And still… undefeated he remains.
Ryan Garcia defeats Javier Fortuna in six rounds to wrap up an incredible fight night for the Mexican-American boxer.
It was a packed house at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, where thousands of fans were in attendance to see the ultimate boxing phenomenon perform in the biggest stage for the second time this year. Some of the biggest names in the celebrity world were in attendance as well, including LA Rams' Sean McVay and Aaron Donald, T.V. personality Mario Lopez, Michael B. Jordan, and Danny Trejo.
The fight began completely going back and forth between the two fighters, but it wasn't until the fourth round when it became clear where the fight was going.
In the fourth round, Garcia delivered a tough body shot that made Fortuna take a knee instantly, which also began the Garcia domination. Then in the fifth round, Garcia dropped Fortuna yet once again as the fight was heavily leaning in favor of the young boxing phenomenon.
And in the sixth round, it was all over for Fortuna when Garcia delivered a quick combination that forced the referee to stop the fight via knockout with 0:27 to go in the round.
Garcia said after the fight that he got what he expected from Fortuna, but that he knew he would still overcome the strong punch from the Dominican fighter.
“I want to thank God first and foremost,” said Ryan Garcia. “I know that I performed well for myself. I was crisp, sharp and I stayed in my truth. I didn’t do anything crazy. I know how good of a fighter I am, I just had to put it all together, just like tonight. Fortuna hit hard, he has a hard fist. Like I said when I fight stronger opponents, I box better. Yes, I caught him with a body shot. He thought I was going for the head but I switched it on him. I felt he was going to throw the Luke Campbell shot [the shot that dropped Ryan against Campbell]. I feel like everyone is going to try to hit me with that shot. I hit hard so it doesn’t take much to hurt someone," he added.
A year ago, Garcia pulled out of a July 2021 fight due to mental health reasons, which is something he got a lot of criticism for by many in the boxing world. But a year later, he secures two big victories in a span of just a few months over quality opponents.
And after Saturday's fight, Garcia emphasized the importance in his mental health growth over the past year. The 23-year-old fighter credited his mental growth as a reason to why he continues to reach new heights.
“It felt like [I made] a statement to come back to the timeline I was at. Mental health is a time to reflect on yourself and get better for the future. That’s not weakness, that’s strength! That’s courage! You saw me today when I stepped in the ring. That’s nothing but courage and skill," said Garcia.
The boxing world, now more than ever, wants to see Garcia step into the ring with Gervonta "Tank" Davis. Garcia said after the fight that if he has to go up to 140 pounds to make it happen, he's willing to do it in order to earn the respect he feels is deserved.
“I felt way better at this weight. I’m not going down to 135 for nothing," Ryan said. But I will fight Tank next if he wants it at 140. I’ll make sure to record all the negotiations so you can’t say I was ducking. I want that fight because it’s going to give me the respect I deserve. I’m never afraid. I have a spirit of competition in me and you’re going to see that come out when I fight Tank and whoop his a**.”
Garcia now has a 23-0 undefeated record.