While Gervonta Davis will face the solid Hector Luis Garcia on January 7, news broke that Ryan Garcia would not be taking on veteran Mercito Gesta later that month. The two are supposed to clash in mid-April in what is a highly anticipated match-up.
Chris Mannix of SI.com spoke with Garcia on Friday.
This means that the 24-year old Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) , who last fought back in July (stopping Javier Fortuna in six rounds) will go about nine months before stepping in versus 'Tank', who felt the need for a tune-up bout as he had just one outing in 2022. Bank in late May, Davis stopped Rolando Romero in six rounds.
Agree or disagree with Garcia's decision, or speculate as to why he made this choice, it really doesn't matter. But really this shows you just how much the boxing business has changed in terms of how 'big' fights are set up. They used to whet the appetite, now the starve you.
It made sense for both Garcia and Davis to perform a few weeks apart to truly begin the promotion for this event, and sharpen their tools before they clashed in the spring. Unfortunately, this business ain't what it used to be.
I still recall during one of my childhood visits to South Korea back in 1981 when Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns co-headlined at the Houston Astrodome on the night of June 25 that year. This card was actually televised on the Armed Forces Network. Leonard, the WBC welterweight champion, actually moved up and took on WBA junior middleweight titlist, Ayub Kalule, and scored a ninth round stoppage. Hearns, the WBA welterweight belt-holder, blew out Pablo Baez in four rounds.
Leonard-Hearns I then took place on September 16th at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where Leonard rallied to score a memorable 14th round knockout in what was a legendary contest.
Years later in 1996, as Julio Cesar Chavez and Oscar De La Hoya were set to meet, they co-headlined an HBO card at the Sports Pavilion at Caesars Palace. Chavez dispatched Scott 'Pink Cat' Walker in two, while 'the Golden Boy' also needed just two rounds to get rid of Daryl Tyson. Chavez-Taylor I was scheduled for June of that year.
Speaking of De La Hoya, in 2004 as he made the move up to middleweight and was scheduled to face unified champion, Bernard Hopkins, they shared a bill at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 5. The plan was for De La Hoya to get acclimated to the new weight class and beat the relatively unknown Felix Sturm, who was the WBO champion. But that nearly proved to be disastrous as Sturm was the victim of a Vegas business decision and was robbed that night. Meanwhile 'the Executioner' took care of Robert Allen over 12 rounds.
Three months later Hopkins stopped De La Hoya with a left hook to the body to capture the undisputed middleweight crown.
There are some other examples, but these are the ones that came to my head first. Now, you could argue that the business has changed. Yeah it certainly has, and my opinion is that it isn't for the better. My view is that having boxers who ply their craft so infrequently against one another isn't a recipe for creating bouts that will be remembered fondly.
(Yeah, go ahead and call me the 'get off my lawn guy', I'm actually proud of it.)
The reason why these fights I listed above are remembered, or at least did much more business (both at the gate and pay-per-view) is that they were much better known commodities because of their frequent outings. Ask yourself this: are Garcia and Tank at the stature of any of the boxers mentioned above? Since the start of 2020, both have had just four bouts.
Golden Boy Promotions
Perhaps Tweeting, and having a presence on Instagram can make up for it, but keep this in mind, boxing is more than ever a niche sport in the States. The most effective and organic marketing tool is still to get out there and do your job on the big stage.
Last I checked, no fight ever got bigger because boxers decided to sit out.
Frank Martin showed that he is a lightweight to be taken seriously as he dominated Michel Rivera over 12 one-sided rounds at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Martin, a stablemate of unified welterweight champion, Errol Spence, is a slick, well-schooled southpaw. He was simply too sound, and quick for Rivera who was consistently beaten to the punch and out-boxed round after round. 'Fauxhamad Ali' (who looks more like Julian Jackson than 'the Greatest') never had a chance, and had just sporadic success on this night.
Eshter Lin, Showtime Sports
Martin, who is now ranked seventh at 135 by Ring Magazine, floored Rivera in the seventh, and was never really threatened in this contest. What was thought to be a 50-50 fight coming in, was instead turned into a boxing exhibition, and confirmation that Martin is a legitimate contender in the division
Raul Curiel stopped Brad Solomon in two rounds on the Golden Boy card which took place from the Commerce Casino....The Showtime main event got started past midnight on the East Coast. Hey, can we speed it up a bit, here? And this goes for all boxing broadcasts....So is that it for the Jeff Saturday experiment with the Indianapolis Colts?....If you're a fan of the Miami Hurricanes, Dallas Cowboys, or just football in general I highly recommend Jimmy Johnson's new book, 'Swagger'....I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org....