After delaying the fight for over a year due to his mental health struggles, on Saturday, July 16th, 2022 at the Crypto Arena in Los Angeles, 23-0 WBC Super Lightweight Interim Champion Ryan Garcia scored a knockout against 37-4-1 challenger Javier Fortuna of Dominican Republic. The veteran southpaw Fortuna struggled to find his range against the much taller Garcia and was dropped three times in the contest before the stoppage. Ryan Garcia intelligently exploited a height and reach advantage over his older opponent.

Fortuna and Davis are very different fighters. Despite certain fundamental differences between the two southpaws, Golden Boy promotional moves appear to be animated under the belief that a fight with Fortuna, 5’7″, might help Ryan Garcia’s development for a possible Gervonta Davis fight. This might be a wise course of action to get Garcia ready for what could be the biggest fight in boxing. But then, it might not.

While Fortuna and Davis are southpaws of similar heights, that’s about where the similarities end. Fortuna is a veteran brawler who, at the time of fighting Ryan Garcia, had lost his WBC Interim World Lightweight Championship belt just the year prior in a gritty 12 round battle against Joseph Diaz. Entering the ring against Garcia, Javier Fortuna had an impressive record of 37(26)-4(2)-1 and a reputation for trading blows.

Gervonta “Tank” Davis is a superstar; a slick, elusive powerhouse from Baltimore, Maryland under the illustrious banner of Mayweather Promotions. Whereas Fortuna regularly takes a lot of damage in fights, Tank has never been knocked out, defeated, or even knocked down as a professional. While both have demonstrated mind-altering power on recent opponents, Javier Fortuna and Gervonta Davis have completely different approaches to strategy in the ring.

Despite that both Fortuna and Davis are southpaws, Davis, 5’5 1/2″, is actually shorter than Fortuna. Despite the seeming disadvantage in height, Davis could be observed darting considerably more quickly around the ring in his recent bouts than Fortuna moved in his match against Garcia.

A Gervonta Davis fight is a showcase of elite boxing style and frightening power.
A Gervonta Davis fight is a showcase of elite boxing style and frightening power.

In Davis vs. Romero, Davis spent most of the fight using excellent mobility and foot speed to evade a charging bull in a young Rolly Romero. In fact, Romero was carrying out another reckless charge when Davis surgically seperated him from his senses with a perfectly timed counter left hook. Such a feat showcased the impressive coordinated application of power and agility from Davis, a wrinkle Fortuna didn’t appear to show at all in his bout with Ryan Garcia.

Although Garcia showed development and improvement with his latest stoppage win, the level of opposition he’s faced thus far leaves doubt to whether his skills have progressed to a competitive level against those of Gervonta Davis.