Ryan Garcia and Javier Fortuna square off in a 12-round main event Saturday night on DAZN, and we’ve also got a well-matched Top Rank main event on Friday night!
Our predictions for the fights:
Scott Christ (46-24)
Javier Fortuna can probably drag this out in sort of the manner Emmanuel Tagoe did in April, but I also think Fortuna will still want to throw punches because he’s more than a paper record and a web site ranking. I don’t think Fortuna is super world class, but he’s a talented fighter, has obvious ability and all that, has done competed at a high level.
But I do think Garcia is just a bit much for him. The height and reach are one thing; Garcia’s a big 135 and Fortuna has always been pushing it a bit at the weight. More significantly, in my opinion, are the speed and power of Garcia. Fortuna isn’t great defensively, so I think for him to pull this upset, he has to really try and time a counter shot and change Garcia’s mind about several things. Garcia, as a talent, is the goods, and I think this is still a level of fight he gets through without a ton of trouble. Garcia TKO-8
Wil Esco (54-16)
It took some time, but I’ve been conditioned not to question the destined greatness of Ryan Garcia. I suppose the bigger question here is how Garcia continues to develop in his second fight under the guidance of Joe Goossen. Last time out Emmanuel Tagoe was blamed for fighting in a negative style that precluded Garcia from scoring a knockout, but if they think Javier Fortuna is going to make it much easier for “King Ry,” I think not. Fortuna is an experienced fighter with good boxing skill, but he’s probably also no longer in peak form and I wonder how much he’ll really be able to push Garcia rather than just make things difficult for him.
When it’s all said and done, I think Garcia’s height, reach, and speed will be good enough to rack up points on Fortuna. Even if it doesn’t end up looking much like a domination, I think the scorecards end up leaning clearly in Garcia’s favor for another decision win. Garcia UD-12
John Hansen (54-16)
For the sake of my ongoing employment, I will begin by saying that Indiana is a fine place*. Over six and a half million people live there, many of them presumably of their own free will. And the state offers countless jewels for the discriminating tourist. Would you like to see Mother Nature’s unfinished basement? Are you interested in the historical artwork and artifacts of people conspicuously absent from the area today? Do you enjoy marinating in the sweat, urine, and assorted other bodily wastes excreted by thousands of strangers? Well, Indiana has everything you want, but so much more than you’d ever expect.
If the Olympics had an event for US States starting with the letter “I,” Indiana would be a strong podium contender. But, as a child trapped in the back seat of a car for many a 1980s road trip, Indiana is seared in my memory as the worst part of any Midwest passage. Just an endless, infinite horizon of tedium. A short, direct path through the state took two and a half hours that seemed like 20. A longer, diagonal route through it meant four and a half hours, but felt like crawling the length of the Oregon Trail.
Maybe if we’d ever stopped and admired something like a monument to misplaced pride in the early adoption of automotive Betamax, I’d remember Indiana more fondly. But, we didn’t. And I don’t. Indiana was just the frustrating space I knew we had to endure to hopefully get out and eventually enjoy someplace better.
Maybe we’ll get through and find ourselves in Chicago. Maybe we’ll end up somewhere like Dayton. Or, maybe we can all just Thelma and Louise it straight into Lake Michigan. Let’s just feel grateful as long as the car keeps moving, pray we don’t end up driving in a circle, and celebrate whatever route gets us through. Garcia TKO-10
(* Editor’s Note: Debatable.)
Patrick Stumberg (55-15)
Is there a word for an opponent who makes sense from a rankings standpoint but doesn’t really have anything to offer the A-side? Because that’s what we’ve got here. With all due respect to Fortuna, he’s smaller, slower, and less powerful than Garcia. His best weapons are his rapid-fire combinations in the pocket, which place him square in “Kingry’s” wheelhouse, and he’s not slick enough with his movement to exploit Garcia’s concrete feet.
Garcia still has a lot of questions to answer before he can truly be considered the cream of the crop at 135, but Fortuna doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to ask them. His physical gifts aren’t sufficient to overcome a profoundly rough style matchup and he hasn’t shown the adaptability needed to work around that. Considering the number of clean power shots “El Abejon” absorbed from JoJo Diaz, whose reach is half a foot shorter than Garcia’s, I don’t see this reaching the championship rounds. Garcia TKO-6
Arnolda Barboza Jr vs Danielito Zorrilla
Scott: Zorrilla TKO-9
Wil: Barboza UD-10
John: Zorrilla KO-7
Patrick: Barboza UD-10