By: Hans Themistode
It appeared as though Ryan Garcia was well on his way to having his breakout year.
After peeling himself up off the deck for the first time in his career against Luke Campbell on the second day of the new year, Garcia went on to score the seventh-round stoppage win. Although big-time fights were lined up in the coming months, the 23-year-old spent a protracted amount of time sequestered on the sidelines as he dealt with mental health issues.
Once he felt fit and able, Garcia was set to return to the ring against Joseph Diaz. However, due to a right wrist injury that required surgery, Garcia is now out for the remainder of the year. But while he continues to work diligently towards his return, Garcia already knows who he wants to take on next.
“My return fight, I’ll fight [George] Kambosos,” said Garcia on his social media account.
Before this past Saturday night, Kambosos Jr. was viewed as an extraneous name in the lightweight division. Though the Australian native sported an undefeated record through 19 professional fights, little to no one expected much from him during his upcoming showdown against former unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez.
Nevertheless, Kambosos Jr. stormed into Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City, Lopez’s hometown, and went on to drop and ultimately outwork the 24-year-old before a stunned crowd.
Following his improbable victory, it was revealed that, unlike most championship showdowns, there was no rematch clause. Meaning, Kambosos Jr. is free to do whatever he pleases. Presently, the 29-year-old Aussie has yet to make his intentions clear about the direction of his career. Instead, after beating the odds, he’ll make his way back to Australia and enjoy the fruits of his labor. At least, temporarily.
As for Garcia, a return to the ring appear on the cards for the first quarter of 2022. And while he has audaciously stepped forward as a willing participant for Kambosos Jr.’s first title defense, first things first as the 24-year-old believes what the unlikely unified champion has accomplished deserves its moment in the sun.
“Massive respect to Kambosos for that performance. Honestly, you deserve it and all love. Go celebrate.”
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