Ryan Garcia Batters Emmanuel Tagoe, Wins Wide Decision
By: Hans Themistode
It was a picture-perfect start to Ryan Garcia’s 2021 fighting campaign.
The extremely confident 23-year-old showed resolve and heart by picking himself up off the deck against Luke Campbell to register a seventh-round knockout win. While Garcia was ultimately hoping that his victory would lead to a world title opportunity, he was forced to sit the remainder of the year on the sidelines thanks to a combination of mental health recovery and left wrist surgery.
Now, following roughly one year on the mend, Garcia made his return to the ring.
As the opening bell rang, Emmanuel Tagoe cautiously walked to the center of the ring. Meeting him there, of course, was a pumped-up Garcia. The former WBC interim lightweight titlist plodded slowly towards his man with his hands held high. Once in range, Garcia unloaded on several right hooks that found their mark.
Unwilling to stand there and exchange, Tagoe spent much of the period backpedaling. In the following round, Tagoe attempted to stand his ground, however, he paid dearly for his act of bravery. Garcia plowed forward and uncorked a stinging right hand that sent his man crashing down to the canvas.
Down early on the judge’s scorecards, Tagoe seemed determined to will himself back into it. The 33-year-old from Ghana upped his aggression in the fourth round but only to be met with a nonstop barrage of shots to both the head and body. Though he appeared more willing to stand and bang, Garcia picked Tagoe apart for much of the first half of their contest.
As the bell rang to signify the start of the second half, Tagoe appeared content with boxing, moving, and staying on the outside. Still, even with Tagoe’s defensive game plan, Garcia continued to push forward. In the eighth, a visibly tired Tagoe languished against the ropes. In doing so, the normally bombastic Garcia teed off during the period.
With no reprieve in sight, Tagoe spent the duration of their bout looking upward toward the clock. In the meanwhile, he continued to prance perpetually around the ring. At one point, an exasperated Garcia threw his hands in the air and urged his man to stand and fight, something Tagoe was unwilling to do.
While Garcia was unable to score the fight-ending blow, he did find himself on the winning end, scoring a wide unanimous decision win on the night.
Ryan Garcia Open To Teofimo Lopez Showdown At 140 Pounds
By: Hans Themistode
The next stop for Ryan Garcia appeared to be world title glory.
To kick off his 2021 campaign, Garcia waged an unforgettable war against perennial contender, Luke Campbell. With Garcia forced to peel himself up off the deck in the second round, the speedy 135-pound contender went on to punish Campbell, resulting in a second-round knockout victory.
Although the boxing world appeared to be his oyster, Garcia faded into the shadows due to a combination of mental health issues and subsequent right wrist surgery. Now, with the 23-year-old returning in full force in less than two weeks against Emmanuel Tagoe, he’s been the source of the perpetual criticism he’s endured for much of his career.
Throughout the entirety of Garcia’s time as a professional, he’s competed no higher than 135 pounds. However, for his upcoming showdown against Tagoe, the pair have agreed to square off at a catchweight of 139 pounds.
Despite the uproar, Garcia is bemused by the initial reaction. Considering that his showdown against Tagoe isn’t of significant importance, Garcia believes everyone is blowing things way out of proportion.
“I can make 135 if I want to,” said Garcia during an interview on Behind The Gloves. “Obviously he’s coming off a two-year layoff, I’m coming off a year and a half, why not do 139? It’s not for a title, there’s nothing really on the line. It’s just a fight.”
Regardless of the added weight, Garcia will waltz to the ring as a sizable favorite. Tagoe, although riding a 31 fight win streak, has failed to compete since November of 2020. In addition to his inactive schedule, Garcia will be considered the sternest test of his career.
In the end, Garcia is hoping that a victory over Tagoe will lead to bigger and better options down the line. Currently, the 135-pound division is stacked with well-known names that Garcia is clamoring to face. Amongst them, is former unified 135-pound titlist, Teofimo Lopez.
Recently though, Lopez was thrown from the 135-pound mountain top, suffering defeat at the hands of George Kambosos Jr. Since experiencing his first career blemish, Lopez has stated that his time as a 135 pounder is officially over.
As for Kambosos Jr., the rest of his 2022 could be wrapped up in back-to-back showdowns against Devin Haney. The two have verbally agreed to terms to face one another next in Melbourne Australia. Should Haney pick up the win, and become an undisputed world champion, he’ll be forced to face Kambosos Jr. again.
