By Sean Jones: Oscar De La Hoya says a fight between Ryan Garcia and undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez will be happening in 2021.
The Golden Boy Promotions CEO De La Hoya says Teofimo’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank has already called and had a conversation with Golden Boy president Eric Gomez about interest in making the Lopez vs. Garcia fight next year.
#1 WBO Ryan Garcia is the leading contender for Teofimo’s 135-lb title with the World Boxing Organization right now, and there will be a lot of interest in that fight happening in 2021.
Ryan (20-0, 17 KOs) has an important fight in front of him in less than two months on January 2nd against Luke Campbell on DAZN from the Fantasy Springs Casino, in Indio, California.
If the 22-year-old King Ryan Garcia loses to the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs), he can forget about a title shot against IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs).
Ryan Garcia vs. Teofimo Lopez in 2021
“I’m actually worried about Teofimo. I think it’ll be an amazing, amazing showdown when the time is right,” De La Hoya said to AK & Barak Show on DAZN about a fight between Ryan Garcia and Teofimo Lopez.
“And when I say the time is right, it’s going to be next year. It’s going to be a fight that is going to be a pleasure for me to be working with Bob Arum once again,” said De La Hoya.
Ryan also is interested in facing WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis in 2021.
That’s a fight that would be huge on pay-per-view if it happens, and Tank and his management at Mayweather Promotions want that fight. Ryan Garcia and Golden Boy need to decide which of these two champions – Tank or Teofimo – that they want to fight first?
There might be more money and fame for King Ryan to take on Teofimo right now, as he holds all four titles, and he’s seen as the #1 guy at 13 after his win over Vasily Lomachenko.
Tank hasn’t impressed in his last two fights against Leo Santa Cruz and Yuriorkis Gamboa, and he looked easy to hit. Another thing, Teofimo is a better trash talker and promoter than Tank, who gets tongue-tied during interviews.
With Tank, his promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr would likely take the lead in hyping up a fight between him and Ryan Garcia, and that would lead to some awkward moments.
It’s not as interesting as a fight between Ryan and Teofimo if it happens next year.
Can’t wait for January 2nd
— Ryan Garcia (@KingRyanG) November 30, 2020
Teofimo’s promoter Arum wants Ryan Garcia fight
“Bob Arum called my president Eric Gomez to pick his brain to see if we’re aligned with that same thought of matching them [Ryan Garcia and Teofimo Lopez] next year,” De La Hoya continued.
“Absolutely, Ryan Garcia is ready for anybody. Believe me, Ryan Garcia wants to fight the very best, and he wants to fight them soon. The question is literally, do these fighters want to fight him?” said De La Hoya.
Obviously, the top lightweights all want to fight the highly popular Ryan Garcia, and it’s unclear why De La Hoya would even cast doubts on that.
What may be an issue is the financial side of making these fights happen. Someone has got to be the A-side in the negotiations, and Teofimo isn’t going to take less than the challenger Ryan.
The best fights for Ryan at 135:
- Teofimo Lopez
- Gervonta Davis
- Devin Haney
- Vasily Lomachenko
- Jorge Linares
Ryan can’t afford to wait beyond 2021 to face Teofimo, as the New York native is quickly outgrowing the 135-lb division, and he’ll likely need to move up to 140 in 2022, if not in the second half of 2021.