By: Sean Crose
“Appreciate you,” the young man in the ESNews video says as he hugs the woman, “appreciate you.” Appreciate is a word the young man knows well, for judging by the crowd in the footage, he is appreciated by a lot of people. It’s good to be Ryan Garcia, make no mistake about it. With a fight coming up next month and a possible superbout with Gervonta Davis shimmering just over the horizon, the twenty-three year old power punching social media notable looks exactly like what he is in the video…a rising star. Seriously. Up and coming musicians don’t get the kind of attention Garcia is getting from his already large fan base.
“I’ve always predicted great things about him from an early age,” Joe Goosen, Garcia’s trainer has said, “and I stand by those predictions.” With his combination of looks, talent, showmanship and undefeated record (22-0), Garcia just might have the chance to become a household name. “He’s got the it factor,” Goosen claimed. Whether or not the it factor will lead to the California native becoming the face of post-Mayweather boxing remains to be seen. He hasn’t fought the creme de la creme of competition yet, so there’s no use jumping on a hype train. Still, watching the reaction to those gathered to see Garcia in that ES News video is telling. Here is a fighter who is not just respected but well liked. That’s a fine distinction.
How man fighters have truly been well liked, after all? Pacquiao for sure. Leonard certainly. Ali was certainly well liked, though he had his detractors. Who else? Joe Louis? Alexis Arguello? The list is most certainly thin. Garcia, however, appears to be in that camp. Of course he’s not as adored as any of the aforementioned legends were – at least not yet. These men were proven commodities after all, who earned the large scale reactions they received. Garcia clearly isn’t there yet – but he seems on his way. All he has to do is keep winning…but that’s easier said than done.
Garcia is clearly the favorite walking into his fight with Javier Fortuna on July 16th. Provided he wins, though, what next? He obviously has Gervonta Davis on his mind. Davis is some kind of fighter, though. There’s no guarantee the 23 year old known as “King Ry” could pull off the win. Then there’s the other big names in an around Garcia’s weight class – Devin Haney, Vasyl Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, George Kambosos. Can Garcia beat all of them? No one really knows. The guy seems eager to find out, though – which is probably one of the reasons why he finds himself being so popular.
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