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Ryan Garcia: Superstar in the Making

Image: Ryan Garcia: Superstar in the Making

By George Priestman: A new decade in boxing is underway. With Floyd Mayweather being the biggest star of the last decade, it looks like Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez is currently at the helm. Thinking long term, Ryan Garcia could be the Sport’s next superstar. A glistening amateur career, a huge social media following, and sheer boxing potential, this is definitely the man to watch for the future.

Amateur Pedigree

What some may don’t know about the young lightweight contender is that he has a long list of achievements at amateur level. Whilst some fighters have short amateur career’s, a solid record can really give a fighter that vital experience to take into the pro ranks. Garcia is a prime example of just that. Holding a phenomenal 215-15 record before turning pro, his record almost mirrors that of manager and mentor Oscar De La Hoya, who managed an even better record of 223 wins and only five losses.

With a record so good, it’s to assume he won plenty on his way to turning pro. After all, he was a 15-time national amateur champion; other titles included Junior Olympics, Junior Golden Gloves, National Pals, and Silver Gloves.

In 2017, he was named ESPN’s ‘Prospect of the Year’ and De La Hoya was full of praise for his young protégé “Ryan Garcia is special, simple as that. His amateur pedigree is among the best I’ve ever seen. His skill set is far beyond his 18 years,” De La Hoya said at the time.

Professional Journey

Image: Ryan Garcia: Superstar in the Making

At the time of writing, Garcia has fought 20 times in under four years – winning all of those and 17 coming by way of knockout. He is a widely popular figure on social media boasting over 5.4M Instagram followers and he backs up his popularity with his boxing ability and spectacular knockouts. Fight by fight, year on year, the 21-year-old is rapidly becoming a big name in the sport.

He works very closely with Pound for Pound king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alverez, as he shares coaches with the Mexican superstar. Of course, he also has that close mentor relationship with De La Hoya as well. As you can see, he is surrounded by a hell of a team that can guide the young sensation all the way to the top of the division.

Utilizing his range and combining power and skill so far, he’s dispatched most of his opponents in quick and brutal fashion. His most recent win was one that sent shockwaves in the division. His power destroyed Francisco Fonseca, who was a two-time world title challenger who had only lost to world champion Gervonta Davis Jnr and Tevin Farmer.

Many looked to this fight to see how Garcia would fare against a fighter who had been in world title bouts. He silenced his critics with a crushing left hook in the first round that laid out the Nicaragua fighter, knocking him out cold to send shockwaves through the division. It seems a world title shot is within his grasp.

Future Fights

Image: Ryan Garcia: Superstar in the Making

With the youngster holding the WBC Silver lightweight title, he is contention to fight some world level names in his next fights. Despite being only 21, he has big plans to jump in with a world title as soon as possible. Next, however, a step up in class of opponent seems to be the most likely avenue.

Golden Boy promotions have claimed July 11th is a night where they wish to stage Jorge Linares vs Ryan Garcia – assuming the fight can be made with everything going on. The Venezuelan fighter is a seasoned pro who is a former three-time world titlist. He has beaten the likes of Anthony Crolla, Luke Campbell and lost to the Lightweight king Vasily Lomachenko. A test which is made all the more interesting considering he just knocked out Carlos Morales, a fighter who Garcia went 10 rounds with him 2018.

If the Linares fight gets made, providing he comes through with the win, he will be screaming for a world title shot. Meanwhile, a huge fight will take place in the division as Lomachenko faces Teofimo Lopez in a world title clash between two of the division’s best. He will be looking for the Davis Jnr fight or the winner of that fight to match his world title ambitions. Furthermore, he has claimed he wants them all in the division after beating Fonseca “If Linares had a good performance, I said I’d fight him. Let’s get it on,” Garcia said. “I had a plan for 2020 to fight everyone, so I’m going to beat Linares, beat Davis, and then beat Devin.”

As his remarkable career shows no signs of slowing down, we can expect to see ‘Kingry’ in some great matchups in his next few fights. Despite his age, he believes he is improving and ready for the biggest names in a division that has plenty of young, unbeaten fighters ready to lay it all on the line. Who knows how long the Corona Virus will affect sport, but one thing is for sure – Ryan Garcia is one fighter you do not want to miss.

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