Ryan Garcia has announced his decision to pull out of the Jul. 9 fight against Javier Fortuna instead wanting to focus on his health and well-being.
TOM HOGAN-HOGANPHOTOS / GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS
Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) was expected to fight Javier Fortuna (36-2-1-2, 25 KOs) on Jul. 9, but less than two weeks after the fight had been announced, Garcia announced himself, that he would not be participating. He cited his health and well-being as the reason for his decision in an Instagram post on Apr. 24.
“I know this news may be disappointing to some of my fans, but I am announcing today that I am withdrawing from my Jul. 9 fight. At this time, it is important to manage my health and well-being. I have decided to take some time off to focus on becoming a stronger version of myself. I hope to be back soon and am looking forward to stepping back into the ring when I am my healthiest self. I want to Thank God, my family, my doctors, and my supporters.”
While it is unclear what Garcia is referring to, many believe the reason for his decision to be his mental health. Garcia has previously been open about his struggles with anxiety and depression on his social media.
Despite the obvious disappointment, many have been taking to social media to show their support for Garcia.
Garcia’s promoter Oscar de la Hoya, wrote, “The health of our fighters is of the utmost importance to us at Golden BoyWe wholeheartedly support Ryan Garcia and wish him the best during this time.”
“I wish Ryan Garcia a speedy recovery,” Fortuna said. “There are things more important than fighting, and I hope he is able to quickly recover. We can reschedule our fight for a time when I can face and beat a 100-percent prepared version of Ryan Garcia.”
Even Teofimo Lopez, the unified lightweight champion, showed support for the young fighter, “It takes a brave soul like Ryan Garcia to openly express that he’s going through tough times mentally. Instead of pointing the finger at him, maybe you all should take a lesson from it! We’re all dealing with something, so what makes us any better? #LOVEyours”
Garcia is the most recent fighter to speak out over his mental health and the most notable example since Tyson Fury. More candor about mental health and well-being opens more conversations about the subject and goes a long way to destigmatizing mental wellness. The most important thing for Garcia is to take care of his well-being.