By Kenneth Friedman: Oscar De La Hoya is grooming the next star in the Golden Boy Promotions stable to replace Saul Canelo Alvarez in young lightweight contender Ryan ‘Kingry’ Garcia. Born in Victorville, California, the 21-year-old Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) has quickly moved up the professional ranks to get a top 5 ranking with the World Boxing Association at 135.
De La Hoya thinks highly enough in the young Garcia’s ability for him to have resigned him to a 5-year deal, which is said to be the most lucrative ever for a prospect. The two recently were involved in a social media beef over last weekend’s fight card on DAZN in Carson, California. Garcia’s opponent Avery Sparrow was arrested, and Golden Boy was unable to negotiate a deal at the last second to match Ryan against Romero Duno on the card. As such, Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) didn’t fight on the card, and he wasn’t happy.
— Ryan Garcia (@KingRyanG) September 18, 2019
Is De La Hoya trying to fool the fans with Ryan Garcia?
Some people believe De La Hoya is going to try and ‘fool the fans’ by building Ryan Garcia up to make him look better than he actually is by matching him against unremarkable opposition.
Fans think De La Hoya making mistake with Ryan Garcia
Many fans think De La Hoya is a bumbling promoter, who has lost his mind in devoting energy in Ryan Garcia. The critics see Garcia as a self-absorbed social media phenomena, and not a true talent. Ryan has a massive amount of followers on Twitter and Instagram. These are casual boxing fans that are following Garcia more based on his Hollywood movie star looks rather than what he’s shown inside the ring as a professional.
The fact of the matter is he’s been matched carefully against older fighters past their prime, and mediocre opposition. It’s no secret that Garcia has still not faced his first quality opponent. Although a lot is made about Garcia taking a step up in his next fight against Duno on November 2, that’s still not one of the talented contenders at lightweight. Duno is strong puncher, but he’s not in the class of the gifted 135-pound fighters. He’s more of a blue-collar type of fighter.
Duno = beatable opponent for Ryan Garcia
Using Rocky-esque language, Duno is arguably a ham-and-egger level fighter. He can punch a little, but he’s painfully slow, and easy to hit. He’s not a tremendous puncher that can knock you out with a single shot. That’s obviously why Golden Boy is matching Garcia against Duno. He’s a safe opponent for Garcia. If Garcia can’t dominate Duno, it might be time for Golden Boy to consider using an escape clause, if they have one, to get out of their contract with Ryan.
The only way Garcia loses to Duno is if he becomes stationary, and just stands and fights him. Garcia won’t do that though, because he’s a mover. He’s the opposite of Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Those guys go after their opponents. Garcia is a different sort. He likes to box and move, and outclass his opponents without getting hit.
With Golden Boy extending Garcia’s contract for five years, he’ll now get a chance to show whether he’s worth the money by facing the 23-year-old Duno in the co-main event on the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev card on November 2 on DAZN at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This could workout great for Garcia and Golden Boy. He needs to look good, and get Duno out of there quickly. If the fight goes the full 10 to 12 rounds, it could turn out to be a grueling affair for Garcia. Duno has heavy hands, and he’s plenty tough. He’ll punish Garcia with heavy shots if he’s able to go the distance with him.
De La Hoya: Ryan Garcia will be the star
“This was different,” said De La Hoya in talking about his problems with Ryan Garcia. “And this was just a miscommunication, and everything got resolved…We have the star in boxing with Canelo, but this guy is going to be THE star. I can’t wait for this guy to be on Jimmy Fallon, and all those talk shows, and really blowing up boxing. It’s going to be a run ride. I was like, ‘Come on, Ryan. I thought we were boys,’” said De La Hoya when asked about his thoughts about Garcia’s critical comments towards him on Twitter.
Thus far, no one is putting Ryan in the highest echelon of the top lightweights in the division. For Garcia to transcend into a major star and wind up on the Jimmy Fallon show, De La Hoya will need to take the training wheels off his career and let him show what he’s got. What could keep De La Hoya from doing this is his age. Garcia is only 21, and that’s reason enough for him to continue to match him against moderate level opposition for the next three or four years. Given Ryan’s large social media following, he might become a star without fighting anyone good. Garcia wouldn’t be the first fighter that became a star without fighting quality opposition.
Ryan Garcia: I’m coming for my respect
“I’ll be fighting Romero Duno on the undercard in the co-main event of the Canelo-Kovalev,” said Ryan Garcia to secondsout. “It’s the biggest stage, and I wanted this one. I wanted this fight, and I told you I wanted my respect. I’m coming for my respect. Either way, Avery [Sparrow] or Duno, and I told you that Avery is a tough opponent. He’s tougher than Duno. They’ve seen Duno, and they’re saying, ‘Ryan was going for the toughest fight.’ That was offered, and now I get a chance to prove to everybody that I was never scared.
A fighter is never scared. As far as Golden Boy…now we’re moving forward, and I just signed the most lucrative deal in history for a prospect. It just helped me realize that whatever you believe in regardless of what anyone says, if you believe in yourself, and you know your worth, and you know how hard you worked all these years, you never take no for an answer, because if you’re not wrong, what does it matter. As long as you’re comfortable with the decision you made, and you feel you’re right, don’t ever worry about what anyone says,” said Garcia.