Ryan Garcia vs. Francisco Fonseca fight prediction, odds, start time, undercard, how to watch, preview


Rising lightweight prospect Ryan Garcia has already begun to forge a path for himself toward collecting world championships and attaining global superstardom. It’s been a fun process to watch play out to this point, but Garcia has decided to speed up that process, and it takes another major step on Friday night. 

Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs), the babyface 21-year-old from Los Angeles with quick hands and a crossover fan base, returns Friday when he headlines a Golden Boy Promotions card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, against former world title challenger Francisco Fonseca (DAZN, 9 p.m. ET).

While the matchup against Fonseca (25-2-2, 19 KOs) represents a step-up in class for Garcia as the native of Nicaragua has only lost to defending world champions, it’s what he hopes to accomplish before the end of 2020 that is so embolden. 

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Thanks in part to his 4.8 million followers on Instagram, Garcia has been targeted through multiple social media attacks by big-name fighters who perceive him as easy prey. Both Garcia and promoter Oscar De La Hoya are now hoping to capitalize on that exposure by centering their focus on the hard-hitting Gervonta Davis (23-0, 22 KOs), who moved up to 135 pounds in December by winning a vacant title in stopping Yuriorkis Gamboa. 

De La Hoya, who appeared on the Los Angeles radio show “Petros and Money” to promote Garcia’s return, challenged his former in-ring rival Floyd Mayweather, who promotes Davis, to a special rematch in which the fighters they represent would face off later this year provided Garcia is victorious on Friday. 

“I think Ryan Garcia is destined to be a great fighter and that’s what we’re trying to push for,” De La Hoya said. “We’re promoting him in a way where it’s by design. I think Ryan Garcia is going to be a world champion for many years.”

Davis, who turned himself in to Miami police last week on a domestic violence charge, responded on social media to the idea of a Garcia fight in a subsequently deleted post by saying, “Let’s do it. This year I will become super rich.” 

Although Davis has also been linked to rumors he will make his pay-per-view debut this spring against Leo Santa Cruz pending legal troubles, Garcia told media members at Tuesday’s open workout that his fight against “Tank” is inevitable. 

“It’s on course now like a train, on course to the destination,” Garcia said. “I want that fight and I think I’m going to get it this year. It’s a good fight and a lot of people are going to have me as an underdog but I feel like with my discipline and commitment and honest dedication to winning the fight, I will win.”

Garcia must first get past the 25-year-old Fonseca, who brings experience from title defeats against Tevin Farmer in 2018 and the previous year against Davis, when the two fought in the co-main event to Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor. Fonseca is 6-1-1 since the Davis loss and is fresh off a majority draw against Alex Dilmaghani last November. 

“Fonseca had OK fights with Farmer and Davis. It was nothing impressive though,” Garcia said. “I’m a whole different fighter. I’m taller, stronger and just better overall. I watched four rounds of his fight. This guy can’t beat me. He’s going to try to box me. He doesn’t have the power to brawl. He’s going to keep away from me. I’m going to press the fight like a Mexican fighter.

“He’s not going to come forward, he’s going to back up because he’s just not strong enough to take it to me. You will see me fighting more forward this fight and not just as a boxer/puncher but more aggressive.” 

Fonseca will need to overcome not only the nearly three-inch height advantage Garcia will hold, but a visible disparity in speed and power. Garcia is fresh off a first-round knockout of Romero Duno in the co-main slot under Canelo Alvarez-Sergio Kovalev in November and has looked improved since joining forces with Alvarez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso.

“We are prepared to win. If it’s by decision, they are not going to give it to me. So, I know what I have to do,” Fonseca said. “He’s a great fighter but I’ve had a lot of experience facing top opposition. I don’t want to underestimate Ryan Garcia. He’s a great prospect, but he doesn’t have the experience that Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer had. On that basis, I will walk away with the victory.”

In the co-main event former lightweight titleholder Jorge Linares is back in action when he takes on Carlos Morales. Linares is 2-1 since dropping his belt to Vasiliy Lomachenko in May 2018 and trying to work his way back into title contention.

Fight card, odds

Ryan Garcia -5000

Francisco Fonseca +1200

Lightweights

Jorge Linares -833

Carlos Morales +500

Lightweights

Prediction 

Unless Fonseca can rely on his experience to break Garcia’s rhythm and hurt him, this should play out as a showcase opportunity despite the fact that it’s a legitimate step up for Garcia. 

The speed of his combinations are frightening at times and the influence of Reynoso, who helped mold Alvarez into a defensive and counter-punching star, should help Garcia stay out of trouble. Not only is Garcia the bigger fighter naturally, he has more than enough power to finish Fonseca and make the kind of statement De La Hoya is hoping will help lure bigger names.

With that said, the best thing that could happen for Garcia’s development is that Fonseca proves able to take him rounds and make him showcase more of his jab and fighting I.Q. more than his flash. 

Pick: Garcia via TKO5