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Javier Fortuna: Ryan Garcia’s speed doesn’t faze me, I know how to take that away

Ryan Garcia’s hand speed is considerable, but veteran Javier Fortuna says he’ll neutralize that when they meet next month.

Javier Fortuna says he’s not concerned about Ryan Garcia’s speed
Javier Fortuna says he’s not concerned about Ryan Garcia’s speed
Photo by Sye Williams/Golden Boy/Getty Images

Javier Fortuna has the biggest fight and opportunity of his career coming up, and the veteran says he’s fully prepared to beat Ryan Garcia when they clash on July 16 in Los Angeles.

“Ryan is a small fighter. He doesn’t have the capacity and doesn’t have the talent to beat me. I hope he is ready,” he said during a roundtable session to promote next month’s fight.

As far as Garcia being a “small fighter,” something may have been lost in translation there, because Garcia is about four inches taller than Fortuna and a natural 135 lb fighter, while Fortuna has come up to 135 after first establishing himself at 130, where he won interim and secondary WBA titles, which is also where the “two-time world champion” selling point comes in.

But as the matchup goes, speed will be as much everyone’s focus as Garcia’s size advantage, anyway, and Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KO) says he’s not concerned about Garcia (22-0, 18 KO) in that regard.

“Ryan’s speed doesn’t faze me,” he said. “I know how to take that away from him. I have the experience to do it. You’ll see during fight night. You’ll see my power. I am looking forward to beating him at his house.”

Fortuna’s last notable fight was his July 2021 loss to Joseph Diaz Jr, though he did return in Santo Domingo on Feb. 20, beating a journeyman opponent via first round knockout. The most important thing about that is not the win itself so much as the fact that it means Fortuna hasn’t sat around accumulating rust for a year, having some sort of training camp in the interim at the very least.

A win over Garcia would be by far the most notable of the 33-year-old Fortuna’s career, and there’s a reason he’s a big underdog. At this time, DraftKings Sportsbook have him at +550, with Garcia a -800 favorite.