Ego Wounded, What’s Next For Ryan Garcia?



Ego Wounded, What’s Next For Ryan Garcia?

The star power of Ryan Garcia is evident after the media impressions and reported PPV buys produced by his electric promotion with one of the sport’s pillars, Gervonta Davis. In the promotional world of boxing, where the judges are the financial metrics, neither fighter lost, but there was a conclusive outcome, nonetheless.

Garcia did find some success early in the fight when his reckless aggression led to the definitive momentum shift in Tank’s favor. Tank showed levels before the shot to Garcia’s midsection.

It was the kind of outcome that can completely shatter the confidence of a would-be great fighter, or it was the kind of outcome that an elite fighter can learn from before moving on and being better for it. It really can’t be known right now, regardless of whatever Twitter says today.

Ryan Garcia Still Sorting Out Feelings From Losing

For Garcia, either way, he wants the chance to prove himself in his very next outing.

The sensible thing for a fighter of Garcia’s popularity is to take a soft touch coming off a marquee loss, and moving up a weight class offers you a judgment free feel-out fight.

In a Twitter post over the weekend, Ryan Garcia made his intentions clear that he was willing to accept Rolando “Rolly” Romero's offer to challenge for Romero’s newly won WBA junior welterweight title.

Romero captured the title in early May by controversial stoppage over Ismael Barroso. The contentious stoppage committed by referee Tony Weeks came at a time in the fight when most viewers, and the actual judges, thought Barroso was winning the fight. He was up on all three judges’ scorecards.

However, the WBA ordered Romero’s first defense to come against Ohara Davies, an English fighter with wins over Tyrone McKenna and, just this past March, Lewis Ritson. Davies stock has been on the rise and his only two losses came against Jack Catterall and Josh Taylor, respectively.

Ryan Garcia Asking Fans What They Want To See

This prompted a response from the Golden Boy promoted Garcia on Twitter Monday evening:

“3 people I want to fight next 🥊

Rollies *they just ordered for him to fight someone’s else

Isaac Cruz *if he’s willing to go to 140

Teofimo López *depending on outcome”

This is a not so curious list even though none of the mentioned fighters are promoted by Golden Boy.

It is no secret that Ryan Garcia and Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya have had their differences–and seem to be adding to them on a daily basis!–but what might give Oscar a headache when trying to promotionally build Ryan simultaneously offers fans hope that the best young fighters are not willing to wait to fight each other like previous superstar fighters of yesteryear.

Options For Garcia, Including Rolly, Isaac Cruz, Who Else?

Rolly would much rather fight Ryan Garcia regardless of whether it is on DAZN or SHOPPV, but is he still at the top of the list without the title?

Isaac Cruz is an interesting fight, and it would be beneficial to Ryan to not have to face a full-fledged 140lbder. However, with rumblings of a potential Tank rematch, Cruz may not bite.

The last name mentioned in the Tweet is Teofimo Lopez, and I assume that the asterisk regarding the outcome of Lopez’s next fight—a showdown with WBO junior welterweight titlist Josh Taylor—was to clarify that Ryan only wants the fight if Teofimo loses.

Yet, I would argue that a fight between two fighters coming off a loss makes more sense than a 135 -pounder being given a title shot at 140lbs after suffering the biggest loss of his career.

There are no clear paths to making realistic fights with any of the mentioned opponents, and there are major hurdles to clear with opposing networks and promotional outfits for all three fighters. Any attempt from Oscar to secure one of these opponents will not be possible without a major effort and considerable frustration on his part.

But from a promotional standpoint, these fights might not be worth the energy it would take to secure contracts when considering the finances these events would likely generate.

Any Next Fight Will Maybe Be A Come Down…Cept Pacquiao Bout

Of course, all these opponents would produce buzz and generate considerable finances compared to the league average. However, they would all fall short of the reported numbers Garcia produced in his last outing. In fact, there probably isn’t an active fighter that Ryan Garcia could fight that would come close to the numbers produced with Tank.

That may be the reason that De La Hoya, seemingly out of nowhere, decided to announce his intention to stage a fight between his star fighter and Manny Pacquiao—the same Pacquiao that retired De La Hoya nearly 15 years ago when Ryan would’ve been around age 10.

It did not take long for Ryan Garcia to respond on social media.

“This isn’t happening!!

I said what I wanted…

It’s frustrating.. tired of this,” Garcia Tweeted.

Garcia was also on Bradley Martin’s podcast where he admitted his frustrations with his “team.”

“After the fight, nobody was there for me. My team just didn’t come to the press conference. Somebody betrayed me in camp. I was left with that. I had Tank’s team care about me more than my own team.”

Battle Of Egos, Money Factors In, It's Complicated

There are still clearly hard feelings on the side of Ryan Garcia and it may be a struggle to patch things up this time around as De La Hoya does not seem keen to tiptoe around his fighter’s feelings.

In a round of fan questions and answers on social media, a segment DLH has used to address controversies and fight negotiations in the past, a fan asked why Ryan was so upset about a potential Pacquiao fight when he seemed so open to it in years prior.

It was announced in early 2021 that Garcia was in the running for a Pacquiao fight, but it did not materialize.

DLH responded to the fan’s question:

“Ryan has so many people giving him bad advice, all I will do is get him the biggest fights and make him money,” DLH wrote on his IG.

The truth is somewhere in the middle of this disagreement. Ryan was fully advised by DLH and his “team” that the rehydration clause was not a good idea, and Ryan Garcia admitted that his legs were never under him from the beginning of the fight, which is well within the cause-and-effect of not rehydrating properly.

Both Sides Have Some Decent Points

It would also make sense that GB would advise Ryan to take a tune-up fight for his first hurrah at junior welter.

For Ryan, he has made it clear what his wishes are, and he is the boss even if it rarely feels that way within the world of boxing promotion. Whether it is the right decision or the wrong decision, it should be Ryan’s decision on who he fights and when. He has the right to change his mind about fighting Pacquiao, especially if it is in pursuit of fighting the best available.

DLH has every right to feel like his world-class fighter and promoter experience is being undervalued and unappreciated.

There is a chance that Ryan’s best bet at securing both money and legacy is to follow the typical young superstar path by padding records against names well past their primes and allowing DLH to use his connections and influence on networks, media, and fans.

Mungia Offers Insight Into Possible Path Forward

However, that is also a path most likely to keep boxing as an afterthought in mainstream media.

Ryan Garcia could fight Teo next only to lose 2 fights in a row and take a massive hit on his popularity as a fighter, but he could also be the spark that infects an entire generation of young fighters hellbent on proving themselves. After all, his decision to fight Tank may have had an impact on at least two other fighters destined to finally share the ring with one another on July 29th.

DLH may see the writing on the wall now that Ryan Garcia has officially begun training with Derrick James—trainer of Erroll Spence and Jermell Charlo. If Ryan is unlikely to be with Golden Boy beyond his contract, then DLH knows he must make the most out of the rest of Ryan’s fights.

*writer’s note: this is a developing story, follow @NYFights on Twitter for the latest.