The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reports that WBC interim lightweight champion Ryan Garcia has “agreed to terms” with mandatory challenger Javier Fortuna for a July title defense “in either Los Angeles or Las Vegas.”
Both men had previously been named mandatories for world champion Devin Haney, who defends his belt against Jorge Linares on May 29th. The timing seems right for both winners to meet in fall or winter of this year.
Garcia (21-0, 18 KO), last seen getting off the canvas to stop Luke Campbell with a vicious body shot, made a lengthy and ultimately futile attempt to secure a fight with Manny Pacquiao before getting this order. While Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KO) isn’t Pacquiao, he’s definitely a potential problem; he’s had some real bad performances before, but he’s also had plenty of damn good ones, and he’s got the power, awkwardness, and aggression to make Garcia work for it if he comes out sharp.