RISING star Ryan Garcia has had to pull out of his July 9 clash with Javier Fortuna.

“I know this news may be disappointing to some of my fans but I am announcing today that I am withdrawing from my July 9 fight,” the lightweight contender said.

“At this time it is important to manage my health and wellbeing. 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.”

Garcia had proved himself a legitimate contender when he stopped Luke Campbell with a devastating body shot when they fought in January. It put him on a path to stardom in one of boxing’s most exciting divisions.

The American has received support from other fighters. Former opponent Campbell said, “Respect to Ryan for putting his health and wellbeing first. Rest up champ.” While scheduled foe Javier Fortuna issued a statement saying, “I wish Ryan Garcia a speedy recovery… 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% prepared version of Ryan Garcia.”

His promoter Golden Boy has backed him, with Oscar De La Hoya saying, “The health of our fighters is of the utmost importance to us at Golden Boy. We wholeheartedly support Ryan Garcia and wish him the best during this time.”

Teofilmo Lopez, the current division leader, noted, “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?”