Allan Cerf breaks down the Garcia vs. Fonseca fight
Particulars: On Feb. 14, 2020 at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA. (DAZN) it’s Ryan, “The Flash” Garcia vs. Francisco Fonseca of Argentina, Lightweights.
Background: 21-year-old heartthrob, Ryan Garcia of Los Angeles, takes on hard-nosed Francisco Fonseca for Garcia’s “Silver Lightweight Title” as opposed I guess to the Tin, Lightweight title. It’s defined as a replacement since 2010 for ‘interim’ belts. Huh? Why? Anyway, belts of all kinds matter a lot to every fighter so I guess we should respect it.
Garcia is charismatic and handsome, like his boss - the Golden Boy CEO. Oscar De La Hoya was 20 when he won a title in his twelfth fight. A more legit title, too - the WBO Super Feather belt for those fond of trivia. Like bossman Oscar, Garcia has impressive tools – speed, mobility and ring generalship. Unlike Oscar, he has no generational left hook.
Garcia benefits from Oscar’s knowledge of the game and connections which may be invaluable in avoiding pitfalls (Trinidad, Mosely II) that unfairly in my opinion, haunted Oscar’s career. The received experience will help Garcia more than his 4.7 million Instagram followers.
Fonseca, upbeat and friendly in interviews, has I’m afraid to say, somewhat average skills. Still, he nailed Geronvta Davis but good many times back in 2017 before losing on what was the most obvious rabbit punch in years. Now, that shot was B.S., but what observers may have missed was a powerful body shot Fonseca of El Rama, Nicaragua had absorbed moments before the rabbit punch. Regardless, the stoppage was as wrong as the foul blow. Fonseca actually has some excellent defensive angles as Davis discovered - but these are negated by a style focused on offense.
I don’t know if Fonseca still has Rosendo Alvarez in his corner but if so, it can only help. Rosendo Alvarez incredibly, knocked down Ricardo Lopez before the fight was stopped on a technical draw. The rematch led to a split decision. If Alvarez and Fonseca’s older brother Jose, who train him, focused more on his angles, Fonseca would be a much more formidable fighter. He doesn’t have a lot of power, and while he often throws four punch combinations, they’re slow.
Garcia has much more obvious talent. He’s powerful and quick and heavy-handed and very aggressive. While not as fast as his boss, he could well become a legit superstar. Notice that Garcia keeps opponents at the very end of his punches, where they are most powerful – bad news for opponents. This allows him to be a power puncher (like Wilder) as an outside fighter. What will happen when better opponents deny him this advantage? Regarding “needs improvement,” young Ryan – who waits for and picks spots beautifully – should still work on combinations with more punches. Maybe Oscar is the ideal coach for that.
Fighters Grades: (Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Age, Stamina, Experience)
Ryan Garcia: B+ B+ B+ B A B+ B (Average of all) B+ (3.3)
Francisco Fonseca: C+ B- B- B- B B (Average of all) B- (2.8)
Reality Check: Oscar is no fool and this fight is a good mixture of risk/reward. It’s Garcia’s to win – or it wouldn’t be happening. HOWEVER – if Fonseca concentrates on angles and a distance fight as did former Garcia opponent Jayson Velez, this affair could go 12. Either way, Garcia must look very good to keep momentum going and the gals happy - keeping his looks and social media winning ways, intact.
Fight and prediction: A little too much Garcia and a trifle underpowered opponent.
Garcia TKO Fonseca 10.