Over the past few years, boxing has found a way to grow to heights not seen before in a long time. One factor could be the streaming services that have taken over how we watch a contest. Another reason could be the influx of young talent that can talk the talk and walk the walk. When you combine both, it can result in a true profit for the sport.
In another busy weekend for boxing, one 21-year-old will look to start the festivities with a bang. If everything can go according to plan inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, the path to superstardom will be right there for the taking for Ryan Garcia. On the latest “Why Should I Care“, FIGHT SPORTS looks into the WBC Silver, and WBO–NABO Lightweight Title fight between Garcia and Francisco Fonseca.
Friday Night's Main Attraction. 💯 pic.twitter.com/9fdKWofCaL
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) February 12, 2020
Garcia (19-0) last fought in November, beating Romero Duno (21-2) for the WBO–NABO and vacant WBC Silver Lightweight Titles. He won via knockout, his sixteenth since debuting in 2016. That was before he could even drink! Not only is this the toughest challenge of Garcia’s (19-0) young career, but it is on a night (Friday, February 14) that has the spotlight only on him. With a mentor like Canelo Alvarez and teaming with Oscar De La Hoya, the hope is that he can truly be the star they predict he will be.
The fight against Fonseca (25-2-2) is the one that can set Garcia on the path of previous stars who recently debuted and went on to do great things. Here is the list of some of the stars that were as highly-regarded then as he is now, and what they have done:
- Teofimo Lopez (15-0, IBF lightweight Champion)
- Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, IBF and WBC Welterweight Champion)
- Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, WBA, WBO, WBC and The Ring Lightweight Champion)
- Gervonta Davis (23-0, WBA Super Featherweight and Lightweight Champion)
- David Benavidez (22-0, WBC Super Middleweight Champion)
If you thought this would be an easy fight for Ryan, think again. Fonseca is not a pushover in the slightest. He was on a three-fight win streak before fighting Alex Dilmaghani to a majority decision draw back in November. The only two losses of the 26-year-old’s career? A knockout-loss to Gervonta Davis in 2017 and a unanimous decision loss to Tevin Farmer in 2018. Both were high-profile title fights that tested Fonseca.
Fonseca will be looking to take Garcia off of his pedestal. Garcia sees Fonseca as a door to get those same big fights. A battle-tested Fonseca is perfect to see if Garcia can make it against boxing’s elite.
“The fact that Francisco Fonseca has fought Tevin Farmer and Gervonta Davis, I feel that it will show people where I am,” Garcia said, via ESPN. “They’ll be able to compare the fights. I think that’s why this fight is very important. The fans will be using it like a measuring stick. The media can use the fights to compare my skillset with Farmer and Davis against a similar opponent.”
Even the head cheese of Golden Boy Promotions likes the comparison fight. De La Hoya went on The Petros and Money Show to challenge old rival Floyd Mayweather, who manages “Tank” Davis. This is only if Garcia wins.
— AM 570 LA Sports (@AM570LASports) February 11, 2020
Davis wants the fight if this upcoming one is a compelling bout. He also cares about the money factor. There may be a problem with timing, as Davis is going through another legal issue. If everything works itself out, and this is boxing so it might, a win by Garcia could see Davis come out to play with the kid.
Garcia has normally been at the side of Canelo during a number of the middleweight king’s fights. Now, he is making the transition to headliner. Fonseca, meanwhile, is ready to fix the future, literally and figuratively. Is it Ryan’s time, or will there be a delay in his progress?
Garcia v. Fonseca highlights a DAZN main card that features Jorge Linares v. Carlos Morales and Alexis Rocha v. Brad Solomon. The undercard is set to begin at 7 p.m. ET while the main card begins at 9 .p.m. ET.