Bernard Hopkins says Ryan Garcia vs. Gervonta Davis is the fight to make NOW
By Kenneth Friedman: Bernard Hopkins says he would like to make the fight between Ryan Garcia and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis right now if it were his choice.
Hopkins sees Garcia-Davis as a big fight, and Tank would help make it bigger with his fan base on the East Coast.
To get Garcia vs. Davis match-up made, it’ll require Ryan’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions to sit down with Mayweather Promotions, the company that promotes Tank, and try and get the fight made.
Ryan Garcia is arguably the biggest puncher in the 135-pound division today, and he would have the best chance of beating Tank Davis. Vasiliy Lomachenko is viewed as #1 by fans but lacks the power to hurt Tank.
Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) is someone that Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) has been interested in fighting for a long time. Ryan wants to fight Tank Davis more than any other fighter in the 135-pound division because he knows what it’ll do for his career if he wins.
There are other popular fighters in the lightweight division besides Tank Davis, but King Ryan isn’t as interested in facing them.
Hopkins wants Ryan Garcia to face Tank Davis NOW
“I’ve been saying [Gervonta] Davis since the summer of 2019, especially when they had back and forth Instagram fights,” said Hopkins to IFL TV when asked if we’ll see Ryan Garcia vs. Devin Haney or Gervonta Davis in 2021.
“But then again, I’m in a big city that likes fights, Philadelphia. ‘When is Tank going to fight Ryan Garcia?’ All the young teenagers love Ryan Garcia.
“Everybody wants to see that. Tank has got connections all the way from Baltimore to Maryland. That’s the fight to make NOW.
“I’ll sell out any stadium. I believe so. If it was up to me with no pandemic, that’s the only fight that I want to see right now is Ryan Garcia and Tank Davis.
Ryan will be giving away a lot of experience in a fight with Tank Davis.
Moving forward, if Golden Boy Promotions doesn’t increase the offers made for Ryan’s fights, it’ll be interesting to see whether he eventually accepts the contract minimum of $200K.
Ryan is too good of a fighter to be left on the shelf for years at a time by Golden Boy, and eventually, someone will blink and give in.
Ryan vs. Devin Haney needs to marinate more
“Yes, they need a couple of more hours sitting in the sauce,” said Hopkins on whether Ryan Garcia vs. Devin Haney needs to marinate more.
There’s still not enough public interest for a fight between WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) and Ryan to fight and make a lot of money. If they did fight now, it would help the career of the winner, and it would speed up the pace for them to become a star.
But what Golden Boy wants is for Ryan Garcia vs. Haney fight to make big money when it happens. That’s why they’re probably going to let the fight marinate for a couple of years.
Ryan Garcia has the right to want more money
‘I feel that Ryan has the right to feel the way he feels, but also the promoter has a business decision in cutting back on things that justify based on the pandemic that everybody knows,” said Hopkins.
“So am I being insensitive, and I’m being seen as a non-team player, and I’m being selfish? I’m reading and hearing all this stuff. It’s coming to be from fans. ‘I really want to see that fight.
These are people that respect me; there are boxing fans and Golden Boy fans. They want to see fights, and they have their own agenda, and they want to see the content. The man [Ryan Garcia] has got a right, as well as a business to say, ‘We can do this or do that.’
“Let’s make a decision where both people are happy. We want to keep you happy, but by the same token, this country is going through a financial recession as we speak. A lot of young fighters don’t even realize the impact of what’s eventually going to show in sports as well as corporate America.
“It’s already happening. Some will find out sooner or later, and some will not find out. You know what? They’re going to have to make adjustments, whether it’s late in the game or right now,” said Hopkins.
It’ll look bad for Golden Boy if Ryan turns down offers for the September show. He’s already turned down the $200K for the July card.
When Ryan Garcia sees other fighters like 22-year-old Shakur Stevenson getting $400,000 to face a non-contender like Felix Caraballo, it probably bothers him that he’s being offered half as much.
Although Stevenson is a world champion at featherweight, his fight with Caraballo didn’t have a title on the line.
Hopkins stresses the importance of staying active
“One thing is for sure, fighters should want to stay active to be great later, and that is a price to pay,” said Hopkins in talking about the importance of Ryan Garcia needing to stay active.
“I don’t want to compare anybody, and again I’m going to throw in there a little thing with me. And I don’t know how long you’ve been following the game, but there were a lot of times I went in there below my value.
“I had all the titles, and I was being blackballed, and I was being underpaid for my talent, and I was loud and bold about it. If you know my career, I went against the establishment.
“I used that to stay in shape and keep winning until they couldn’t throw anybody at me unless they gave me the right value for my talent. They eventually did not because they liked me and not because I won them over.
“It was because I was the last man standing,” said Hopkins in talking about his own career.
Staying active is something that the 21-year-old Ryan Garcia wants as well, but he’s not going to accept money that is below his paygrade.
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