Fight Week: Ryan Garcia gets back to work against Javier Fortuna

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FIGHT WEEK

KO artist and social media star Ryan Garcia returns to the ring against veteran Javier Fortuna on Saturday in Los Angeles.

ARNOLD BARBOZA JR. (26-0, 10 KOS) VS. DANIELITO ZORRILLA (16-0, 12 KOS)

  • When: Friday, July 15

  • Time: 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California

  • TV/Stream: ESPN, ESPN+

  • Division: Junior welterweight (140 pounds)

  • Rounds: 10

  • At stake: No major titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: NA

  • Also on the card: Raymond Muratalla vs. Jair Valtierra, lightweights; Richard Torrez Jr. vs. Roberto Zavala Jr., heavyweights

  • Prediction: Barboza UD

  • Background: Barboza, ranked by two of the four major sanctioning bodies, has set his sights on the biggest names in the lightweight division but has yet to get his big fight. In the meantime, he’ll face the relatively unknown, but capable Zorrilla. Barboza is a good, experienced boxer with limited punching power. The 30-year-old from the Los Angeles area has been beating solid opponents for four or five years, including a unanimous decision victory over Antonio Moran last August. He said he hasn’t fought since then because he was holding out for a big fight but has to settle for Zorrilla for now. The 28-year-old Puerto Rican is no pushover. He too is a proficient boxer – the result of a successful amateur career – and he can punch, as he demonstrated by stopping veteran Pablo Cesar Cano in two rounds last September. Zorrilla hasn’t fought since that fight.

 

RYAN GARCIA (22-0, 18 KOS) VS. JAVIER FORTUNA (37-3-1, 26 KOS)

  • When: Saturday, July 16

  • Time: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m.. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles

  • TV/Stream: DAZN

  • Division: Lightweight (135 pounds)

  • Rounds: 12

  • At stake: No major titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: Garcia 8-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Alexis Rocha vs. Samuel Kotey, welterweights; Lamont Roach Jr. vs. Angel Rodriguez, junior lightweights; Ricardo Sandoval vs. David Jimenez, flyweights

  • Prediction: Garcia KO 8

  • Background: Lightweight knockout artist Ryan Garcia continues his comeback against a tough, proven veteran in Javier Fortuna. Garcia, who left boxing for more than 15 months to deal with mental and physical issues, easily outpointed capable Emmanuel Tagoe in his return bout this past April to reenforce his reputation as a top 135-pounder. The 23-year-old social media star from the Southern California desert is a prime candidate to face the top fighters in the division, including titleholder Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis and Vasiliy Lomachenko. He’ll first have to get past Fortuna, a 33-year-old one-time title contender from the Dominican Republic. Fortuna, who is based outside Boston, lost a wide decision to former beltholder Joseph Diaz Jr. for an interim title in July of last year. He rebounded to stop Rafael Hernandez in the first round in February. His only title shot came in 2018, when he lost a split decision to then-champion Robert Easter Jr.

 

ALSO FIGHTING THIS WEEK

WEDNESDAY

  • Kazuto Ioka vs. Donnie Nietes, junior bantamweights (for Ioka’s WBO title), Tokyo (no U.S. TV)

THURSDAY

  • Quinton Randall vs. Ivan Pandzic, welterweights, Toppenish, Washington (UFC Fight Pass)

FRIDAY

  • Uwel Hernandez vs. Kamer Maloku, super middleweights, Wuppertal, Germany (FITE)

SATURDAY

  • Michael Eifert vs. Adriano Sperandio, light heavyweights, Magdeburg, Germany (ESPN+)

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