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Ryan Garcia could face Mercito Gesta or Saul Rodriguez next in April

Image: Ryan Garcia could face Mercito Gesta or Saul Rodriguez next in April

By Dan Ambrose: Ryan Garcia will be returning to the ring in April against possibly Mercito Gesta or Saul Rodriguez rather than Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz. Gesta and Saul would be tune-ups for Ryan to get his bearings back before he resumes facing top-tier lightweights.

If Ryan faces Gesta or Saul Rodriguez, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe will likely be saying, ‘I told you so,’ because he predicted that King Ry wouldn’t fight a dangerous guy like Pitbull Cruz, and that would take an easy mark. It looks like Ellerbe was right with his prediction.

Golden Boy Promotions couldn’t or wouldn’t put a fight together between Ryan and Pitbull Cruz for April, but it’s not all that shocking that it’s not happening.

Ryan Garcia is not ready for Pitbull Cruz

That was a good move by Golden Boy not to make the fight between Ryan and Pitbull because they probably saved King Ryan from an inevitable knockout loss.

Sooner or later, Golden Boy will need to begin matching Ryan against quality opposition, and he’ll eventually get exposed if he doesn’t improve. It’s kind of hard for Ryan to improve when he’s fighting only once a year and pulling out of fights left and right for various reasons.

Image: Ryan Garcia could face Mercito Gesta or Saul Rodriguez next in April

Pitbull has proven himself against the best in his fights with Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Francisco ‘El Bandito’ Vargas. Ryan is NOT ready for a fighter Pitbull Cruz’s caliber, and it’s questionable whether he ever will.

The way Cruz looked against Tank and Vargas, Ryan wouldn’t stand a chance against him. Someone at Golden Boy had their eyes open and likely concluded that it would be a bad idea if they let Ryan fight Isaac Cruz.

Cruz is the real deal. There’s a lot of doubt whether Ryan will pan out as a boxer because he’s more of a social media guy right now.

In Ryan’s most brutal fight to date against Carlos Morales in 2018, he was arguably beaten but won a questionable decision. Pitbull Cruz would likely destroy Carlos Morales. That fight wouldn’t be competitive.

The 34-year-old Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs) and 28-year-old Rodriguez (24-1-1, 18 KOs) are two of the names being looked at by Golden Boy for the 23-year-old King Ry to fight in his first fight back in 15 months, according to Dan Rafael.

King Ry missed out in 2021

Ryan has had injuries and mental health issues that have sidelined him since his win over Luke Campbell in January 2021.

Although Ryan could have fought Javier Fortuna, Gervonta Davis, and Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. last year, a combination of injuries, mental health problems, and losing interest led to him missing out on some great opportunities.

In hindsight, it was a good thing that Ryan didn’t fight any of those guys because he’d likely have lost to all of them.

Those guys are more challenging and far more experienced than Ryan, who has been brought along against second-tier opposition virtually his entire career until his last fight against Campbell last January. Ryan didn’t look good against Campbell, getting knocked down by the British fighter.

The southpaw Gesta was a fighter that some boxing fans were high on ten years ago in 2011. Still, after he was soundly beaten by then IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in December 2012, his career quickly went downhill, and he’s done nothing since.

Besides his one-sided loss to Vazquez, Gesta was beaten by Jorge Linares and Juan Antonio Rodriguez.

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