With those two off the table for now, Haney is turning his attention toward both Lopez and a familiar name as well.
“I don’t think Kambosos or Haney,” said Garcia when asked who he could possibly face later this year. “I don’t think you’ll see that but I think you have a better chance of seeing me fight Tank [Gervonta Davis] or Teofimo even, maybe do it at 140. Maybe those two are more likely than Haney and Kambosos because they’re going to be tied up. They have a rematch clause, they’re going to be going to Australia, you don’t know what can happen in the fight. There’s so much things that can happen.”
Oscar De La Hoya: “Eddy Reynoso Only Has Time For Canelo, That’s The Bottom Line”
By: Hans Themistode
Eddy Reynoso’s name often protrudes near the top of the coaching ranks.
At the moment, the multiple-time Trainer of the Year has led several fighters, including Canelo Alvarez and Oscar Valdez, to championship glory. In addition to being the head trainer to Alvarez and Valdez, Reynoso’s stable also includes undefeated heavyweight contender Frank Sanchez and former unified heavyweight titlist, Andy Ruiz Jr.
Considering the fighters Reynoso has under his wing, current welterweight contender, Vergil Ortiz Jr., was intrigued by the idea of joining forces. In somewhat of a test run, Ortiz Jr. parted ways with renowned trainer Robert Garcia and spent approximately one full month in San Diego, California, to be in close proximity to Reynoso’s gym.
Ultimately, Ortiz Jr. opted against sticking with Reynoso and instead, has decided to strengthen his boxing partnership with his father. The 23-year-old has also brought Manny Robles onboard as his co-trainer. While the highly ranked contender admits that he was initially fascinated by their possible partnership, he quickly realized that it wasn’t a good idea.
“Yes, there was some truth to it,” said Ortiz Jr. to a group of reporters when asked if he was interested in training with Reynoso. “I was at that gym for maybe three or four weeks. It just further proves my point that my dad was always my main trainer. We were the only ones in the gym for the most part. We didn’t get to see too much of Eddy. It’s towards the end of the year where it’s the holidays and I couldn’t get sparring either. It’s just like a very dead time for boxing. It was just really bad timing. So we were forced to go somewhere else.”
Much like Ortiz Jr., Ryan Garcia, a former 135 pound interim titlist, recently decided to end a near four-year partnership with Reynoso. Although Garcia reeled off five consecutive stoppage victories, Garcia grumbled about the lack of training time with Reynoso. Now, the flamboyant 135 pound contender will train under the guidance of Joe Goossen.
News of both Garcia and Ortiz Jr.’s decisions are backed heavily by Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes both fighters. In the opinion of Golden Boy Promotions leading man, Alvarez is Reynoso’s main and oftentimes, only focus.
“When the Virgil’s were thinking of going to Eddy Reynoso, I liked the idea because he has knowledge and training beside a great world champion like Canelo would’ve been great. But the only issue was the time. Eddy Reynoso has so many world champions, including the very best one. If Canelo tells Eddy ‘hey let’s go on vacation,’ he drops everything and he goes cause they’re best friends. It wouldn’t have been fair to Virgil or the fighters. We now see with Ryan, he went with Joe Goossen which is a great choice. It’s timing. Eddy Reynoso only has time for Canelo, that’s the bottom line.”
Ryan Garcia Claims Eddy Reynoso’s Lack Of Time, Not Bad Blood, Led To Split
By: Hans Themistode
Ryan Garcia and Eddy Reynoso appeared to be a match made in boxing Heaven.
Following Garcia’s majority decision victory over Carlos Morales in 2018, the California resident was in search of new life. While he was thankful to extend his undefeated record, Garcia was mostly disappointed in his performance.
In an effort to improve, Garcia sought the guidance of Reynoso. As a tandem, they would go on to blow out the competition. In addition to becoming a deadly puncher, Garcia secured the most impressive win of his career, a seventh-round stoppage over Luke Campbell in January of 2021. Immediately after, Reynoso beamed with joy, even going as far as to say that Garcia’s win over Campbell was the most satisfying of his career.
Ultimately, Garcia’s momentum went by the wayside as he was sidelined for the remainder of the year due to a combination of mental health recovery and right wrist surgery. During his time away from the ring, Canelo Alvarez, Reynoso’s star pupil, chastised Garcia and openly questioned his work ethic.
