Youth definitely won’t be wasted on the young if Ryan Garcia gets his way this year.
The unbeaten rising lightweight hopes to be far more active in 2020 than was the case a year ago, when he was only able to fight twice due to canceled fights and promotional issues, the latter which has since been resolved in a big way. Garcia’s next ring adventure comes just three months after his last fight, as he follows up last November’s spectacular 1st round knockout of Romero Duno with a February 14 headliner on DAZN.
His clash with former two-time title challenger Francisco Fonseca (25-2-2, 19KOs)—which takes at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California—is supposed to serve as a step up in class for the 21-year old Los Angeles native, who doesn’t necessarily disagree, but instead sees it as a launch to a huge year.
“The special number is four,” Garcia (19-0, 16KOs) noted during an open media workout Monday afternoon in his L.A. hometown when asked how many times he plans to fight in 2020. “It sounds beautiful. Will it happen? who knows. You know how this shit goes. But four is the number I want.”
Garcia had fought seven, six and four times, respectively in his first three years as a pro. That progress was slowed to a crawl in 2019, although ultimately working out for the best in terms of his future vision. More than seven months had passed between his two-round wipeout of Jose ‘Wonder Boy’ Lopez and his 98-second thrashing of Philippines’ Duno, having previously never been out of the ring for more than four months.
In facing Nicaragua’s Fonseca in February, comes an opportunity to enjoy a breakout year—not just in activity, but also in notoriety if he gets his way.
Appearing on the February 14 undercard, former three-division titlist Jorge Linares (46-5, 28KOs) will face veteran trialhorse Carlos Morales (19-4-4, 8KOs)—who gave Garcia a stiff challenge in their September 2018 clash. Wins by both could lead to a head-on collision, easily the biggest fight of Garcia’s young career, though far from the end game.
“After this fight, if Linares puts on a good performance then I want to fight him,” acknowledged Garcia. “Then I want to fight (England’s 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and two-time title challenger) Luke Campbell to get in a southpaw. I want to fight at least one or two southpaws.
“And then (unbeaten two-division titlist) Gervonta Davis, I keep saying in December. I keep pushing for that fight. I see a lot of things I can capitalize on.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox