Ryan Garcia spent last summer yearning for his shot to be a headliner, even publicly feuding with promoter Oscar De La Hoya about his value as a main-event fighter.
The 21-year-old from Victorville will get his chance Feb. 14, when he meets Francisco Fonseca in the featured bout of a card at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The 12-round lightweight fight will stream on DAZN.
“I’m looking to shock the world this year,” said Garcia, who has a record of 19-0 with 16 knockouts. “I’m going to show the boxing world that I’m here forever.”
Garcia is coming off a resounding first-round knockout of Romero Duno in November, a fight that served as the co-main event to Canelo Alvarez’s crushing KO of Sergey Kovalev. Before that, Garcia was scheduled to be the co-headliner for bouts in Carson, but his fight was called off on the scales after opponent Avery Sparrow was arrested on gun charges. That situation resulted in Garcia verbally sparring with Golden Boy officials about how his career was being handled.
Ultimately, Garcia was given a contract extension that promised him better opportunities.
“Ryan silenced all the skeptics by knocking out a tough contender in Duno, and he did it in just one spectacular round,” De La Hoya said. “Aside from being a popular young star … he’s also demonstrated that he’s a skillful fighter with power in both hands. So we will have something special for everyone to enjoy on Valentine’s Day.”
Fonseca, a 25-year-old native of Nicaragua, will be fighting in the United States for just the third time. He has a record of 25-2-2 with 19 KOs, but his previous stateside performances were losses to current world champions Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer.
In the co-main event, former three-division world champion Jorge Linares (46-5, 28 KOs) will face an opponent to be determined in a 12-round lightweight fight.