Although Garcia has recently opted to leave Reynoso’s stable to join forces with trainer Joe Goossen, the 23-year-old insists that lack of one on one care aided in their amicable split, nothing else.
“It had nothing to do with bad blood, or ego, or any hard feelings,” said Garcia during a self-recorded video. “It’s just time, knowing that Eddy is very busy and I respect it.”
Regardless of what took place behind the scenes, Garcia has no ill-will toward the multiple-time Trainer of the Year award winner.
Next up for the young star, is a date with fellow lightweight contender, Emmanuel Tagoe. The two are officially slated to square off on April 9th, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Though he’s viewed as a sizable favorite going in, considering how much Garcia wants to accomplish in his boxing career, he refuses to drop the ball during his return fight.
“You cannot ever take a fighter lightly. This is gonna be a good fight. We’re going to go forward. A world title, all the belts one day.”
Ryan Garcia Joins Forces With Joe Goossen, Parts Ways With Eddy Reynoso
By: Hans Themistode
The career of Ryan Garcia appeared to be plateauing in 2018. In September of said year, the highly touted California native eked out a close majority decision win over journeymen Carlos Morales. In an effort to take his game to the next level, Garcia sought the help of highly ranked trainer, Eddy Reynoso.
As a tandem, the pair reeled off five consecutive knockout victories, including a seventh-round stoppage over former lightweight title contender, Luke Campbell. During their showdown, Garcia was forced to pick himself up off the deck before scoring the knockout win.
Along the way, current pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez, Reynoso’s star pupil, cheered Garcia on. But, regardless of what appeared to be a partnership made in Heaven, Garcia has decided to end things abruptly.
“I’m excited to announce that I will now be working with Hall of Fame trainer Joe Goossen, in addition to my father, Henry Garcia,” said Garcia in a written statement. “Joe’s legendary career spans several decades working with championship fighters. I worked with Joe when I was growing up and the two of us have maintained a great relationship over the years. I can’t wait to pick back up where we left off and to continue this journey together.
“I would like to thank Eddy Reynoso for everything. Eddy has been in my corner since 2018 and I’ve learned a lot from him, both inside and out of the ring. We built an incredible friendship that I’ll always cherish. On behalf of my whole team, I wish Eddy continued success in his amazing career.”
Garcia’s decision to ultimately leave Reynoso in the dust comes with just two months remaining until he makes his ring return against Emmanuel Tagoe. The two are officially slated to tango on April 9th, at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas. If it were solely up to Garcia, his reinstatement back into the boxing world would have taken place much earlier.
Following his win over Campbell in January of 2021, the flamboyant Garcia was scheduled to take on former multiple division titlist, Javier Fortuna. Nevertheless, Garcia opted against facing Fortuna, citing that he would rather prioritize his mental health instead.
As Garcia fought to get him back on track mentally, he felt fit and ready to return during the second half of the year. For his first opponent, Garcia was expected to face Joseph Diaz. But, during his preparation for their bout, Garcia suffered a serious injury to his right wrist which would force him to have subsequent surgery.
Considering his mental health, surgery, and now trainer change, many in the boxing world have questioned whether or not Garcia’s head remains in the game. However, with the ambiguous feel surrounding his career, Garcia reveals that his objective in the sport of boxing hasn’t changed.
“I’ll now be working out of my own gym, Fierce King, in San Diego – and my goal remains the same: to become a world champion.”
Oscar De La Hoya Disappointed In Team Isaac Cruz For Turning Down “Lucrative” Offer To Face Ryan Garcia
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar De La Hoya kept a close eye on the ongoing war of words between both Isaac Cruz and Ryan Garcia. The two lightweight contenders continued to hurl derogatory statements at one another with Garcia urging the budding star to accept an upcoming showdown against him.
Yet, according to De La Hoya, Garcia’s promoter, Cruz was given an opportunity to settle his issues with Garcia in the ring, something that he has reportedly turned down.
“It is very unfortunate Isaac Cruz team turned down a very lucrative offer,” said De La Hoya on his social media account. “More than he made with Tank.”
Cruz, of Mexican descent, recently saw his stock skyrocket following his previous trip to the ring. With Gervonta Davis in desperate need of a replacement opponent on December 5th, following the removal of his original opponent Rolando Romero, Cruz eagerly stepped in.
