Just because you’re single on Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to miss out on any action. Golden Boy heartthrob Ryan “KingRy’’ Garcia looks to capture his 20th victory against two-time title contender Francisco Fonseca at the Honda Center in Anaheim Ca. The stacked card which will co-feature former two-division world champion Jorge “Niño de Oro” Linares against lightweight contender Carlos “The Solution” Morales will stream on DAZN starting at 4 p.m. PT/ 7 p.m. ET.
Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs) is coming off a tremendous first-round knockout victory against hard-hitting Romero “Ruthless” Duno, who most fans initially predicted would be the biggest challenge of Garcia’s professional career. When Garcia opted out of fighting Duno as a last-minute replacement for the Sep.14 bout he was scheduled to headline against Avery Sparrow last year, fans erupted in disapproval and speculated Garcia was “scared” to face the heavy-handed Filipino. Garcia proved all the doubters wrong just two months later, obliterating Duno in just 1:38 seconds.
On paper, Fonseca (25-2-2, 19 KOs) appears like a decent test for Garcia at this particular time of his career. However, the Nicaraguan contender will serve as a method to compare Garcia’s performance with Tevin Farmer’s as well as Gervonta Davis’, who was the only one to score a knockout victory over Fonseca. With Davis’ and Garcia constantly calling each other out over social media, the young contender must deliver a spectacular performance and win in outstanding fashion to show “Tank” he too is a force to be reckoned with in the lightweight division.
“I think I’ll beat [Gervonta],” Garcia told Xicana Boxing. “I’ve been saying it for a while, so I definitely see that fight going on in this year.”
When asked about Fonseca claiming he had an antidote to defeat him, Garcia appeared doubtful the more experienced fighter could pull off an upset.
“He’s going to have to show me what the antidote is, I don’t think so,” he said. “He fought Tevin Farmer and I watched that fight, he didn’t even have power to keep Tevin Farmer off him. How’s he going to keep me off?”
Fonseca has fought the majority of his bouts outside the U.S. against unfamiliar opponents and has fallen short in both opportunities for a world title, and though he thanked Garcia’s team for offering the fight, he claimed he was ready to shock the fans come fight night.
“I’m more than prepared to give the fans a great show and obviously take the victory,” Fonseca said at the final press conference. “I’m ready for Friday night.”
Scoring a draw in his last fight against southpaw contender Alex Dilmaghani (19-1-1, 8 KOs), Fonseca is hungry to obtain a decisive victory and work his way up to a third title shot.
The co-main event will feature Venezuelan former two-division world champion Jorge “Niño de Oro” Linares against local fan-favorite Carlos “The Solution” Morales in a 12-round lightweight contest.
Though Linares (46-5, 28 KOs) suffered an unbelievable first-round knockout loss to Mexican contender Pablo Cesar Cano in Jan. 2019, he scored a comeback unanimous decision victory against Filipino contender Al Toyogon (10-6-1, 6 KOs) this past September and looks to keep the momentum against Morales.
“I’m more than ready to start the year off strong against Carlos Morales,” Linares said. “2019 was a difficult year, but I’ve been through ups and downs in my career before, and I’ve always come back. On Feb. 14, I’m going to show why I became a four-time world champion by scoring a dominant win. After that, I hope to fight for a world title very soon.”
Though Morales (19-4-4, 8 KOs) was most likely matched with Linares because of the lack of significant power behind his punches, the fighter out of Highland Park possesses exceptional stamina and heart of a warrior constantly coming forward and pressuring his opponents. In Morales’ last fight against Mercito Gesta, the back-and-forth action led to a technical draw, with two judges scoring the bout even while one had Morales ahead by two rounds.
“It’s an honor to share the squared circle with a three-division world champion,” Morales said. “The only way to get to the top of the division is to fight the best. That’s where I want to be, so on Feb. 14 the fans will see me at my very best.”
Linares also faced Gesta in early 2018 cruising his way to a unanimous decision. By comparing performances against this mutual opponent in addition to his competitive match over one of pound-for-pound bests Vasiliy Lomachenko (before being KO’d,) makes the former champion the favorite to win this bout. The four-time world champion is speculated to be the next test for Garcia should they both conquer their opponents on Friday night.
Southpaw welterweight contender Alexis Rocha (15-0, 10 KOs) will take on the toughest test of his career thus far against Brad “King” Solomon (28-2, 8 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight clash for the WBC Continental Americas Welterweight Title.
Rocha last fought on Dec. 13 at Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in the undercard of Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Solomon, in which the fight veteran suffered a fifth-round knockout loss at the heavy hands of ESPN’s 2019 the Prospect of the Year. Regardless of his recent knockout loss, Solomon possesses the right set of skills to challenge the up-and-comer and make it a competitive fight.
Self-proclaimed as one of the most entertaining current fighters, Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (13-0-1, 9 KOs) will come face-to-face with Samuel Kotey Neequaye (23-2, 16 KOs) in a ten-round welterweight bout. In his last fight in the undercard of Canelo vs. Kovalev on Nov. 2, Cobbs was sent to the canvas early in the fight against Carlos Ortiz Cervantes but bounced back to earn a sixth-round knockout victory.
Neequaye, also coming off a knockout victory last October, hopes to pull off an upset and stop Cobbs from getting his usual “Wooo!” of victory while walking away with the NABF Welterweight Title.
If you’re boo’d up by someone who also loves boxing, it’s a magnificent way to spend Valentine’s Day. If you’re single. at least you get to witness some type of action. Tickets to the fight are still available at TicketMaster starting at $25.