April 20, 2024

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Ryan Garcia and Javier Fortuna are officially set to collide in a boxing match more than one year in the making. Garcia vs. Fortuna takes place on Saturday, July 16.

DAZN and Golden Boy promotions announced the matchup on Tuesday. Garcia and Fortuna will compete for upwards of 12 rounds in the lightweight division at a location still to be announced.

“If there is any doubt I was hesitant to fight Fortuna a year ago, that will all be made clear after our fight,” Garcia said 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.”

“This is going to be a very exciting fight. 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,” Fortuna said. “I feel very happy with the work that I have been doing with my promoter, Sampson 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.”

Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Emmanuel Tagoe, considered by some as a top 10 lightweight, in April. That was Garcia’s first fight in 15 months, the longest gap between boxing matches in his professional career. Garcia required time off to manage his mental health and recover from a hand injury.

Fortuna (36-3-1, 25 KOs) lost a bid for the vacant WBC interim lightweight title last July, falling short to Joseph Diaz via unanimous decision. The loss to Diaz scrapped a three-fight winning streak with stoppage wins over Antonio Lozada Jr. and Jesús Cuellar.

A fight between Garcia and Fortuna was previously announced to take place in 2021. Garcia was expected to defend his WBC interim lightweight title against the former WBA “regular” super featherweight champion. The bout was scheduled for July 9, 2021, with the winner becoming the mandatory challenger for WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney. Garcia stepped away from the fight in late April to manage his health, leading to the Diaz vs. Fortuna fight. Garcia was stripped of his title as a consequence.

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