By: Sean Crose
“The young man in the video stands in the sunlight signing autographs,” I wrote at the time, “a crowd of people clustered before him. He is polite, this young man, polite, good looking and rather gracious, never once losing patience with his fans.” So popular was this individual, that he had to be led away from those who had gathered in front of him. “The young man allows himself to be led away,” I continued, “but gives no sense that he has been rescued from an annoying throng. Indeed, he appears to enjoy the adulation. He is nothing if not gracious.”
The young man was, of course, Ryan Garcia, “King Ry” – internet celebrity, brand spokesperson, and knockout artist. Since the time I penned that piece last summer Garcia has gone on to knock out Javier Fortuna and signed onto the biggest fight in years – a scheduled twelve round battle with the rightfully feared multi-titlist Gervonta Davis. With hoped for mega fights between the likes of Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Terence Crawford and Errol Spence falling through in recent months, a bout between two young, popular, and explosive fighters like Garcia and Davis is a deep breath of fresh air for long suffering boxing fans.
Although he’s never fought for a world title, 24 year old Los Angeles native Garcia claims that he’s going for big things – and if a world title isn’t a big enough thing, then a world title can wait. The truth at the moment is that there are few things in combat sports bigger than the Davis-Garcia fight going down in just over a week at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The match will be the main event of a Pay Per View broadcast that’s expected to bring in a lot of eyeballs and dollars. It may not bring down the mint that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao earned during their heydays, but; should this fight prove to he highly successful, it’s a good sign for things to come.
For both fighters bring with them crossover appeal, Garcia in particular. Being a handsome guy has it’s benefits, after all. And Garcia, faithful yet with plenty of swagger, gracious yet bordering on being overly confident, may well have the “it” factor. Before he can move on to his glory days, however, Garcia must first get past Davis – and that, frankly, is no easy task. Looked at objectively, the upcoming Davis-Garcia fight is considerably more likely to end with Davis’ hand being raised in victory than Garcia’s. Garcia, though, doesn’t seem troubled by such assessments. And with good reason. Even a good showing could work in the Californian’s favor. Rematches can be legendary things, after all.
Not that Garcia has any plans of losing to Davis. To the contrary, Garcia appeared serenely confident during a public workout this week of his own impressive ability. The question now is whether such confidence will transfer into victory come April 22nd. The world will find out soon enough. As, of course, will Garcia.
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