Who should Ryan Garcia fight next? Tank Davis or Devin Haney?
By Jeff Aronow: Golden Boy Promotions and Ryan Garcia have a tough decision to make about his next fight following his harder than expected seventh-round knockout win over Luke Campbell last Saturday night.
Ryan wants to challenge WBA World lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) next, but that would be a perilous fight given how he performed against Campbell.
If the idea is for Ryan to make as much money possible, his promoters at Golden Boy needs to let the Tank fight marinate more.
Ryan needs more experience
If Golden Boy has faith in Ryan that he can keep winning long enough to delay the Tank Davis fight until 2022 or 2023, it could be a huge fight that he would have a better chance of winning.
Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) won the vacant WBC lightweight title with a left-hand body shot that he put the 33-year-old Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) down with in the seventh at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Rather than waiting to make a decision on who should be next, the 22-year-old ‘King’ Ryan immediately announced to the fans and the media that he wants the 26-year-old Davis next.
Ryan’s options if he doesn’t face Tank Davis next:
- Devin Haney
- Jorge Linares
- Vasily Lomachenko
- Richard Commey
- Javier Fortuna
- Felix Verdejo
It’s safe to say that Ryan Garcia and Golden Boy won’t consider facing Lomachennko. That would be a sure thing loss for Ryan if he takes that fight, and I think he knows that.
But if Ryan wanted to learn more and develop, a fight against Lomachenko would make sense. The way that Campbell had such an easy time hitting Ryan, fighting Lomachenko would be a disaster. Ryan isn’t ready for Lomachenko, even the injured version that we saw against Teofmo Lopez.
Ryan’s victory over Campbell made him the WBC mandatory for champion Haney (25-0, 15 KO). That fight is a direction that Ryan can go in if he chooses not to take the fight with Tank Davis next.
Haney might be a problem for Ryan if he elects to go in that direction, as he’s a talented boxer.
Devin is more than capable of beating Ryan by a decision, and that would ruin his dreams of big money fighting the likes of Tank and Teofimo Lopez.
The money won’t be nearly as good for Ryan in taking on WBC 135-lb champion Haney compared to what he’d get in facing Tank Davis for his WBA belt. So if Ryan loses to Haney, all the money that he would have made for a fight against Tank Davis or Teofimo will evaporate.
Ryan’s problems that he had against Campbell makes it uncertain that he can be counted on to beat a credible opponent like Jorge Linares, Richard Commey, or Javier Fortunate. Linares would be a real problem for Ryan Garcia.
Devin Haney surprised to see Ryan Garcia get dropped
“I’m disappointed that he’s not looking for Devin next, but we’ll be patient,” said Devin Haney’s dad Bill Haney to Fighthype about Ryan Garcia talking about wanting to fight Tank Davis next. “We’ll see how it goes. We’re interested in making a big fight happen. Devin is ready.
“He showed great character,” Bill said about Ryan getting up off the deck in the second round. “He’s a hell of a talent, and he makes the lightweight division exciting. He said he’s looking for Tank.
“I was shocked; I didn’t see it happening. Luke isn’t a big puncher,” said Devin Haney to Fighthype about his reaction to Ryan Garcia getting dropped in the second.
“It’s boxing. One punch can change a whole fight. He showed that he’s a true warrior and that he has heart and he has grit,” said Devin about Ryan getting up off the deck in the second round after getting dropped by Campbell.
“Ryan is my mandatory, and I got to see. They’re going to come. As long as I keep winning, they’re going to come,” said Devin about the big fights eventually heading his way.
Haney is probably licking his chops at the prospect of fighting Ryan right now, and it’s understandable why he wants to face him. That’s a fight that Haney likely wins with ease, as long as he doesn’t get hurt the way Campbell did.
Ryan is going to look bad in the eyes of the boxing public if he doesn’t face Tank or Haney next. For example, if Ryan chooses to fight Commey, Linares, or Javier Fortuna, the fans are going to view him as ducking those fights.
As long as Ryan can handle the criticism that he’ll receive from fans if he fails to face Haney or Davis next, he should go in a different direction.
Ryan’s fight against Campbell established the fact that he’s not ready to take on the likes of Tank or Devin. It’s academic at this point that Ryan isn’t ready for either of those fighters.
Safer choices for Ryan’s next fight:
- Rolando Romero
- Lee Selby
- Robert Easter Jr
- James Tennyson
- George Kambosos Jr
- Francesco Patera
- Denys Berinchyk
It wouldn’t be surprising if Ryan were to lose to at least a couple of those fighters. Tennyson is a huge puncher, and he’d be a problem for Ryan if he got hit too often by that guy.
But if Ryan can’t beat the guys at this level, he doesn’t belong inside the same ring with Lomachenko, Tank, Teofimo, or Haney.
After watching Ryan struggle last night against Campbell you can argue that he doesn’t belong inside the ring with those types of fighters. Ryan’s rightful place would be to be fighting the guys like Tennyson, Kambosos, Patera, and Easter Jr.
Ryan’s dad glad he had a tough time
“I’m so happy. I always tell my boys never to give up in life, and he took it to that level. I’m so proud,” said Ryan Garcia’s dad Henry Garcia to Fighthype.
“He’s always been on the other side [in always dominating his opposition]. This time, he had to learn it. If he didn’t learn it, it would never be taught to him.
“I’m so glad it happened, and I’m glad he came back and won. I always knew he had the heart. He always had the heart to say, ‘This is a fight. Let’s do it.’
“He took some good punches, but that’s what it’s all about. That’s boxing. You’re going to get hit. You’re either going to take it or you can’t,” said Henry Garcia.
It’s nice to see the positive spin that Ryan Garcia’s dad and former trainer Henry Garcia put on his performance against Campbell.
Rather than Henry viewing it as a sign that Ryan isn’t ready to fight the elite-level 135-pounders like Tank, Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, and Vasily Lomachenko, he’s viewing it as a learning thing that will make him better.
The problem with Henry failing to view the Campbell fight as a red flag for Ryan to let him know he’s not ready for the better fighters, he thinks it’s just a small thing that will make him better.
You can argue that we just witnessed Ryan hitting the ceiling for the type of opponent that he’s capable of beating at this stage in his career. For Ryan to attempt to go beyond that could be a disaster.
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- Gervonta Davis reacts to Ryan Garcia vs. Manny Pacquiao talk