One of boxing’s most popular fighters Ryan “KingRy” Garcia makes his return to the ring this weekend. He takes on former world champion Javier Fortuna.
Though Fortuna may not be in his prime, he still poses a tough test for the young sensation.
Let’s take a look at some odds and bets I like for this weekend’s pivotal fight.
Ryan Garcia vs. Javier Fortuna
Date: Saturday, July 16
Main card: 8 p.m. ET / 1 a.m. BST
Main event ringwalks (approx): 11 p.m. ET / 4 a.m. BST
Social media darling Ryan Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) will make his second entry into the ring in 2022 when he faces former world titleholder Javier Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KOs). Garcia and Fortuna were supposed to meet last year, but Garcia pulled out of the fight because of mental health issues. The young star seems to be back on track after defeating Emmanuel Tagoe earlier year. Now he takes on a more proven, formidable foe in the Dominican Fortuna.
Garcia is a popular fighter amongst the Tik Tok generation. That popularity has followed him to the ring, where he is known to pack arenas. This Saturday will be no different, when he headlines a card from Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center).
Garcia’s most impressive performance came against Luke Campbell – a fight that saw Garcia hit the canvas in the third round for the first time in his career. Garcia picked himself up and provided seventh-round drama when he dropped and stopped Campbell, picking up what remains the biggest win of his career.
Garcia has all the attributes to be a star. He has the looks and the charisma to go along with lightning-fast hand speed and thunderous power. However, the question remains whether or not he has the passion to be fully committed to the sport. It’s also unknown if he can take a punch at the highest level.
Fortuna will provide a solid test on both issues. The former world champion has the experience to go 12 rounds and can still use his hand speed to land flush and test Garcia’s chin. Though lightweight is not Fortuna’s natural weight class, he has faced the likes of Joseph Diaz and Robert Easter in this division and went 12 rounds with both of them. With 27 of Fortuna’s 36 wins coming by knockout, Garcia will have to be on his A-game to not get clipped like he did against Luke Campbell.
The bookies like Ryan Garcia and they like him big. He is a -1400 favorite at some sportsbooks. There is no value in that. I think Fortuna is good, but in all likelihood, he will need a knockout to win on the cards. I can’t justify a wager on a Fortuna win by kayo, either.
That said, Fortuna is durable enough to go 12. And with Garcia, you never know which version of “KingRy you are going to get. Are you going to get the boxer with the killer instinct that stopped Luke Campbell? Or will you see the fighter that doesn’t press the action, let alone take risks, and is comfortable going to a decision?
This uncertainty is pushing me to back Garcia by decision. Maybe the moment is big enough for him to pick up the pace and stop a former world champion. But to me, the smarter play is Garcia by decision.
Vegas may know something we do not because they are pricing Garcia by decision at +235. I’ll back it.
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