By Miguel Maravilla
WBC Silver lightweight Champion Ryan Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs) is ready to begin his 2020 campaign as he takes on Nicaragua’s Francisco Fonseca (25-2-2, 19 KOs). Garcia will either break some hearts or his opponent’s nose as he returns to the ring on Valentine’s Day, Friday February 14 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California live on DAZN.
“It’s a big moment for me. I can’t have a bad performance. I’m taking this opponent seriously. I plan on having a good performance,” Ryan Garcia told Fightnews.com®.
“We thought February 14 would be a perfect date for Ryan,” Promoter Oscar De La Hoya told Fighnews.com®. “This is his coming-out party.”
2019 was not the best year for Garcia as the 21-year-old had been wrapped up in some drama and was the subject of fighter contract breach with Mayweather Promotions and De la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. The highly touted lightweight was also seen partying with Floyd Mayweather early last year. It is said that there were discussions of fights with Mayweather Promotions prospect Rolando Romero and champion Gervonta Davis.
“Last year. It wasn’t a good year for me but this is the first step for good things to come in 2020,” Garcia said.
Scheduled to fight Avery Sparrow in September, that fight was called off the day before the scheduled matchup when Sparrow was arrested on a past warrant. Garcia was obviously disappointed in the outcome as he was scratched from the card. Frustrated and disappointed, Garcia expressed himself publicly as it appeared Garcia was moving on.
“I was very disappointed because I wanted to fight him and there was some hype around him. Then I find out at the weigh-in that the fight was called off. I was pissed,” Garcia recalls.
Just a few weeks later, Garcia signed a contract with Golden Boy in the fall as he prepared for his next fight in co-headlining the Canelo Kovalev card. Scoring a spectacular first round knockout over hard-hitting Filipino Romero Duno, Garcia disposed of Duno after the Filipino claimed he was being ducked.
“That is a fight I wanted and it was a very satisfying victory for me,” Garcia on his last fight. “I wanted to make a statement.”
Less than a month away from his date with Fonseca, Garcia has been preparing with Team Canelo training in San Diego with 2019 Trainer of the Year Eddy Reynoso. A stable that has welcomed Garcia along with world champion Oscar Valdez and new addition former world champion Luis Nery. Garcia has benefitted with their presence as he prepares for Fonseca.
“I feel good. Camp has been great just like any other fight. I’ve been doing my thing with Eddy,” Garcia on his preparation for this fight. “We all have a thing or two to pass along in this stable. We know how to land those punches and with Eddy, it’s all repetition over and over again,”
The Nicaraguan Fonseca has been in with some of the best as he has come up short on his bids at a world title. Having been stopped by Gervonta Davis back in 2017 and dropping a decision to IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer in December of 2018. Since his last defeat, Fonseca comes into this fight with a 3-0-1 record as he is coming off a draw against Alex Dilmaghani.
“The fact that Francisco Fonseca has fought Tevin Farmer and Gervonta Davis. I feel that it will show people where I am,” Garcia on Fonseca.
This year looks to be a career-defining year for Garcia as he has stated his desire to fight the best and to become world champion in 2020.
“This year I plan to shock the world. In 2020, I want to set a standard where I’m only fighting the best guys. I definitely want Gervonta Davis for this year. I’ve been pushing for that fight to get done. That’s all I want.
“This will be a huge year for Ryan Garcia. I believe he will be world champ. He will fight for a world title by the end of the year,” Oscar De La Hoya said.
Garcia has also expressed his desire to be more active this year. Last year saw him fight twice and fight a total of three rounds if that, a second round knockout over Jose Lopez in March and fast knockout in his last fight.
“I want 4 fights in 2020. Fonseca, Jorge Linares, Luke Campbell, and Gervonta Davis. That’s the fight I’ve been pushing for.” Garcia on having a more active year.
Up next possibly for Garcia is a showdown with former world champion Jorge Linares of Venezuela but first must get passed Fonseca. The Venezuelan is slated to take on Carlos Morales in the co-feature as Linares is returning to the ring since his fight of the year candidate to Vasyl Lomachenko. If all goes well look for a possible Ryan Garcia vs. Jorge Linares showdown in the summer.
“I have to win here. If Linares has a good performance that’s who I want to fight next,” Garcia stated. “We are on the right path,”
“If all goes well February 14th. We’ll see what’s up for his next fight. Ryan’s ready for the best!” De La Hoya concluded.
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