Ryan Garcia vs. Devin Haney before the end of 2021?
By Dan Ambrose: Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney could be heading towards a collision course for later this year in 2021 if both guys win their next fights. King Ry is reportedly taking on Javier Fortuna in July in a fight that could be announced on Tuesday.
Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) is defending his WBC lightweight crown against Jorge Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) on May 29th on DAZN. That’s a risky fight for Haney, and no way is that a sure thing win.
DAZN wants the Haney vs. Garcia fight, as well as the boxing world. They want to see who the better fighter is of the two.
The winner will be in a good position to take on undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez in 2022 if he’s still campaigning in the division.
Former WBA super featherweight champion Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs) will be looking to spoil the party for Ryan in July by pulling off an upset. Ryan will have many things going for him in that fight, but his chin, defense, and experience are lacking.
The way that Luke Campbell was able to drop Ryan last January showed some serious holes in his defense. In that respect, you can’t say it was a fluke thing.
Campbell was nailing with straight lefts the entire fight, but the problem he had is he couldn’t take Ryan’s power. It was a firefight with very little defense, and the guy with the greater power, Ryan, came out on top.
That fight showed that Ryan is vulnerable to straight left-hands, and that’s the southpaw Fortuna’s best weapon.
Ryan Garcia vs. Javier Fortuna in July
“WBC interim lightweight champion Ryan Garcia and Javier Fortuna reportedly have agreed to fight each other in July,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN. “Do you like this fight for Garcia as he continues to his bigger fights?”
“I love this fight. This is another bold step forward for Ryan Garcia to prove what he can do against a former champion, a southpaw gunslinger in Fortuna,” said Sergio Mora.
“I love the match-making here because Ryan isn’t taking any easy fights. He’s doing everything exactly at the right time.
“He’s going from prospects to former champions, so hopefully now champions. But this is the right step forward. Everyone in boxing will agree that Javier Fortuna is an excellent style match-up.
“He’s not only a short, aggressive southpaw but also the way he slings his punches. He’s an excellent body puncher and a bell of an uppercut for a shorter fighter. This is a bold move by Ryan Garcia, I’m telling you.”
Surprisingly, Golden Boy Promotions lets their young star Ryan fight Fortuna because this is an advanced opponent for the 22-year-old.
The 31-year-old Fortuna nine years older than Ryan, and he’s been around the block. Fortuna’s experience is priceless, and it may be the telling factor in the fight.
The end of 2021 perfect for the Haney-Garcia fight
“I think Javier Fortuna is probably going to walk into something big from Ryan Garcia, judging by how Javier Fortuna fights and the kind of progress that Ryan has made,” said Mannix.
“All that being said, it’s fine; it’s what Ryan Garcia should be doing, fighting the ex-title challengers and the guys on the B-level as he works his way up to the A-level.
“We know that Ryan Garcia wants those A-level fights right now. He’s been publically screaming for a fight against Gervonta Davis, but for a number of reasons, that fight probably isn’t going to have in 2021.
“But if Ryan wins this fight against Fortuna, though, and if Devin Haney looks great at the end of May against Jorge Linares, the time could be right for a Haney-Garcia showdown before the end of the year.
“We know that Matchroom wants that. We know that DAZN wants that, and there’s going to be a lot of money potentially behind that fight.
“I think a lot of it is going to be Devin Haney in how he looks against Linares.
“But Fortuna is that type of good stepping stone opponent for Ryan Garcia to face as he continues to build towards those world championship level fights.”
If Ryan is the next big thing, as his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions believe him to be, he’s got to be able to beat fighters like Fortuna.
It gets tougher than this once Ryan starts tackling the elite fighters like Haney, Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis, and Vasily Lomachenko.
We might find out that it’s too early for Ryan to be taking on a guy with Fortuna’s talent.
If Ryan loses, hopefully, he doesn’t do something hasty like walk and retire the way some fighters do after they suffer their first loss.
The important thing is that Ryan learns from the fight because Fortuna will give him a lot of different looks.
Fortuna = dangerous fight for Ryan
“Fortuna is dangerous; anyone will tell you,” said Mora. “He’s aggressive, he’s dangerous, and he’s a hell of a body puncher.
“He’s a southpaw that likes to bang, he likes to bang in there, and he knows how to fight small.
“This is a dangerous fight for Ryan Garcia, but I think what they see from the Team Garcia side is that Fortuna is susceptible to left hooks, and that’s the money punch from Ryan Garcia, that sharp, snappy left hook.
“So the jab and the left hook are going to be key for Ryan Garcia. To get on the inside and wing those unorthodox bombs that Fortuna is so good is going to be an exciting fight, and it won’t last the distance. I can see both of those fighters getting hurt.”
“I know it’s hard to slow Ryan Garcia down, he wants all of it right now, but this is a good fight for him,” Mannix said. “If it leads to a big fight against Devin Haney in the fall, everyone is going to be better for it.”
Fortuna is a massively dangerous fight for Ryan because this is a guy with the experience, power the inside game to knock him out.
The 31-year-old Fortuna has only been beaten twice in his career, and those were hard-fought wars against Jason Sosa and Robert Easter Jr.
Fortuna got the business in his loss to Easter Jr in 2018, as he arguably won that fight in the view of a lot of boxing fans. The judges did Fortuna no favors, but it wasn’t a shock that he lost because he was the B-side in that fight.
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