Garcia vs. Fortuna odds
Ryan Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) is one of boxing’s most polarizing fighters. Some love it, others dismissed it as a “Instagram Fighter” and not a real boxer. Garcia will have the opportunity to prove his detractors wrong when he steps into the ring to face Javier Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KOs) on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
The odds on this fight are heavily tilted in Garcia’s favor in sports betting. His -1200 moneyline odds translate to an implied probability of 88%, and his odds of winning by KO are -225 at the time of writing. Should Garcia be that big of a favorite against his toughest competition yet?
Let’s take a look at both fighters to see where the value lies.
Is Garcia ready for top-level competition?
It’s hard to believe Garcia is only 23 considering how long he’s been on boxing fans’ radar. In a sport where promotion can be the hardest part of a fighter’s job, Garcia has locked down that area of his career.
However, his resume doesn’t match the huge success he’s racked up over the years, which is part of why fighters like Gervonta Davis – the man Garcia wants next if he takes the win on Saturday. — have so blatantly downplayed his career.
Garcia’s last four fights have been the real proving ground for him after building his record, and the results have been mixed. In 2019 and 2020, he showed he could end fights against real competition in a flash with a pair of first-round knockouts against Romero Duno and Francisco Fonseca. That last knockout was impressive considering he did almost all of his damage with his left hand.
But in 2021, against Luke Campbell, Garcia tasted adversity in the ring for the first time. In the second round, the southpaw dropped Garcia for the first time in his career. Garcia came back to win in the seventh round, but the knockdown revealed his inexperience. For all his dazzling speed and power, Garcia’s footwork isn’t great and he left himself open in the rally.
In his most recent fight, against Emmanuel Tagoe, Garcia bulked up and certainly looked more balanced, but his movement and posture weren’t much better. To be honest, “King Ry” beat his opponent, knocked him down in round two and nearly did it again in round 10. Still, if Garcia is meant to compete with the titleholders, this is a fight where you’d want to see him dominate and leave no doubt.
Fortuna is not a current titleholder, but he has won and defended a title in his career, which keeps Garcia going. Fortuna, who is also a southpaw like Campbell, is at a height (4 inch difference) and age (10 year age gap) disadvantage, so he will have to make this fight scrappy against the bigger Garcia.
To avoid being knocked down like Tagoe, Fortuna will have to press hard to stop Garcia from charging big punches. Fortuna has a solid counter punch ability, but if he spends the entire fight waiting to counter Garcia, he will take some serious damage.
Garcia’s star is rising and he has some legitimately good young opponents ahead of him – I expect him to come out and be sharp in the ring. Despite all his flaws, he is still very clearly the most talented man. His speed and power are real, he’s not a headhunter and he can mix his attack between head and body.
If Garcia can commit to sticking his shot in Fortuna’s face and keeping him on the outside, the night could be a long one. Whether he actually commits to this strategy is a problem. If instead Garcia stands too tall and looks to land his powerful left hand, I would expect Fortuna to pressure him and have him fight his back foot.
Garcia vs. Fortuna Pick
Either way, I don’t like the -225 odds on Garcia to win by knockout, even though he certainly has the drive and skill to get a decisive win. The odds of the fight resulting in a decision (+175 at BetMGM) are tempting, but given the quality of a favorite Garcia, you’ll get a much better payout by winning him by decision.
Right now I’m leaning towards the nine round plus prop, but given Fortuna’s reputation as a borderline dirty fighter, I think there’s a chance he’ll make this fight competitive early on, this which would make it an opportunity to bet Garcia live as well.
Lean: More than 9 turns (-120)
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