Although most were expecting a quick and easy night at the office for Davis, Cruz gave him everything he could handle. For the first time in the career of the hard-hitting star, Davis was forced to go the full 12 round distance. While he would ultimately eke out the close unanimous decision victory, Garcia is of the belief that Cruz did just enough to pull out the win.
Still, despite Garcia heaping praise on the rough and rugged contender, the former WBC lightweight titlist was hoping to deliver a statement of his own in stopping Cruz in their presumptive showdown. But, with De La Hoya revealing that team Cruz has opted to go in another direction, the hunt for Garcia’s next opponent will now continue.
For the 23-year-old Garcia, he’s anxiously awaiting his next ring date. After starting his 2021 on the right foot, scoring a seventh-round stoppage win over Luke Campbell, Garcia was forced to sit on ice for the remainder of the year due to a combination of mental health recovery and right wrist surgery which subsequently led to the cancelation of his contest against Joseph Diaz.
Isaac Cruz Doesn’t View Ryan Garcia As A Threat
By: Hans Themistode
For countless years now, Ryan Garcia has thumped his hands on his chest and screamed at the top of his lungs that he’s the best 135 pounder alive. Isaac Cruz, however, finds that notion laughable.
Throughout the short career of the 23-year-old Cruz, he’s enjoyed sizable success. Still, despite going undefeated in 18 straight contests, the Mexican star saw his stock rise to unparalleled heights following his most recent trip to the ring.
On December 5th, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, Cruz pushed multiple-division champion Gervonta Davis like no other. While Cruz would ultimately come up short, losing via close unanimous decision, many were pleasantly surprised with his under-the-radar abilities and toughness. With his grueling showdown against Davis now behind him and considering the long list of championship-level fighters at 135 pounds, Cruz is convinced more than ever that Garcia is simply not a top-tier threat.
“Ryan Garcia hasn’t been a fighter that’s caused any big danger in the division,” said Cruz during an interview on DAZNBoxing.
The criticism heaved in the direction of Garcia by Cruz, is something that the flamboyant lightweight contender has dealt with for most of his career. Nevertheless, 2021 appeared to be his breakout year.
On only the second day of 2021, Garcia showed tremendous heart by peeling himself up off the deck against Luke Campbell to score a seventh-round stoppage win at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
With a bevy of options seemingly available to him, Garcia’s 2021 fell by the wayside as he was sidelined for the remainder of the year due to a combination of mental health rest and right wrist surgery.
Admittedly, Garcia has confessed that he envisioned a much more active 2021 but plans on making up for lost time in 2022. Amongst a long list of names he wishes to face is Cruz himself.
Completely full of confidence, Garcia is adamant that should the two meet in the ring, he’ll take care of business well before the final bell. In the mind of Cruz, though, Garcia appears more interested in growing his social media following as opposed to lacing up the gloves and swapping fists in the ring. If, however, terms to a deal can be reached between the pair, Cruz would welcome their showdown with opened arms.
“He’s more focused on making videos and having followers on Instagram. But if he wants to fight, let him come at me.”
Ryan Garcia Confident He Can Handle Business Against Isaac Cruz: “I’ve Seen That Style A Million Times”
By: Hans Themistode
Ryan Garcia was on the verge of making 2021 his breakout year. On the second day of the new year, the 23-year-old proved he was more than just some flashy fighter by picking himself up off the deck against Luke Campbell to score a seventh-round stoppage victory.
From there, the boxing world appeared to be his oyster. But, despite agreeing to take on former multiple division titlist Javier Fortuna later that Summer, Garcia was forced to withdraw from their contest due to mental health issues. Upon his return, Garcia was set to face off against Joseph Diaz. But, unfortunately for Garcia, the hits just kept on coming as he was given no choice but to pull out of his contest against Diaz due to right wrist surgery.
With everything going well in the doctor’s office, the former lightweight interim titlist is edging closer and closer to making his return in the first quarter of the new year. Although Garcia has been forced to watch his fellow 135 pounders from the sidelines, the California native has an ideal opponent in mind for his return to the ring. That said, even Garcia admitted, it wasn’t very likely.
“I want to go right after [George] Kambosos,” said Garcia to World Boxing News. “I told my team I want to jump right in and get him because I might as well go and get all the belts coming back. But it’s not gonna happen.”
