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Oscar De La Hoya working on “HUGE” fight for Ryan Garcia

Image: Oscar De La Hoya working on "HUGE" fight for Ryan Garcia

By Jeff Aronow: Golden Boy Promotions boss Oscar De La Hoya says he’s working on a “Huge” fight for Ryan Garcia. De La Hoya isn’t saying who the opponent will be for the former interim WBC lightweight champion Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs), but it’s not expected to be Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz.

What’s essential is that Ryan doesn’t face a puncher in his first fight back, as he looked fragile in his last fight against Luke Campbell the previous year in January. Campbell isn’t a big puncher by any means, yet he dropped Ryan Garcia like a bad habit in the second round.

What was worrisome is Ryan looked like he was briefly out of it as he was falling. Campbell said later that he believed Ryan lost consciousness from the left hand he planted him with.

That being the case, it makes it crucial that Ryan Garcia NOT face a puncher like ‘Pitbull’ Cruz because he hits harder than Campbell, and he would be all over him, forcing an inside fight.

Joseph  Diaz could be Ryan’s opponent

The “huge” fight that De La Hoya claims to be working on for Ryan Garcia could be former IBF super featherweight champion Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr., who is signed with Oscar’s company and volunteered to take the fight last week.

Ryan Garcia vs. Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. obviously wouldn’t fit the description of being a “Huge” fight, but you can’t blame De La Hoya for trying to hype it up.

He is, after all, a promoter, so it’s his job to try and artificially pump up fights, even if they’re lackluster ones like this one would be.

This writer hopes that De La Hoya has found someone better than Jojo Diaz for Ryan to fight next because this isn’t a great fight,  not for Golden Boy and particularly not for DAZN.

Unless De La Hoya believes boxing fans have amnesia and can’t remember Jojo Diaz Jr’s recent loss at the hands of Devin Haney on December 4th, they’re not going to be thrilled at hearing that Jojo is Ryan’s next opponent.

The timing would be terrible, as Diaz Jr. is coming off a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision loss to WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney on December 4th.

Ryan gains nothing by fighting Jojo Diaz Jr. unless he knocks him out, and that’s not likely to happen because he’s got a strong chin.

Diaz Jr. lacks power, hand speed, and defense, making him the ideal opponent for Ryan Garcia’s next fight.

If you were Dr. Frankenstein and wished to create the perfect opponent for Ryan to fight in April, you might assemble Joseph ‘Jojo’Diaz Jr. for King Ry to look good against in his comeback.

Jojo ticks all boxes for the type of opponent that Golden Boy is likely looking for to face Ryan after his long layoff and poor showing against Luke  Campbell.

Jojo Diaz Jr. looked pedestrian-level in loss to the light-hitting Haney last December, but maybe that’s what Golden Boy wants for Ryan.

Diaz is the type of fighter that Ryan can beat, and what makes it all the more likely that he’s the one picked, Golden Boy promotes him. In other words, Ryan vs. Jojo Diaz would be an in-house fight for Golden Boy.

Image: Oscar De La Hoya working on "HUGE" fight for Ryan Garcia

In what has to be seen as a telling move, De La Hoya retweeted Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr’s post on January 7th, in which he volunteered to take the fight with Ryan Garcia next.

For De La Hoya to Retweet Jojo’s post makes it seem evident that he’s the one that he wants Ryan to fight next.

Moreover, there was already talk on social media that the fighter that Golden Boy wanted was Jojo Diaz Jr., and they weren’t going to make the fight with the dangerous ‘Pitbull’ Cruz for apparent reasons.

Better options for Ryan Garcia’s April fight:

  • Isaac Cruz
  • Michel Rivera
  • Rolando Romero
  • Vasily Lomachenko
  • William Zepeda
  • Richard  Commey
  • Masayoshi Nakatani
  • Jorge Linares
  • Regis Prograis
  • Jose Zepeda
  • Jose  Pedraza

Isaac Cruz is not getting Ryan Garcia fight

Pitbull is too talented, and it would be a massive risk for them to allow Ryan Garcia to fight him. Ryan is coming off a hand injury, mental health issues, and a 15-month layoff for those who don’t know. That’s a sour mix of problems that Ryan has heading into his next fight, which he says is “not a comeback.

Dan Rafael reported this week that two of the options that Golden Boy is looking at for Ryan’s next fight in April are Mercito Gesta and Saul Rodriguez. Ryan says the reports of him fighting either of those two are “Not true,” but he isn’t saying who he could be facing.

It might not be true that Ryan is fighting Gesta or Rodriguez next, but if it’s Jojo Diaz as his next opponent, he’s not much better than either of those guys.

Image: Oscar De La Hoya working on "HUGE" fight for Ryan Garcia

That was the opponent that Ryan, 23, had expressed interest in fighting next. However, De La Hoya blew that idea out of the water when he announced last week that Pitbull Cruz had rejected a “very lucrative offer.”

Cruz’s promoter Sean Gibbons would reply to De La Hoya, criticizing him for putting out a “falsehood” about Pitbull turning down the offer made to him.

Gibbons then told Ryan that if he’s serious about wanting to fight ‘Pitbull’ Cruz, they were ready to make him a big offer. That message to Ryan was on January 6th, and things have gone quiet since, which could mean only one thing. The fight isn’t happening.

Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe predicted way back in December that Golden Boy wouldn’t let Ryan fight Pitbull Cruz, and he turned out to be correct.

At some point, Golden Boy will need to put Ryan in with a talented fighter like Isaac Cruz, and when that happens, I’m afraid that King Ry will fail spectacularly.

There’s only so much a promoter can do to shield their flawed fighters. Eventually, they’ve got to put them in a sink or swim situation and let the cards fall where they may.




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