Towards the end of 2020, the sport of boxing had some really good momentum going into this new year. Now that we are here, the hope is that we can get back to having fans at these fights starting this summer.
As far as boxing, the first fight of the year saw Ryan Garcia (21-0) have an impressive knockout victory over Luke Campbell (20-4), but not before he tasted the canvas himself for the first time in his career. High off of his victory, Ryan called out Gervonta “Tank” Davis (24-0) and went on a campaign to try and get that fight going.
During that time, there was a gathering of sorts between Ryan and Oscar De La Hoya, which also included Mario Lopez from “The 3 Knockdown Rule” Podcast.
Mario revealed on one of the episodes that Oscar mentioned a fight between Ryan and Manny Pacquiao. While that seemed like something that is mentioned over some drinks as a hypothetical, little did we know that he was actually showing his hand.
On Saturday night, Conor McGregor was put to sleep in the Octagon. Many felt that his poor performance would jeopardize whatever plans were in place to fight Manny Pacquiao in the future. I think those people were right as the next day was telling after Saturday night’s loss.
On Sunday during the NFL Championship games, Ryan Garcia posted an Instagram picture of him and Manny with the caption mentioning that he will be sharing the ring with the Senator. Even with the NFL games going on, this post put the social media-sphere into a frenzy. There were many questions. One of them being which weight class would it take place in and another was if it was going to be some sort of exhibition.
While no official release has been sent because details are still being finalized, it looks as though the exhibition idea has been tossed out for now. The naysayers will scream that this fight isn’t happening, and that Ryan is ducking Gervonta Davis. My question to that is, do you really think there is any fighter that wouldn’t jump on an opportunity to fight Manny? I can name two undefeated welterweights that are certainly waiting but we will get to them later.
Back to Ryan vs The Senator, what does this fight look like? I think this fight is at some sort of catch weight in the neighborhood of 144-145 pounds. Where does it happen? With rumors going around that Las Vegas will begin having shows with fans starting in June, this fight is destined to land there. I would have to imagine right around the 4th of July weekend. Vegas will pay whoever and whatever to host this event. You can certainly bet on that!
Why that weekend? Vegas is all about generating the most revenue and with these two fighters, it will bring in some really big money. This will be an all-week event with day parties and corporate marketing functions galore which will all ride the wave of the event. This doesn’t even include the “whales” that fly in for a Manny Pacquiao fight. There would be enough money to keep all parties involved happy.
Aside from the business aspect, this fight is an intriguing one for me as it can potentially mean the passing of the torch. In recent years, this has happened when Oscar De La Hoya faced a past his prime Julio Caesar Chavez. Let’s not forget the same De La Hoya faced the much younger Manny Pacquiao when Oscar was well past his prime. In both instances, the younger fighter became even more of a star after their victories.
I’m not making any predictions right now but it’s something to think about leading into the fight if it indeed gets signed. I love this fight as it’s a win/win for both men and they will certainly make a lot of money from the event. IF Ryan Garcia wins, the fight against Gervonta Davis would be even bigger.
Speaking of Gervonta, what does he do now that Ryan looks to be tied up? What will probably happen is that he has an all-out DMV battle with Gary Russell Jr. which makes all of the sense in the world. That is an arena filling event in the DMV and would be the biggest thing going on the east coast.
The Ryan Garcia news is not what unified champion Errol Spence Jr. (27-0) wants to hear as he was waiting on the decision from the Senator. If that fight with Ryan does happen, then Spence Jr will look to face Yordenis Ugas (26-4) for his WBA “Regular” title around June or July. A victory gives Spence Jr. another world title at 147 and makes him that much closer to being undisputed. Ugas wants the fight and quickly deleted a tweet from Sunday night asking Spence to give him the opportunity to unify.
Where does that leave Terrence Crawford (37-0)? Crawford is in a real pickle as Bob Arum recently mentioned that he offered 1 million to Shawn Porter (31-3-1). Porter went on to say via his podcast that it was a low-ball offer. Porter nor Thurman will fight Crawford for a million, but you know who will? The winner of Patrick Teixeira (31-1) vs. Brian Castano (16-0-1).
I’ve said it in previous articles (Click HERE) that Crawford being the WBO Champion can challenge for the title in the next weight class and he will have no choice but to do that. This will setup the fight against unified champion Jermell Charlo (34-1) in 2022. The Teixeira vs. Castano fight happens in a few weeks so keep an eye out on news of a Crawford fight soon after.
This is the part of the article where we get into Canelo Alvarez, whether directly or indirectly. First, he will have his defense in February and then fight Billy Joe Saunders in May. The easy answer would be that he fights Caleb Plant in September, but I don’t see it going that way. I think the PBC does Plant vs. Benavidez in the fall and the winner fights Canelo in May 2022.
So who does Canelo fight in September? I think we finally get the third GGG fight and if not, we will get Canelo vs. Spence in Dallas. That fight is not if but when and it's either this year or next when that fight happens. It’s going to be a fantastic year for boxing! We will have an active Canelo, which is great for the division and boxing as a whole.
My Three Cents:
It’s been a year since the start of the “Around the Curve” articles. I want to thank all of those readers that have supported the content. For the new readers, welcome and I hope you stick around for the ride. We will have some swings and misses but often times, we hit home runs with these articles, so pay close attention.