Kambosos Jr., 28, is coming off one of the more shocking upsets of the year. On November 27th, at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, the Australian native walked into the backyard of Teofimo Lopez as a sizable underdog. Despite the long odds, Kambosos Jr. would strip Lopez of his WBA, WBO, IBF, and WBC “Franchise” titles via split decision.
In a perfect world, the unlikely unified champion would be the first fighter Garcia faces after spending over a year out of the ring. However, with that contest unlikely to materialize, Garcia has other ideas.
One week after witnessing Kambosos Jr. pull off the massive upset, Garcia watched closely as he believes another one should have taken place as well. On December 5th, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, Gervonta Davis was mostly expected to have an easy time against rough and rugged contender Isaac Cruz. Yet, in spite of that notion, Cruz gave Davis everything he could handle, before losing a highly competitive unanimous decision.
Considering the amount of praise Cruz has received for his efforts, Garcia is of the mindset that the Mexican product could provide him with an ideal opportunity.
“A lot of people are high on this guy [Cruz] right now because he gave Tank a good fight. I just think it’s a good matchup for me to get back into the ring after such a long layoff.”
More than anything, a showdown against Cruz is appealing to Garcia on so many levels. For starters, following a disappointing 2021, a victory over Cruz would allow Garcia to regain some of the luster that was knocked off his once shining star.
More importantly, as the 23-year-old Garcia analyzes who he hopes is his next opponent, he’s unbelievably confident in what would happen if their two styles clashed in the ring.
“It’s not a guy who’s just an easy, gimme fight,” Garcia said of Cruz. “He’s gonna offer some challenges to me, but I know I’m gonna be able to capitalize on all my advantages and everything that he brings to the game. It’s perfect for me. I’ve seen that style a million times. There are a lot of people saying Cruz is going to beat me. We are looking forward to that fight.”
Ryan Garcia: “My Return Fight, I’ll Fight Kambosos”
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.”
Canelo Alvarez: “Ryan [Garcia] Has A Lot Of Talent But He Needs To Be A Little More Dedicated”
By: Hans Themistode
Canelo Alvarez was intrigued by the thought of having Ryan Garcia join his stable. The lightweight contender reached out to head trainer Eddy Reynoso and for the past several years, the pair have worked side by side.
So far, everything has gone exactly how Garcia was envisioning it, as he’s reeled off numerous stoppage wins. Most recently, Garcia was basking in the ambiance of the biggest win of his professional career. On January 2nd, earlier this year, Garcia picked himself up off the deck to score a stoppage win against perennial contender, Luke Campbell.
Embracing Garcia after his victory, was none other than Alvarez. Although many were expecting Garcia to use that victory as a springboard to bigger and better fights, his career has stalled. Approximately six months later, Garcia pulled out of his scheduled showdown against former multiple division titlist, Javier Fortuna, citing mental health reasons.
Garcia’s disappointing 2021 has only gotten worse as he has recently been forced to pull out of his November showdown against Joseph Diaz due to a right wrist injury. Despite Garcia consistently posting videos of himself working on his craft in the gym, Alvarez is unimpressed with the 23-year-olds work ethic.
At the age of 31, Alvarez remembers a time where fighting only one time a year was unacceptable. With Garcia stepping through the ropes just once in both 2020 and 2021, and with the lightweight contender refusing to spend most of his days in the gym, Alvarez is taken aback by the talented, yet bemusing young star.
“We always remind him as a team to come to the gym, to train, and to learn because you need to be in the gym,” said Alvarez during an interview with Complex. “You’re learning day by day, and at the very minimum, fighting five times a year. When I was beginning my career, I did 15 fights in one year. That’s where I was at the beginning of my career. So definitely, he needs to be a little more dedicated.”
Presently, Garcia is hoping that he’ll re-enter the ring during the first quarter of 2022. But, with Diaz likely to be facing off against WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney in December, Garcia will have to find himself a new dance partner.
Regardless of whom Garcia ultimately faces in his ring return, Alvarez would simply like to see the California native live up to his potential. While Alvarez admits that the talent of his current stablemate is otherworldly, talent without hard work is essentially pointless.
“Look, Ryan has a lot of talent but to me in my eyes. He’s wasting a lot of time and wasting his talent. I look at him and don’t see him 100 percent dedicated and, to us, that’s a bad signal.”
Joseph Diaz: “I’m A Fight Devin Haney In December”
By: Hans Themistode
Joseph Diaz was over the moon when it was announced that he would be taking on Ryan Garcia. With the two originally slated to square off on November 27th, Diaz was fully convinced that after just a few rounds, he would leave the undefeated, flamboyant star flat on his back.
