Coming towards a weekend that many had hoped would be when Errol Spence and Terence Crawford finally met for all the marbles at 147, there is some irony in that both Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia are both stating that they have come to a deal to clash in 2023.
Earlier this week, it looked like this fight was wavering after months of negotiations. Davis, who holds a version of the WBA lightweight title, hinted that he would be performing in Washington DC on January 7. It was highly unlikely that Garcia would have agreed to face 'Tank' in his home region. It looks as though that date is for a tune-up bout of some sort, after having just one fight in 2022.
Both boxers are basically announcing the fight over social media. While an official deal has not been signed as of Thursday afternoon, you'd have to believe that both parties are at least somewhat confident that most of the major deal points have been agreed upon to make such public statements.
This was never going to be an easy deal to consummate, given that there were competing networks/platforms (Showtime and DAZN), and that both Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) and Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) believe that they are the A-side. Both are popular in their own right. Davis is a legitimate draw on both the east and west coast, and has done modest pay-per-view numbers. Garcia has gained huge traction on social media and is an expert and marketing himself. He's one of the few boxers with major endorsement deals.
It's clear that both fighters wanted this match-up. But unfortunately, these types of things aren't always their decisions. Its oftentimes the power brokers who really decide such matters, as they not only weigh risk-vs-reward but network alliances, and long-term political ramifications of reaching across the aisle to make co-promotions.
Putting all that aside, this is an intriguing bout. You have the powerful Davis, who is a hard-hitting southpaw, who can turn a fight in one punch. Then you have the quick-twitch reflexes of Garcia, who relies upon a lightning fast left hook as his meal ticket. Davis is physically much stronger. while Garcia has decided advantages in height and reach.
Then you have the ages of both, Davis is 28, Garcia, 24. These are two fighters in their physical primes(by contrast, Crawford is 35, and Spence, 32).
So we didn't get one, but we got the other.
This Saturday on DAZN from Guadalajara, Mexico, Jaime Munguia faces Gonzalo Coria in what could best be described as a 'stay-busy' bout. After facing Gabe Rosado last November, his 2022 campaign has consisted of D'Mitrius Ballard, Jimmy 'Kilrain' Kelly, and now Coria, a relatively unknown Argentine (who was stopped by Janibek Alimkhanuly in two rounds back in 2020).
Speaking of Alimkhanuly, who is the reigning WBO middleweight champion, Munguia is his top rated challenger. Will Golden Boy/Zanfer Promotions go through with that mandatory, or perhaps go after unified belt-holder, Gennadiy Golovkin?
Golden Boy Promotions
Eric Gomez, president of GBP told SNAC.com, "He wants to fight any of the top guys. He's willing to fight Canelo (Alvarez), Golovkin, he's even willing to fight (Dmitry) Bivol, if he needs a dance partner. He's willing to fight any of the top guys. That's what he wants."
Keep this in mind, earlier this year a fight with WBC 160-pound titlist, Jermall Charlo, fell apart at the 11th hour due to network issues between Showtime and DAZN.
Gomez states that the aforementioned fighters have all had other fights recently but going into 2023 that they are open to all possibilities. "He knows what the temperature is, he knows these guys were busy."
There is a chance that the Alimkhanuly-Munguia could go to purse bid. And depending on who wins it, this bout could land at either ESPN ( Alimkhanuly is promoted by Top Rank, which has a deal with ESPN) or DAZN, should Golden Boy have the top offer.
"The problem with Munguia is," stated Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank, "he gets paid so much money that we can't afford it. I mean, he gets close to $3 million fight. That's insane."
From a pure business perspective, the fight that makes the most sense is Munguia-Golovkin, given that 'GGG' is a much more popular figure than Alimkhanuly , and both are aligned with DAZN. And the brain trust of Munguia may look at Golovkin as an aged fighter who is ready to be pushed off the cliff for good.
Arum says there is a possibility that Alimkhanuly could fight up to three time next year. "Yeah, Janibek is not very expensive."....Some reports of welterweight battle between Jaron Ennis and Rashidi Ellis in January....It's a shame that 'Boots' only got in four minutes of work in '22....The Los Angeles Times ranked their top 75 Lakers of all-time. Atop the list was Magic Johnson. I can't disagree with that....I can be reached at email@example.com....