Andre Ward says Ryan Garcia should fight Gervonta, not Pacquiao

By Boxing News - 01/29/2021 - Comments

By Allan Fox: Andre Ward says he doesn’t like the way Ryan Garcia called out Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and has backed out so that he can fight Manny Pacquiao in an exhibition. Ward believes that Ryan should back up his word and face Tank after calling him out.

In general, fans have a lot of problems with how Ryan (21-0, 18 KOs) called out Tank repeatedly and then surprised him by saying he’s going to face Pacquiao instead. That move by Ryan made him look silly in the eyes of a lot of fans.

The near-obsession that Ryan had about his goal of wanting to fight Tank was disturbing, but what’s worse is how quickly he backed out when he was the chance for a fight with Manny.

What’s unclear is if Pacquiao is the one that approached Ryan or if this a move initiated by Golden Boy Promotions. They have to have known after watching Ryan get dropped by the non-puncher Luke Campbell on January 2nd; he wouldn’t stand a chance against Tank Davis.

Was it Pacquiao that chose to step in front of Tank to take the fight away from him against Ryan, or was this a Golden Boy move?

Ryan Garcia needs to back up his word

“I don’t have any problem with any fighter milking the game for what it’s worth,” said Ward on Ryan, wanting to make big money right away in his career.

Image: Andre Ward says Ryan Garcia should fight Gervonta, not Pacquiao

“I don’t have a problem with that because oftentimes fighters are underpaid, and there are very few opportunities for a fighter to get overpaid,” said Andre Ward to ESPN on Ryan Garcia choosing to fight Manny Pacquiao rather than Tank Davis.

“Whether it’s a younger fighter or an older fighter, get our money, get as much as you can. The issue that I do take with this. Ryan Garcia, you mention him calling out Gervonta Davis.

“I feel like if you’re going to call someone out the way that he has, you got to back that up and back up your word,” said Ward.

It does look weak on Ryan’s part that he backed out of the Tank fight. When you say you’re going to do something and fail to follow through, that says something about your character.

It looks bad for Tank because he wasted his time talking back and forth with Ryan thinking he was going to fight him. Now he’s being told that he’s pushed to the side. If Tank knew that Ryan would flake on him, he would have ignored him and saved himself the aggravation.

Ryan will be in the same position as Conor McGregor is after his recent knockout loss at UFC 257.

McGregor has now lost out on a payday against Pacquiao that would have been much bigger than what he made against his UFC opponent. In hindsight, McGregor shouldn’t have taken that fight.

Ryan will still get a big payday against one of the top fighters after Pacquiao beats him. If not Tank, it’ll be someone like Teofimo or Devin Haney.

Ward sees holes in King Ryan’s game

“If your Oscar De La Hoya and Team Garcia, what is the plan for this young fighter?” Ward said. “He’s not a fighter who has 12 or 13 years of experience where he can kind of call his own shots.

Image: Andre Ward says Ryan Garcia should fight Gervonta, not Pacquiao

“He needs to be guided at the right pace, and he needs to fight the right fights at the right time.

“Even though he stopped [Luke] Campbell in his defense, and I saw those holes before that fight took place. He keeps his chin high in the air, and he makes a lot of defensive flaws.

“You don’t want to make a lot of defensive mistakes, even though he’s older, against a Manny Pacquiao, who has a devastating left hand. If that left hand connects on the chin of Ryan Garcia, he’s going to have a whole lot of problems,” said Ward.

Luke Campbell exposed tons of holes in Ryan’s game in their fight this month, and those are flaws that have been there since the start of his carer.

YouTube video

Ryan’s new trainer Eddy Reynoso is more of a tactical type of coach than someone that can work around a fighter’s weaknesses. Reynoso isn’t going to be able to create power in Ryan’s weak right arm, and he’s not going to give him leg strength.

These are things that you are born with, and that’s not much Reynoso will be able to do to fix those flaws.

The only thing Reynoso can do is help Ryan pick opponents that he can beat, but it looks like he’s on a cash-out mission to get the money fast before retirng at 26.

Ryan’s excuse for not fighting Tank

“You get a call and somebody says, ‘You can fight Manny Pacquiao.’ What are you going to say to that?” said Ryan to ESPN Deportes on why he chose to back out of the Tank fight.

Image: Andre Ward says Ryan Garcia should fight Gervonta, not Pacquiao

“Your hero, one of your heroes, one of the people that you’ve looked up to, and they say you have an opportunity to fight him? I couldn’t say no,” said Ryan.

Of course, Ryan could have said no. Pacquiao isn’t going anywhere in the next six months. Even if Ryan had taken the fight with Tank first, Pacquiao would have still there and likely willing to fight him.

We saw Ryan getting hit with the same shots that Campbell was hitting him with in his fight against Carlos Morales in 2018.

There’s no improvement in Ryan’s game, and there won’t be because he lacks the leg strength and power in his right arm. It’s strange how weak Ryan’s right arm is in comparison to his left.

Ryan will have a built-in excuse from a tactical point if he loses to Pacquiao compared to if he gets beaten by Tank. If Ryan loses to Pacquiao, he can say that he was beaten by a boxing legend, who has captured eight-division world titles.

Ryan can still fight Tank and get a second big payday after he loses to Pacquiao. It wouldn’t work the other way around, though. If Ryan gets destroyed by Tank, Pacquiao won’t want to fight him.