Regardless of Diaz’s excitement for their showdown, he was ultimately despondent when news broke of Garcia suffering a serious injury to his right wrist that will require surgery to repair. Initially, Garcia was hopeful that their contest could take place in the first quarter of 2022. However, with the opportunity to pocket the exact same amount of money and not only step through the ropes sooner, but for a world title, Diaz has opted to change course.
“I’m a fight Devin Haney in December y’all I promise,” stated Diaz on his social media account.
At first, Diaz mulled long and hard over the idea of facing Haney. With the former 130-pound champion set to make $1.5 million dollars against Garcia, as opposed to $1 million against Haney, the financial rewards didn’t quite add up. Since then, however, promoter Eddie Hearn, who works alongside Haney, recently revealed that he upped the ante, offering Diaz the same money to face Haney. That in turn, has left Diaz smiling from ear to ear and anxious to face the undefeated titlist.
While negotiations are still ongoing, Diaz is already exuding an extreme amount of confidence. During his near decade-long career, the 28-year-old Diaz has faced some of the most well known fighters in three separate weight classes, including against the likes of Gary Russell Jr., Tevin Farmer, and most recently, Javier Fortuna.
Diaz though, has taken a quick snapshot of the names plastered to the resume of Haney and can’t help but notice two things. For starters, Diaz finds it arduous in recognizing most of the fighters Haney has faced. Second, and most importantly, Diaz realizes that while Haney and Garcia have two completely different styles, they have one thing in common.
“Like Ryan Garcia hasn’t been tested, I’ll give Devin his first L.”
Ryan Garcia Injures Right Wrist, Postpones Showdown Against Joseph Diaz
By: Hans Themistode
Ryan Garcia had effectively taken a six-month boxing sabbatical to address his mental health. But while Garcia was confident that he got his mind right, it was his body that has recently failed him.
In Garcia’s return to the ring, the lightweight contender was set to take on WBC interim lightweight titlist, Joseph Diaz. The two were penciled in for a November 27th, showdown in Los Angeles, California.
Now, however, as Garcia began ramping up activity during training camp, he’s sustained a serious injury to his right hand. News of Garcia’s injury was first reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN. Coppinger later revealed that Garcia will now have subsequent wrist surgery and is hoping to face off against Diaz in February.
After picking up the most significant win of his career against Luke Campbell on January 2nd, earlier this year, Garcia’s momentum has come to a grinding halt. Since securing the win against Campbell, Garcia was set to take on multiple division titlist Javier Fortuna. Those plans though, never came to past as Garcia, as previously mentioned, prioritized his mental health.
Stepping in on short notice to replace Garcia was Joseph Diaz. Although Diaz moved up in weight to land the showdown against Fortuna, he showed little to no trouble in navigating the 135-pound waters. Diaz would both outbox and outmuscle his man to record the unanimous decision win.
At the moment, it’s unclear if Diaz would be willing to sit out the rest of the calendar year to face Garcia in the first quarter of 2022. If Diaz opts to go in another direction, he could bypass Garcia altogether and square off against WBC full titleholder, Devin Haney.
The 22-year-old Haney has often criticized both Diaz and Garcia for their refusal to face him. Presently, Diaz is the number one mandatory challenger to Haney and his lightweight world title.
Teofimo Lopez Sr.: “My Son Is The Only One In The Lightweight Division Stepping Up To The Toughest Competition”
By: Hans Themistode
There’s little to no doubt that the lightweight division is jam-packed with several notable names. Particularly amongst the younger group. But as Teofimo Lopez Sr. takes a peek at the resumes of names such as Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, and Ryan Garcia – he’s noticing a consistent pattern.
“My son is the only one in the lightweight division stepping up to the toughest competition,” said Lopez Sr. to a group of reporters. “We’re the only one from the younger crowd that has the lineal belt. On ESPN, he’s pound for pound number five so we’re doing great things. These guys are just fighting guys to play it safe.”
While his son, Teofimo Lopez, could opt to follow a similar path, Lopez Sr. won’t allow it. In just his 15th pro fight, Lopez took on former IBF lightweight titlist Richard Commey on December 14th, 2019. After a bit of a sluggish start, Lopez violently ended the night of Commey in the second round.
