By: Hans Themistode
Ryan Garcia has seemingly gone from prospect to contender.
This past weekend, Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) showed the world that he might be ready for another step forward in his career. His contest against Francisco Fonseca was supposed to end in a victory, but not in the way that it actually happened.
Garcia blew his man away with the very first punch that he landed. It was in many ways reminiscent of his performance against Romero Duno.
Garcia seems to be finally living up to the hype that has been surrounding his career since he first stepped on the scene four years ago. Everyone, including his promoter Oscar De La Hoya and good friend and superstar boxer, Canelo Alvarez, believe that Ryan Garcia is ready for the next step.
So let’s take a look at the next best opponents for Garcia to face next.
In the landscape of the Lightweight division, former Featherweight champion Lee Selby seems to be the forgotten man. Since losing his world titles to Josh Warrington back in 2015, he hasn’t been seen much.
You know the saying right? Out of sight, out of mind.
Well, since Selby has been out of sight from the public, he has also been erased from their minds as well.
Selby (28-2, 9 KOs) isn’t exactly the biggest name in the division but he certainly is one of the most skillful.
At this point, Selby must be chomping at the bit for a big fight. Needless to say, so is Ryan Garcia. Selby was last seen in the ring scraping by former champion Ricky Burns. That win did nothing for his profile. It might be unlikely, but if Selby can position himself for a contest against Garcia, the fans could see their favorite young star pushed to the edge.
Many of you were probably expecting to see former WBC Lightweight champion Devin Haney in this spot. The fact of the matter is, it is far too early in both fighters’ careers for it to take place now.
Garcia more than likely isn’t going to be matched up against Haney just yet. But he can still look towards a fight with another former world champion. Richard Commey. The former IBF belt holder needs a win.
Commey’s last ring appearance was one he would soon like to forget. It took just two rounds before he was seen laying flat on the canvas. He is a much better fighter than what he showed against Teofimo Lopez. Commey (29-3, 26 KOs) needs redemption, and Garcia needs a big name win on his resume. So in essence, they both need each other.
The sport of boxing isn’t just about matching up the best against the best. Often times there is a storyline underneath. In the case of former multiple division world champion Jorge Linares and his young counterpart Ryan Garcia, these two are on a collision course.
There’s a reason why both men fought on the same card this past weekend.
The reason? That’s an easy one.
To draw interest for a potential showdown between them.
With each fighter not only winning but doing so in spectacular fashion, it made this contest all but next for both men.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya also seems to have a target date in mind as well.
“I believe that if Linares wins tonight and Garcia wins tonight then it is a clash of titans,” said De La Hoya before Linares and Garcia entered the ring on Friday night. “I have already reserved the Staples Center for July so let’s see what happens.”
Well, with Linares and Garcia doing exactly what De La Hoya was hoping for, it seems like this one could and should be next.