Ryan Garcia is so much more than a social media sensation, even as nearly five million followers continue to question his boxing skills

In addition to having 4.8 million followers on Instagram, the 21-year-old lightweight is undefeated at 19-0—with 16 knockouts—since turning pro in 2016. “Two of those that were by decision when I was 17 living in Mexico, just fighting raw,” says the Victorville, CA native. 

It’s safe to say Garcia’s come a long way, but some people still don’t respect his talent, even as he heads into Friday’s Valentine’s Day WBC Silver Lightweight title defense against Nicaraguan Francisco Fonseca at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, (which will be streamed exclusively on DAZN).

“People see me on Instagram and they don’t take me seriously,” explains Garcia. “They say things like, ‘This Instagrammer isn’t that good.’ ‘Let’s see what happens when he goes up against [previous opponent] Romero Duno.’ They didn’t even give me a chance.” 

Garcia went on to score a first-round knockout against the Filipino as the co-main event for last November’s Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev bout in Las Vegas. But even a quick stoppage wasn’t enough to change opinions.

“People were impressed,” Garcia says, “but it only lasted about two weeks, and then they were back to saying things like, ‘Let’s see this kid go up against someone good,’” says Garcia. “It’s always going to be an uphill battle.”



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