will prepare 100% to win my fight. I trust my team now more than ever and have full confidence in my coach Belvin García, who I consider my family. Together, and with God on our side, I know we will hold up our hands high in victory on fight night.”