With the win, Lopez not only draped his first world title across his shoulders, but he also lined up a date with former unified champion Vasyl Lomachenko. Despite Lopez being pegged as the significant underdog, he registered the colossal upset.
In the case of Haney, Davis, and Garcia, however, they have yet to face someone who holds the same credentials as Lomachenko. At the moment, Lopez has continued his bid to face the best either in or around or his weight class. Next up for the 24-year-old New York, native is an unspecified date against mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr.
Should Lopez successfully defend his lightweight titles, Lopez Sr. revealed that the plan would be to have his son make the trek five-pounds north to challenge undisputed 140-pound champion, Josh Taylor.
As for those who continue to place Lopez’s name next to his young contemporaries, Lopez Sr. shakes his head in disbelief. While he believes the likes of Garcia, Haney, and Davis are extremely talented – Lopez Sr. is of the mindset that his son is simply head and shoulders above them all.
“We’re chasing Josh Taylor, that’s the guy that we want. They don’t understand the game, you fight the best to become the best. My son is way ahead of them.”
Ryan Garcia Vs. Joseph Diaz Set For November 27th
By: Hans Themistode
After hurling several verbal threats at one another for months, both Ryan Garcia and Joseph Diaz will now let their fist do the talking.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN, the pair have verbally agreed to a November 27th, showdown in Los Angeles California.
For Garcia, everything appeared to be fine on the outside.
The lightweight contender had recently peeled himself up off the deck against Luke Campbell earlier this year, to score the seventh-round stoppage victory. With the biggest win of his career and millions of followers on his social media accounts, Garcia appeared to be on top of the world. That is, until he revealed he was dealing with severe mental health issues.
That in turn, led to Garcia withdrawing from his expected showdown against Javier Fortuna. Stepping in to replace Garcia on short notice, was Diaz. Despite moving up in weight, Diaz would go on to register a fairly one-sided unanimous decision victory.
Several in boxing circles began speculating whether or not Garcia was unnerved about the idea of facing Fortuna in the first place. However, with the 23-year-old now set to face the man who beat him, Garcia believes those rumors should be put to bed.
“Since he came out and beat Fortuna I took the opportunity to beat JoJo,” said Garcia to ESPN. “Now it ends questions if I was scared to fight Fortuna.”
While Garcia is thrilled with the opportunity to shut down his naysayers, more importantly, he simply can’t wait to step back inside the ring. Having spent the past several months away from the sport entirely, Garcia revealed that his absence has left a hole of sorts in his life. Not only does the lightweight contender yearn to return to the bright lights associated with the actual night of the fight but even the minutia of the sport is something he craves to get back to.
“I’m excited to be back; I’m ready to continue my momentum where I left off. I missed the sport of boxing. I missed the ring. I missed sparring.”
Ryan Garcia: “I Will Become The Best Boxer Of This Era”
By: Hans Themistode
An epiphany of sorts has just swept over Ryan Garcia.
After taking a long, hard look at his fellow peers, the 23-year-old lightweight contender has come to one conclusion.
“I will become the best boxer of this era,” said Garcia on his social media page. “I will call it now.”
Garcia’s brazen declaration comes off the heels of the biggest win of his career just a few short months ago. At American Airlines Center, in Dallas Texas in January, Garcia peeled himself up off the deck to later stop perennial contender Luke Campbell. The California native appeared set to build off his star-making performance as he was pegged to take on former multiple division titlist, Javier Fortuna.
However, with Garcia citing that he would be unfit to take part in their contest due to mental health issues, he removed himself from their showdown and took a hiatus from the sport. Now, after seemingly getting his mind right, Garcia is inching towards a return to the ring.
According to numerous reports, Garcia and his team are hammering out a deal to take on WBC interim titlist, Joseph Diaz. The previously mentioned Diaz earned his lightweight stripes earlier this year as he stepped in on short notice to take on Fortuna.
Despite moving up in weight, Diaz proved that he was more than capable of hanging with some of the more accomplished names in the division by winning a fairly wide unanimous decision victory on the night. With the win, Diaz became the number one mandatory challenger to Devin Haney and his WBC title.
While the undefeated belt holder has welcomed a showdown against Diaz with open arms, it appears as though he’s heading towards a matchup against Garcia.
Regardless of whether Garcia faces Diaz or Haney, the lightweight contender believes that the best and most important part of his career is on the verge of beginning.
“Time to begin the prime years.”