Ryan Garcia is set to make his return on July 16, headlining a DAZN card from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles against Javier Fortuna, a 12-round lightweight fight.
For Garcia (22-0, 18 KO), it will be his first time fighting at the former Staples Center, home to currently mediocre basketball loaded up with star names, and he’s excited to make his debut at Los Angeles’ No. 1 arena.
“I grew up here, I have seen games here, this is Kobe’s house,” he said. “I identify with him and the ‘Mamba Mentality,’ and I am grateful to be able to fight at the Crypto.com Arena. I have seen every style here. Now I am fighting here and it’s a dream come true.”
This will also be Garcia’s second fight of 2022, after he returned from a 15-month absence on Apr. 9 with a win over Emmanuel Tagoe. That was his first fight under new trainer Joe Goossen, and the 23-year-old says he’s in a good place now and expects to stay active like this.
“There have been a few things that have been out of our control that have prevented me from staying active,” he said. “I feel like with things better now, there are more fights in my future. I haven’t taken any damage. I feel good, I am healthy and ready to go.”
And while Garcia has his focus on Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KO), everyone is very aware that his big target is Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who just knocked out Rolly Romero on May 28, meaning the two are, if nothing else, lined up to return at about the same time, should Garcia beat Fortuna.
“I want Tank Davis next, that is what I have said. I know that Tank is a big (name) fighter and so am I. Whoever wins that fight is the next face of boxing,” he stated.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya has also talked about the potential challenges in making Davis vs Garcia a reality, though he says he’s ready to make a huge offer for the fight in November. As far as Garcia’s concerned, it should just come down to making the right deal.
“I think of every possibility to make fights in boxing,” he said. “Both parties can come to an agreement, they need to be fair to each other and to the fights. Don’t be greedy, be firm, be fair, and let’s look at the data.”
“Let’s look at the data” — what an inspiring, soulless, 2022-style message for making a big fight.
Boxing fans, of course, will hope that Davis vs Garcia can get done, some because it really is a very big fight, it matches two guys still on the rise with a lot of natural talent, and it could be a great, explosive fight. Others will hope it gets done simply so we can stop seeing Tweets about it while it doesn’t happen.