By Answon Wainwright
In late May, junior lightweight contender Javier Fortuna headlined an event from the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Tthe recently turned 25-year old took on grizzled Mexican Juan Antonio Rodriguez.
Though Fortuna’s greater class pulled through, winning a ten round unanimous decision 98-91 on all three judges scorecards, the Dominican Republic fighter's face told a different story. Fortuna was given a tougher time than expected, getting cut early.
“I feel very good and happy after I beat Juan Antonio Rodriguez,” Fortuna told BoxingScene.com. “He is a strong boxer and puncher I would like to fight the best of the 130."
The unbeaten Fortuna (25-0-1, 18 knockouts) doesn’t need much prompting when asked who’s he’s targeting at 130.
“I especially want Mikey Garcia, who is a coward.” he said.
Following a family trip to Puerto Rico to recuperate from the cuts and swellings which he suffered in the Rodriguez bout, Fortuna took time to speak with BoxingScene.com
BoxingScene.com - You outpointed Juan Antonio Rodriguez over ten rounds in late May, tell us about that fight?
Javier Fortuna - I feel very good and happy after I beat Juan Antonio Rodriguez, he is a strong boxer and puncher. I would like to fight the best of the 130 and show the best of my skills because I like to fight the best.
BoxingScene.com - Thought it is early, what would you like to do next? Are you targeting anyone in particular?
JF - I especially want Mikey Garcia who is a coward.
BoxingScene.com - A couple of years ago you were on an impressive run, stopping fellow prospect Yaundale Evans and former champion Cristobal Cruz. Those wins earned you a spot on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez 4. You fought Patrick Hyland, winning a twelve round decision, though didn't really impress?
JF - (The) Patrick Hyland fight was a good fight that he is a good fighter and a tough style for any boxer. I beat him in 12 rounds and did the best to win by knockout but failed. I used my boxing skills to win by points.
BoxingScene.com - Beating Hyland earned you the WBA 126-pound Interim title, you lost it on the scales in the very next fight and then you fought a draw with Cuban Luis Franco. At that point would it be fair to say you lost momentum?
JF - The fight was a good fight Franco and I learned a lot with that. Franco is a boxer with many years of experience but does not hit hard. I would like to fight him again to show the experience and skills I have gained in boxing.
BoxingScene.com - What did you change in your career at that point?
JF - In my career I gained a lot experience. That is good for my career, to continue to learn.
BoxingScene.com - Since then you've won three fights, do you feel you've matured more as a fighter and are now ready for the bigger challenges?
JF - I feel that I've matured and learned now to accept all challenges that come to me. I've never denied anybody.
BoxingScene.com - Fighters from the Dominican Republic aren't known as ticket sellers in America, how do you intend to change that?
JF - I'll change that with performance and style in the ring and show my homeland and the US television audience that I put on a great performance.
BoxingScene.com - Tell us about your team?
JF - My handler is Caesar Mercedes and promoter Sampson Lewkowicz and my coach is Hector Bermudez. My team is a very good and I am very happy to be working with them and they are happy with me.
BoxingScene.com - What are your goals in your boxing career?
JF - My goal is to always be in there with the best and always stay active and be a champion for many years.
BoxingScene.com - In closing do you have a message for the junior lightweight division?
JF - This message is for the entire world. I do not want any excuses and I'm willing to fight with all of them [at my weight].
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright