By Jim Calfa: Ryan Garcia says he wanted to face undisputed lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. for his tune-up fight after returning from his right wrist injury. Still, they want him to fight someone else first, so he’ll face Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz in April.
Boxing fans think Ryan is making a big mistake by electing to fight the 23-year-old Pitbull Cruz next because this guy gave WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis massive problems this month in their fight on December 5th in Los Angeles, coming close to beating him.
Many people thought Pitbull Cruz should have had his hand raised because he was all over Tank the entire contest, nailing him with body shots and forcing him to fight harder than he ever has.
Ryan Garcia wanted Kambosos for a tune-up
“I want to go right after Kambosos. I told my team I wanted to jump right in and get him. It’s not going to happen. People want me to fight [another fighter] first, but it’s OK. I understand,” said Ryan Garcia to World Boxing News on his comeback fight.
“I really wanted to get them [Kambosos and Pitbull Cruz] in the ring with me. And I just felt both of them are good comeback fights for me,” Garcia said.
Interestingly, the former WBC interim lightweight champion King Ry views the unbeaten Kambosos as a tune-up level opponent. Still, Ryan has sized up the Australian and doesn’t view him as being in the same league as the talented guys at 135, like Gervonta Davis and Vasily Lomachenko.
Kambosos won his four lightweight titles with a big upset of Teofimo Lopez on November 27th. Teofimo (16-1, 12 KOs) was injured and looked like a classic example of a weight drained fighter.
Draining down from a muscular 157 lbs to 135 lbs for the Kambosos fight didn’t help, but the straw that broke the camel’s back for Teo was his throat and lung problems. It was the perfect storm for the 25-year-old Teofimo, and he wasn’t physically capable of performing at the level he’d been known for in the past.
Ryan Garcia knows what he sees in Kambosos and recognizes that he’s someone that he would beat with ease if given a chance to fight him.
Ryan Garcia wanted Kambosos for a tune-up
Provided that the 23-year-old Ryan’s surgically repaired right wrist makes it through training camp for the fight against the tough Pitbull Cruz (22-2-1, 15 KOs), the two will be meeting in the first quarter of 2022 in a headliner fight on DAZN.
Kambosos wants WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney for his next fight, a move that will allow him to call himself the undisputed champion in the 135-lb division. Also, it’s an easier fight for Kambosos than if he were to face Gervonta Davis, Vasily Lomachenko, or Ryan Garcia. Those guys would likely reduce Kambosos to a pile of rubble on the canvas.
According to Chris Mannix, Ryan’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions don’t favor him facing Isaac Cruz for his first fight back after his one-year layoff and right-hand injury. Still, they’re going along with it because this is a match that King Ry wants.
Pitbull Cruz = perfect fight for Ryan Garcia
“It’s perfect for me. I’ve seen that style a million times,” said Ryan Garcia about Isaac Cruz’s fighting style.
“Cruz lost to Tank, but a lot of people thought he won. There are a lot of people saying Cruz is going to beat me. We are looking forward to that fight,” said Garcia.
With all Ryan’s recent talking of fighting “C-class” Pitbull Cruz, he’s going to look bad if his promoters at Golden Boy fail to deliver this fight.
Garcia has already come up empty recently in talking about wanting to fight these fighters:
- Gervonta Davis
- Javier Fortuna
- Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr.
- Manny Pacquiao
- Devin Haney
Ryan had been scheduled to fight Fortuna on July 9th in a headliner on DAZN, but he pulled out of the match due to mental health problems. After that, Ryan was scheduled to battle Jojo Diaz Jr. in the main event in November, but the match fell apart after Ry suffered a hand injury.
It’s not the end for Ryan if he loses
Many boxing fans believe Ryan dropped out of Fortuna and Jojo fights due to a case of nerves. Whatever the reason, only Ryan knows the truth, and it’s vital that he NOT pull out of his battle with Pitbull Cruz.
If Ryan does have problems with his nerves, he’s got to stick it out to the bitter end against Cruz, regardless of how nervous he might be about this fight.
Ryan’s net worth is estimated at $10 million, so it’s not going to be the end of the world for him if Pitbull Cruz beats him into meteor dust next April.
Golden Boy can rebuild Ryan and have him start from the beginning to work him back to where he is now by fighting four to five times per year the way Canelo Alvarez used to do when he first rated out.