In the immediate aftermath of Ryan Garcia's expected victory over the blown up Javier Fortuna at the Cyrpto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Saturday night, he made it clear who he wants to face next.
This would be one of the highest profile fights that could be made in boxing. No, it may not have the history of Saul Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, or the stature of Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, but this is a match-up of two young boxers who are in their physical peaks, and bring their own sizable fan bases.
This wouldn't just be your garden variety prizefight, but a true event.
But to actually consummate it by the end of the year?
Easier said than done.
Here's the reality, Davis is a staple of Showtime, while 'KingRy', through his association with Golden Boy Promotions is aligned with DAZN. Neither network will allow these boxers to just cross to the other side of the street without being involved. It wasn't that long ago that a proposed bout between WBC middleweight titlist, Jermall Charlo, and Jaime Munguia, imploded at the 11th hour as Oscar De La Hoya made it clear that DAZN (which has broadcast Munguia's last nine bouts going back to 2019) would have to be involved.
Munguia would be pulled from this bout and he ended up facing Jimmy Kelly in June, while Charlo was then paired with Maciej Sulecki, in a fight that was eventually postponed.
Then you have the financials. Both Davis and Garcia believe that they are the A-side in this equation. While Garcia has a huge social media following, and is a highly marketable entity outside the sport, Davis is every bit the ticket seller (if not more) and the one with the pay-per-view track record. Beyond that, can the financial expectations be met for both parties?
Another question is just what weight class this contest would take place at? While Davis did face Mario Barrios at junior welterweight last year, he has now settled in as a lightweight within his 5'5 frame. This past weekends contest for Garcia took place at junior welterweight, which looked good on his 5'10 body. He stated that this will be his weight class for the time being.
Tom Hogan, Golden Boy Promotions
“I felt way better at this weight. I’m not going down to 135 for nothing," said Garcia. "But I will fight Tank next if he wants it at 140. I’ll make sure to record all the negotiations so you can’t say I was ducking. I want that fight because it’s going to give me the respect I deserve. I’m never afraid. I have a spirit of competition in me and you’re going to see that come out when I fight Tank and whoop his ass.”
Finally you have the contentious relationship between Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy. In what is a fractured business, it would be an upset of major proportions if these two sides come together to break -- and make -- bread. Both Davis and Garcia are the two biggest and most important pieces of these respective companies, the truth of the matter is that neither of them may want to put these guys in true peril.
The boxing business is often a game of keep away -- and it can be lucrative for everyone involved.
As for Garcia's performance versus Fortuna, in what was his second go with respected trainer, Joe Goossen, he showed an improved jab, right cross and poise, to go along with his customary reflexes, speed and power. But he also faced a faded fighter who is on the back nine of his career. There's a reason why Fortuna -- who was dropped in rounds four, five and six -- was chosen.
Tom Hogan, Golden Boy Promotions
“I want to thank God first and foremost,” said Ryan Garcia. “I know that I performed well for myself. I was crisp, sharp and I stayed in my truth. I didn’t do anything crazy. I know how good of a fighter I am, I just had to put it all together, just like tonight. "
Well, he may want to really thank Golden Boy's matchmaking (word to Robert Diaz) for the way they have handled his career. But it's hard to deny that he did look like an improved fighter on this evening. Both can be true.
So will Garcia square off versus 'Tank'?
The likes of Floyd Mayweather, Leonard Ellerbe, Stephen Espinoza, Oscar De La Hoya and Joe Markowski may have more to say about that than they do.
The night before that Pechanga Casino in Temecula, California, it was Arnold Barboza winning a clear cut 10 round decision over Daniel Zorrilla, in what was a solid contest. While Barboza won handily on the cards (97-93 twice, and 98-92), he got a late scare as he was buzzed by the Puerto Rican in what was an eventful round 10.
Mikey Williams for Top Rank
This was Barboza's first bout in 11 months, and now he looks forward to his next step. If he can't get a title shot, he is hoping for a crack at Teofimo Lopez.
140 is a stacked division with plenty of solid fights to be made.
In the co-main, lightweight hopeful, Raymond Muratalla, put in a full nights work as he pitched an eight round shutout over Jair Valtierra. He scored a knockdown in round four but was not able to get the stoppage but got in some valuable rounds. Top Rank is high on his future as he shows a full offensive arsenal and a certain command inside that ring.
I'm told that Muratalla came out of this contest with bruised knuckles on both hands but the expectation is that he will be ready to go again in October.
Hearing that Jose Ramirez will pass on the opportunity to face Jose Zepeda for the vacant WBC junior welterweight title... It looks like George Kambosos will enforce his rematch clause against undisputed lightweight champion, Devin Haney, and the plan is to stage that bout in October...Lamont Roach is a sound, solid technician, the question is does he have that extra gear?....Alexis Rocha didn't have much of a dance partner in Luis Veron on Saturday night... I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org....