Javier Fortuna and Ryan Garcia are set to meet in a boxing match that has been more than a year in the making. Garcia vs. Fortuna takes place on Saturday, July 16.
DAZN and Golden Boy promotions announced Tuesday's matchup. Garcia and Fortuna will be competing for up to 12 rounds in the lightweight division, at a location yet to be determined.
Garcia stated in a press release that "if there was any doubt that I was reluctant to fight Fortuna one year ago, it will all be made plain after our fight." "This was the fight that I wanted, and now it is time. My family, friends, and most importantly my fans, are so kind to me. I have never felt more inspired, stronger and motivated. It is time to put aside all doubters. The deadline for this change is July 16.
"This will be an exciting fight. Fortuna stated that although it did not take place last year as originally planned, he hopes it will this time. "I am very happy with the work I have done with Sampson, my promoter who has trusted me since the beginning. I will fight 100% for my victory. I have complete faith in my team and my coach Belvin Garcia who I consider my family. We will win fight night together, with God at our side.
Garcia (22-0-18 KOs), is coming off a unanimous win over Emmanuel Tagoe in April. Tagoe was considered by some to be a top-10 lightweight. This was Garcia's first fight for 15 months. It was also the longest time gap between his professional boxing matches. Garcia needed time to recover from a hand injury and manage his mental health.
Fortuna (36-3-1 and 25 KOs), lost a bid to the vacant WBC interim lightweight title. Joseph Diaz won via unanimous decision. With stoppage wins over Antonio Lozada Jr., and Jesus Cuellar, the three-fight winning streak was ended by Diaz's defeat.
An earlier announcement had indicated that a fight between Garcia and Fortuna would take place in 2021. Garcia was to defend his WBC interim lightweight title, against the former WBA "regular” super featherweight champion. The fight was set for July 9, 2021. The winner would become the mandatory challenger to Devin Haney, WBC lightweight champion. Garcia pulled out of the fight in April to take care of his health. This led to the Diaz-vs. Fortuna bout. As a result, Garcia lost his title.