Javier Fortuna might as well be taking a page out of Public Enemy’s playbook to pump himself up for his upcoming fight against Ryan Garcia, because the message he’s been spreading in regard to the upstart lightweight contender has translated to “don’t believe the hype.” 

Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KOs) and Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) will fight on July 16 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, and although the former 130-pound titleholder Fortuna no longer has a belt, his brash talk is still operating at a championship level. 

“Ryan is not as big as what everyone makes him out to be. He doesn’t have the capacity and doesn’t have the talent to beat me. I hope he is ready,” Fortuna told BoxingScene.com and other reporters through an interpreter during a recent media gathering. “Ryan’s speed doesn't faze me. I know how to take that away from him. I have the experience to do it. You’ll see during fight night. You’ll see my power. I am looking forward to beating him at his house.”

The Victorville-bred Garcia will be headlining in Southern California’s premier fight destination for the first time in his career. 

Golden Boy Promotions originally tried to stage a Garcia vs. Fortuna fight at the Banc of California Stadium in downtown Los Angeles last year, but Garcia pulled out of the fight citing mental health issues. 

Fortuna went on to keep the fight date and lost to Joseph Diaz Jr. Garcia returned from a 15-month layoff in April and scored a unanimous decision win against the outmatched Emmanuel Tagoe. 

“Ryan looked good against Tagoe,” said Fortuna. “Ryan doesn’t have any mental health issues. The same week he announced he had mental health issues he was messing around with his girlfriend.”

Garcia feels that Fortuna is a stepping stone to land more meaningful fights, and to grow his stature even further. 

"I think it's pretty obvious where we are headed once we pass Fortuna,” said Garcia. “I am going to campaign for the fight against Gervonta Davis. We want to be transparent about the process to prove to the people that we want this fight. I try to find ways to exploit the truth and clear the fog. I have to be transparent, just like I was with the [Isaac] Cruz negotiations."

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.