Ryan Garcia options for next fight: Hector Tanajara and Mercito Gesta
By Jeff Aronow: Ryan Garcia won’t be fighting Jorge Linares on July 4 as previously hoped for. According to ESPN, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez says that they’re still interested in matching the unbeaten lightweight contender Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) with Linares, but that’s a fight that will need to wait until a later time.
The travel issues with having the former three-division world champion Linares come over from Japan is preventing Ryan from fighting him on July 4.
Additionally, Linares revealed recently in an interview that there were training problems because of the lack of sparring partners, and he didn’t have his coach with him in Japan. All around, it just wasn’t a good time for Linares and Garcia, 21, to face each other.
Golden Boy still interested in Linares
“Obviously, that’s a fight we want to make,” Gomez said to ESPN.com on his desire to make the Ryan vs. Linares fight. “Both fighters are interested in making it. So we’re going to table that for the time being.”
Garcia needs the old lion Linares to help get him experience, and also to gain credibility with the boxing public. The weak fodder-level opposition that Golden Boy Promotions has been matching Garcia against hasn’t done much in terms of impressing the fans.
The problem is they’ve never heard of the vast majority of the fighters that Golden Boy is matching Ryan with. As such, he’s not gaining a lot of respect for his dazzling first-round knockouts. Quick KOs only matter when the opposition is good, and that’s not happened yet with Ryan.
It’s just as well that Golden Boy Promotions isn’t making the Garcia vs. Linares fight right now because there’s a lot of risks involved. Unlike the 21 guys that Ryan Garcia has fought during his four-year pro career, Linares can fight, and he’s got the credentials to win.
In contrast, Ryan is still wet behind the ears, and the fighter that he’s been facing are guys that Linares would quickly destroy. Ryan is 21-0, but Linares would have an identical record if he fought the same fighters.
Hector Tanajara and Mercito Gesta new options for Ryan Garcia
Instead of Linares facing Ryan Garcia, his ESPN states that his options for his next fight are these two fighters: Hector Tanajara and veteran Mercito Gesta.
The 23-year-old Tanajara (19-0, 5 KOs) is a fringe contender in the 135-pound division. He’s not much of a puncher, but he’s got excellent boxing skills. Tanajara isn’t the same kind of threat to
Ryan Garcia as the 34-year-old Linares, but that’s the whole point. Golden Boy doesn’t want Ryan beaten, so they’re not going to put him in with anyone too dangerous at this point. They’re trying to turn Ryan into a star, and it takes time and careful match-making to do that.
Tanajara’s best wins have come against these fighters: Juan Carlos Burgos and Robert Manzanarez. The 32-year-old Burgos is someone that has been around and has fought the likes of Mikey Garcia, Devin Haney, Roman Martinez, and Hozumi Hasegawa. Tanajara beat him by a 10 round unanimous decision last January in San Antonio, Texas.
Super featherweight Mercito Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs) was at one time a top prospect with Top Rank. Some believed for a while that Gesta was the next Manny Pacquiao. However, Gesta’s star dimmed after he was thrown in with IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez in December 2012, and he lost a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision.
Gesta seemed to freeze against Vazquez, and he didn’t let his hands go. For the boxing fans that remember watching that fight, Gesta looked utterly lost inside the ring with Vazquez, and he didn’t belong.
After that loss, Gesta never regained his footing with his career. Gesta would later lose to Linares and Juan Antonio Rodriguez. He also has had several draws.
Holding back Ryan Garcia is not easy
Golden Boy Promotions don’t want to rush Ryan Garcia by having him face the lions in the 135-pound division. He’s not making it easy for them with his nonstop trash-talking and calling out Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Devin Haney. Those are talented fighters, and Golden Boy isn’t ready to let Ryan anywhere near them.
It’s not a good idea for Ryan Garcia to continue to name drop Haney and Tank Davis’ names if he’s not going t be fighting either of them anytime soon. The fans will quickly grow tired of hearing Ryan drone on about how he can beat them, and they’ll tune him out.
It would be smart for Golden Boy to let Ryan know that he needs to talk about the fighters that they plan on matching him with rather than on the top guys that he may not face for another three to five years.
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Ryan doesn’t need to name drop for him to have a massive following of casual boxing fans. He’s already shown that he can gain followers by blasting out the fringe level guys that Golden Boy is matching him with.
Ryan Garcia trains with coach Eddy Reynoso out of the same gym as Canelo Alvarez. Having a trainer like Reynoso is an excellent thing for Ryan, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be a world-beater.
Reynoso is a good coach, but he’s not a miracle worker. Not everyone Reynoso trains turns into superstars, and there’s a lot of doubts about whether Ryan Garcia will be able to hold it together once he starts facing good fighters in the future.
As of now, all we have to go by is how Ryan performed against Carlos Morales in 2018. Ryan looked flustered with Morales’ pressure, and the hard shots he was getting hit with.
To say that Morales exposed Ryan Garcia in that fight is an understatement. What Morales showed in that fight is if you can land shots on Ryan, he becomes very average, and he’s not at the same level as the elite lightweights like Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
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