Ryan Garcia (blue trunks) knocks out Romero Duno (black trunks) during their WBC silver and NABO lightweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pic: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
|Ryan Garcia vs Javier Fortuna
|Crypto.com Arena, California
|Saturday July 16, 11pm ET
The return of one of boxing’s hottest properties marks a welcome reprieve from a midsummer schedule that has suffered from a scarcity of top-class action.
Still just 23-years-old, Ryan Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) - the clear A-side and sizable betting favorite this weekend - has already carved out a position that few have ever truly managed: a fighter simultaneously both greatly respected by hardcore fans for his undoubted ability and adored by legions of teenage fans for his boyband good looks. Ranked #5 at lightweight - one of the sport’s most talent-rich divisions - by both the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB) and The Ring magazine, Garcia would be a short price in any bookmaker’s market to become one of the faces of the sport in the coming years. This Saturday’s DAZN main event is another opportunity for Garcia to stake his claim to an involvement in potential future all-American superfights between himself and the likes of Gervonta Davis and Devin Haney.
Ryan Garcia will be looking to put on a show. Pic: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
On paper, Garcia’s opponent here is an improvement on his last outing. Back in April, Garcia returned from over a year’s absence from the sport due to personal reasons, and was paired with the durable-but-limited Emmanuel Tagoe to help shake off any ring rust. As expected, ‘King Ry’ prevailed on points in a one-sided, pedestrian affair in which simply banking the rounds was arguably more beneficial as producing a highlight-reel early knockout.
Unlike Tagoe, however, Javier Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KOs) should be expected to come armed with more ambition and a greater propensity to take the fight to Garcia. The Dominican southpaw, although already defeated three times as a pro, has a far deeper resume than Tagoe, having collected a world title at 130lb - five pounds south of the lightweight limit - and previously challenging then-IBF 135lb champion Robert Easter Jr in 2018. Fortuna, admittedly, has largely come unstuck in his biggest fights to date - losses to Easter Jr, JoJo Diaz, and Jason Sosa - but none of the aforementioned could claim that they were handed an easy night’s work.
Unsurprisingly, then, the odds are tighter than we saw for Garcia-Tagoe. At a best-priced +700, Fortuna has been tabbed as having around a 13% chance of springing the upset. Tagoe, for context, was a +1100 shot (or an implied 8% likelihood), and comparatively those quotes seem to make sense. ‘El Abejon’, as his 26 career finishes suggest, also boasts a more potent KO threat than Tagoe, and with 70% of all Fortuna’s wins coming inside the distance, Garcia will need to be careful of avoiding a potential banana skin against an opponent much better placed to take advantage. Fortuna’s last three wins have been by KO/TKO - two of them going no further than the second round - and so the betting outsider could well be particularly live early in the contest. A Fortuna stoppage is a hefty +1400, or an implied 7%, and there are worse bets this weekend. Fortuna to win a decision is considered by the layers to be the rank outsider in the Method of Victory prop market, and the price appears to consider that Fortuna is both the road dog - boxing here against an LA native in LA - and is up against one of the promoters’ brightest hopes, as does that on the draw — here a +2600 chance.
Javier Fortuna will be looking to spring an upset against Garcia in his hometown. Pic: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Garcia, fighting in his home city for only the fourth time in 23 fights, would appear to have nearly all the cards in his favor. The house fighter, the local man, the unbeaten contender, the heavier-handed, and that he is more naturally gifted of the two are factors that combine to produce an industry-best price -800 (89% implied probability), although that is a quote only found with European books at time of writing. More widely available are the -1000 and -1200, with firms going as wide as -2000 on the A-side — a range suggesting that Garcia has anything between a 90% and a 95% chance of victory.
That decision win against Tagoe broke a sequence of five successive stoppages for Garcia. Back-to-back first-round demolitions of Romero Duno and Francisco Fonseca turned heads, but it was with the seventh-round KO of the battle-tested Luke Campbell in January 2021 that Garcia really proved himself as an operator of real class. It’s odds-on that Garcia will start a new KO sequence here, with -225 (69%) on offer that Fortuna will fail to hear the final bell, and though it’s reasonable to assume that a Garcia stoppage is indeed the most likely outcome, that’s a price that feels a little stingy, particularly given that Fortuna went the distance with both Diaz and Easter Jr in his previous lightweight world-level endeavors. A second consecutive Garcia stoppage is listed at +250 (29%).
It’s difficult to imagine, though, that Garcia’s blistering hand speed and combinations don’t present considerable problems for Fortuna at some stage of the contest, and when he settles into his work, the Los Angeles man is an exciting watch. While neither of Fortuna’s losses at lightweight were against men as remotely dangerous as Garcia, it does give some confidence that the underdog can avoid an early blowout and, in his only stoppage defeat to date, it wasn’t until the eleventh round that he was eventually put away by Sosa. In a fight that feels like a challenge to find a way to side with the favorite, taking the second-half KO at +200 (33% implied) flies in the face of Garcia’s tendencies for early stoppages, but would have landed in the Campbell fight and his last knockout win.
Ryan Garcia vs Javier Fortuna free betting pick
Garcia to win in rounds 7-12 (+200)
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Ryan Garcia live stream
Ryan Garcia's next fight will stream live on DAZN in 200 countries. Using DAZN, the Ryan Garcia fight can be streamed on smartphones, laptops, Playstation, Xbox and fire sticks. The Garcia vs Fortuna main event is expected to start at 11pm ET.
Ryan Garcia profile
Ryan Garcia is a 23-year-old boxer from California. He is 5′10″ tall and competes in the lightweight division. He is unbeaten as a professional and has knocked out 18 of his 22 opponents.