Although Ryan Garcia looked better than ever in Los Angeles on Saturday with a sixth-round KO by Javier Fortuna, it feels like we’re getting further away from a superfight against Gervonta Davis.
The impressive performance – knockdowns in rounds 4, 5 and 6 – was Garcia’s second straight fight at 140lbs after fighting at 135, where Davis still resides. “Tank” Davis competed once at junior welterweight, a TKO of Mario Barrios in June 2021, but the weight disparity feels like another wrench in the spokes of any effort to secure a Garcia Davis deal. “I’m never going back to 135, I’m going to stay at 140, I’m going to fight ‘Tank’ Davis if he wants it at 140,” said Garcia, 23. “And if he doesn’t, I’m going to fight a 140.” -pounders fight. But he will want to do it…there will be riots if he doesn’t want to do it.
“I know I stand up for it and I’ve told everyone my heart is there and I won’t falter for anyone.”
It’s clear Garcia really wants to score Davis in the ring, but it’s less certain what Davis thinks about fighting a bigger man at a heavier weight — Garcia is 5-foot-10, Davis is 5-foot-5 ,5.
Davis then tweeted that he was ready for the fight.
Until the end of the year..#The one
— Gervonta Davis (@Gervontaa) July 17, 2022
Weight is simply one of many obstacles to the highly anticipated fight. Garcia said repeatedly this week that he would not allow boxing politics – he is being promoted from Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions while Davis is with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) – to prevent a deal from being reached.
That’s easier said than done.
So those are two obstacles to the potential super fight, and the biggest roadblock of all: competing networks.
Garcia fights exclusively on DAZN, while “Tank” competes on Showtime. The same problem held up a possible middleweight title fight between Jermall Charlo and Jaime Munguia. Charlo is on PBC/Showtime, Munguia on Golden Boy/DAZN. The inability to agree on which network would televise this fight scuttled the deal.
And the same sticking point could block a Davis-Garcia fight. The purse split will certainly present another obstacle, although it’s clear who the A-side is. After all, Davis sold Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for his KO of Rolando Romero in May and packed over 15,000 into Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena when he singled out Isaac Cruz in December.
Garcia, on the other hand, drew 11,288 fans to the same LA location on Saturday. But if the sides can somehow compromise on the various issues, Davis-Garcia develops into an unmissable action match between two of the sport’s youngest stars.
Two explosive punchers with lightning fast hands and a huge following to boot, this is the kind of fight boxing that is badly needed. Win or lose, the kind of jerk in an event of this magnitude would make Garcia a far bigger star than ever. He would be well positioned for many meaningful fights in a suddenly red hot junior welterweight division.
140-pound ruler Josh Taylor could face Jack Catterall in a rematch this fall but has vacated two of the four titles. There’s also Jose Ramirez and Jose Zepeda lining up for another title rematch. Teofimo Lopez makes his 140-pound debut against Pedro Campa on August 13, with many more top-flight fighters fighting in the division. Regis Prograis and Subriel Matias are both looking for big fights. Undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney has hinted he’ll jump to 140 pounds sooner or later (likely after a rematch with George Kambosos Jr. this fall). If Garcia Davis can’t land before the end of the year these are some of the names he could be looking at but it would be a consolation prize at this point. After all the chatter and insults, “Tank” Davis is the only opponent that counts for Garcia. And now that Garcia is back in action, with two fights in four months and a comfortable win over Fortuna, the time has come for Garcia and Davis to finally meet in one of the biggest fights in all of boxing. “It will earn me the respect I deserve,” Garcia said. “And I’m never afraid. I have the spirit of competition in me and you will see that when I fight Tank and whistle his ass.”