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Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia: The problems keeping fight from getting done”

Image: Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia: The problems keeping fight from getting done"

By Jack Tiernan: We could find out this week if the Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis vs. Ryan Garcia fight will go ahead for January or not. Thus far, they’ve agreed pretty much on the money side, as well as the 136-lb catchweight.

Chris Mannix is reporting that two sides still need to overcome a significant hurdle involving the networks, DAZN and Showtime.

For the Tank-Ryan fight to take place, Mayweather Promotions and PBC will need to give Showtime authorization to make this a dual pay-per-view involving DAZN.

If they choose not to do that, the fight can’t take place, and Tank (27-0, 25 KOs) will likely be reduced to defending his WBA secondary lightweight title in a rematch against Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz, who he already beat last year.

It would be a retread fight, and the boxing public won’t be happy, and neither will Tank. He’s watching other lightweights getting the better fights while he’s stuck fighting a lot of washed-up guys or fighters that boxing fans aren’t interested in seeing him in against.

If Tank doesn’t fight Ryan (23-0, 19 KOs) now, he could miss out on his chance to be the first one to defeat the popular social media star before he gets worked over by the top 140-pounders.

Once Ryan begins fighting quality light welterweights, his unbeaten record is likely to come to a grinding halt because those guys hit a lot harder than the lesser opposition that he’s been facing thus far.

Mayweather Promotions could regret not making the fight with Ryan because they’re running out of competition on the PBC to match against Tank at 135.

“There is a broad deal between Ryan Garcia and Tank Davis, and what I mean by a broad agreement,” said Chris Mannix to Fighthype. “They have agreed to most of the financial terms, whether it’s the guarantees for both fighters, the split of the percentages of pay-per-view revenue, which is often a significant obstacle to overcome.

“They’ve agreed to the weight. It would be at 136 pounds, which is one pound above where Tank usually campaigns at.

“Ryan has been at 135, but fought his last fight at 140. He would come back down to towards the weight class for the fight. They’ve also agreed to a tentative date, which is January in Las Vegas. That’s what they’ve agreed on.

“The next big obstacle is how you get past the broadcast issues. DAZN has done most of Ryan Garcia’s fights since he started elevating his game three or four years ago.

“Now we’re waiting to see what happens if these two networks can get together and find an equitable arrangement. Is it possible? Of course, it’s possible.

“Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder did it with two fights that were huge fights and enormous successes. Even though Wilder lost, I think we’d both agree that he was elevated in those moments, going toe-to-toe with Tyson Fury.

“Both of those were on FOX and ESPN pay-per-view, and it worked out well seemingly for everybody. So it absolutely can be done, but what it’s going to take is for both sides to understand that this fight, in all likelihood, can’t get done unless both of these networks are involved.

“I don’t believe that we are there yet. In an ideal world, DAZN would put this fight on by itself. In an ideal world, for them, Showtime would put on this pay-per-view by itself.

“DAZN, they have made it clear that they’re willing to do the shared pay-per-view model that we talked about. Look, if contracts were agreed to for Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, that would have been a dual pay-per-view with BT Sport and DAZN.

“They understand what goes into making a deal like this happen, and they’re willing to do it. Showtime wants to do it by themselves. I think the greater piece of information here is that in the discussions between Tank’s side and Ryan’s side, it has been presented from Tank’s side that this being a Showtime pay-per-view.

“What I’ve been told is Showtime has not been authorized to negotiate a co-pay-per-view. They’ve been told, ‘This is what we’re offering Ryan Garcia. This is the way it is.’

“What I would hope to see happen in the next couple of days is Stephen Espinoza of Showtime, the people on that side, receive the go-ahead from Al Haymon and PBC to find a co-promotional deal. I just don’t see how this fight gets done without both networks being involved.

“This is why I can’t handle the Jake Paul criticism because boxing could eliminate Jake Paul in a heartbeat if they just made big fights.

“Who would be talking about Jake Paul if we had Spence and Crawford on the table for November if we had Tank-Ryan on the table for January?

Boxing created a lane for Jake Paul to drive his Corvette through, and he’s done exactly that. This is obviously a very different situation than Crawford-Spence. Crawford-Spence were aligned on the network partner.

“It was going to be a Showtime pay-per-view in November. They just couldn’t agree on the money. This deal, the money, for the most part, has been largely agreed to. They just can’t figure out the network.

“I have been told by people on both sides that this is a significant week for it. Like they have got to find a way to make progress on this deal on the network side, or else you’re going to see very quickly both sides go in a different direction.

“That could mean an Isaac Cruz rematch for Gervonta Davis. For Ryan Garcia, it’s a little more murkier. He’s now fighting at 140, and we’ll see who they [Golden Boy Promotions] want to put him in with at that weight class.

“It’ll be a pretty big letdown for both of their next fights if we don’t get Ryan-Tank over the finish line. I don’t have the percentages to be able to report them anyway. I do know that Ryan’s side has acknowledged that Tank is the A-side in all of this.

“That was expressed to me. They know that Tank is the bigger side, the A-side, in these negotiations. Tank’s numbers speak for themselves. He is a proven draw at the box office. He does solid numbers on pay-per-view.

“Ryan is getting there. He’s drawing pretty big crowds himself, doing seven-figure gates himself. He’s not been on a pay-per-view yet but does significant numbers on DAZN on its streaming service.

“But they know Tank is the A-side in all of this. This is one of those things where the hope is that the two sides coming to an agreement financially so that there can be some pressure applied from the network side to get this done.

“I understand why both networks need to be involved. Showtime for 11 fights has done a phenomenal job of building Tank into the star he is today. On the same side, DAZN has invested a lot of money into Ryan Garcia.

“So why should they sit on the sidelines when Ryan takes the fanbase and takes what he’s built on DAZN to another network? Again, it’s not very complicated. We know that. You and I both know that.

“You can make a deal involving multiple networks on a pay-per-view platform. It is not a difficult thing to do. Hopefully, in the next few days, a week at most, we see some progress there.

“If you think about it, outside of a Joshua-Fury fight next year, there’s no bigger fight in boxing, at least commercially. Spence-Crawford, for the boxing purists, is a bigger fight.

“It would establish arguably the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in all of boxing, but this is a monster. It does bring together two very different fanbases, who are both passionately in support of their fighters.

“It’ll do a gate well access of ten million dollars wherever it goes. I would argue well north of 500,000 pay-per-view buys. I think there’s that big of an audience for both these guys to do that kind of number.

“You just got to get together. You’ve got to come to the table to find a way to make it work. There’s too much money for everybody to make in getting this fight done,” said Mannix.

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