Lightweight Ryan Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs) has quickly become a factor in the division after having a stint at super featherweight. The 21 year old social media sensation – 4.8 million followers on Instagram – is about to headline a fight card in Anaheim after being showcased on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez’s KO victory over Sergey Kovalev last November. He will take on Francisco Fonseca (25-2-2, 19 KOs) on Friday with the WBC silver title on the line. It will be his first defense of that title against a guy in Fonseca that has been in world title fights at super featherweight but is new to the lightweight division.
“King Ry” as he has been called is looking to impress the crowd that will be in attendance at the Honda Center, but also send a message to fighters in the lightweight division that he is a serious contender for a world title…but is he ready for that?
The lightweight division has it’s share of great fighters. It may be one of the deepest in the sport. Top fighters include unified champion Vasyl Lomachenko who is regarded by many to be the best pound for pound fighter in the sport. The recently crowned IBF champion Teofimo Lopez is one year older than Ryan and he has wowed many boxing fans with highlight reel knockouts and stoppages including the one that he scored over Richard Commey to win the IBF title. Another fighter that is the same age as Ryan that has held a world title is Devin Haney, who became the WBC champion. An injury has him sidelined, but when he returns he will also be in the conversation among the best in the division. There is also Gervonta Davis who moved up to lightweight in December and stopped Yuriorkis Gamboa to win a title and is looking for big fights this year.
With those fighters out there, it may seem like a tough task for Ryan Garcia. However, he feels like he has what it takes to get a belt this year. At the press conference leading into his fight with Fonseca, he told the crowd that he is focused on getting a title.
“2020 is the year to show everybody that I got the skills, the talent, and I got the mentality to become a world champion,” Garcia said. “All I want to do is take on the big challenges. I want to show everybody and prove everybody that I put in so much work day in and day out.”
Garcia knows that he is up against a gritty opponent in Fonseca, but he is confident that he will get the victory on Friday night.
“Fonseca is a tough fighter, been in there with a lot of good fighters…this will show everyone how good I am.”
Fonseca has been in the ring with the likes of Tevin Farmer and Gervonta Davis, so Garcia wants to show that he can do better than those guys and put the lightweight division on notice.
“Fonseca had okay fights with Farmer and Davis. It was nothing impressive though. I’m a whole different fighter. I’m taller, stronger and just better overall. This guy cannot beat me.”
We will find out on Friday night if “King Ry” will begin his quest to rule the lightweight division with a win over Fonseca which could lead to a big fight later in the year.
Cover photo by Hogan Photos