Five Big Predictions for Ryan Garcia’s Boxing Career
Just how good is Ryan Garcia?
Depending on who you ask, the 22-year-old is either the savior of boxing or simply another overrated prospect being shoved down our throats.
But for those of us who believe that it’s too early to put Garcia’s name alongside the likes of Teofimo Lopez, Vasyl Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis, or Devin Haney, there are questions that we’re keen to ask. For example, will Garcia win a world championship? Or, can he become the next pay-per-view star?
I’ve been itching to address some of these points since watching the youngster beat Luke Campbell on January 2. But taking a more proactive approach, I decided to go one further and make five predictions for Ryan Garcia’s career.
So, sit back and let me walk you through them all.
Ryan Garcia Will Win a World Title
Following his knockout win over Campbell, many debated on the question of will Garcia be a world champion or not.
I don’t believe that Garcia is good enough to topple the current lightweight belt holders in Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney. More to the point, I don’t believe that Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions are willing to allow Garcia to sign on for fights with either man.
It appears that the WBC has different ideas, however, and many are asking, will Haney fight Garcia in 2021? I don’t think he will if I am to be bluntly honest. That’s even if the WBC orders Haney vs. Garcia or not.
But the kid is just 22 years old. For all his flaws, he has time to address them and refine a skill set that is impressive in certain aspects but severely lacking in others.
We know that Garcia has no head movement and leaves himself far too open when throwing. He is too flat-footed to outbox the elite fighters at 135-pounds, and not defensively sound enough to stand and trade with them.
He is mandatory for WBC champ Haney, who beat him in the amateurs, but I would be very surprised indeed if that fight came to fruition this year.
I will happily make a prediction that Ryan Garcia will be a genuine world champion one day. But not in a division as stacked as lightweight is in 2021.
|Ryan Garcia Record and Stats|
|Nicknames||The Flash, KingRy|
|Titles Won||WBC Interim Lightweight Title|
Garcia Won’t Fight Tank Davis or Teofimo Lopez in 2021
When is Garcia vs. Davis, you ask? Perhaps you are wondering will Teofimo Lopez fight Garcia any time soon.
I hate to break it to you, but those fights will not happen in 2021. Regardless of what any of the three guys above are saying, there is no way in the world that De La Hoya will agree to risk his prized asset against the two most dangerous lightweights in the game.
Lopez beats Garcia convincingly. I would go as far as to say that Lopez would knock Garcia out within a few rounds, completely destroying the plans that Golden Boy Promotions has for the youngster. Remember, this is modern boxing, and easy money rules over everything else.
The same can be said for Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who is 24-0 with 23 KOs. The only time he failed to stop an opponent was in a six-rounder against German Meraz in the early stages of his career.
A protégé of Floyd Mayweather, Davis is coming off one of the knockouts of 2020 against Leo Santa Cruz. The Mexican had never lost inside the distance until meeting Tank inside the ropes.
I can see Garcia vs. Davis a little further down the line, but it won’t happen this year.
With Lopez shocking Vasyl Lomachenko in 2020, unifying the division in the process, I don’t believe he feels as though there is anything to prove at 135. He will move up to 140 and will likely battle it out with Josh Taylor for supremacy over the division.
If that happens, perhaps a Lopez vs. Garcia fight at junior welterweight happens in a few years.
Will Garcia Be Bigger than Canelo? Don’t Count on it
I’d take anything Oscar De La Hoya has to say about Canelo Alvarez and/or Ryan Garcia with a pinch of salt.
On the subject of salt, the promoter wasn’t exactly full of saccharine superlatives when Canelo cut ties with Golden Boy in late 2020. So it only stands to reason that he is going to promote the life out of Garcia, who he sees as the natural replacement for the flame-haired destroyer.
Suggesting Garcia replacing Canelo Alvarez as the world’s biggest pay-per-view star is a little silly, isn’t it? Of all the Ryan Garcia predictions doing the rounds, this is just…
I mean, the Mexican icon is bigger than boxing itself. He sits comfortably in the number one spot in the world’s pound-for-pound best. He has held numerous titles in four weight classes and has (officially) lost just one fight from 57. That loss came against Floyd Mayweather Jr., a guy many believe to be the greatest of all time.
Canelo has been involved in four of the 49 highest selling pay-per-view fights in the history of combat sports, including three in the top 35 and one in the top 5. He signed the most lucrative contract in sports history in 2018 and likely has five or six more years at the top. At the very least.
He is the undisputed pride of his country. Better yet, he has achieved all of the above before his 30th birthday.
Good luck filling those shoes, Ryan.
Garcia Will Be a Pay-Per-View Superstar
Am I saying Garcia won’t be a major draw in boxing? Absolutely not.
From a commercial standpoint, The Flash is almost certainly going to make big bank. He is a handsome, Mexican-American kid that appears to be a natural at using social media to his advantage. And his exposure will continue to grow the more he earns spectacular stoppages and improves his PR appeal.
He is the perfect fighter for the casual fanbase to get excited about and will undoubtedly be the man that De La Hoya looks to develop into the type of Cinco De Mayo star he was in the early to mid-2000s. Before Floyd Mayweather beat him to take the torch.
There is still work to be done before he will achieve that level of notoriety, of course. As long as Canelo is fighting, he will own the top slot on boxing’s most prestigious date, but once he is gone…
Ryan Garcia Will Be a Multi-Weight World Champion
Garcia will outgrow lightweight and eventually move up to junior welterweight.
Standing at 5’10” and just 22, the Californian will fill out and find the weight cut a little harder in years to come.
I expect Garcia to win titles in at least two weight classes, but it’s not a bad bet to back him winning at least three. If you can find odds for Ryan Garcia doing that at any of the top boxing betting sites, it could be worth a few dollars!
As much as he has obvious flaws in his game right now, they are things that can be put right.
Providing he doesn’t get too big for his boots and sticks with Eddie Reynoso, we can expect to see the type of evolution that Canelo experienced under the outstanding trainer. Reynoso spoke in 2020 about how he wants Garcia to take his time and not rush into challenging for championships.
Once he keeps his feet on the ground, he can go far. Otherwise, we could see him suffer a similar downward trajectory to another fast and flashy fighter with major potential… a guy named Amir Khan.
It’s funny, but there are similarities between Garcia and Khan that I see. Good points and bad points. But Garcia is surely too marketable to be allowed to make the same mistakes as the Olympic silver medalist.
Is Ryan Garcia as Good as They Say?
Well, there appears to be a lot of buzz around this kid following the spectacular liver shot KO of Luke Campbell in early January.
But is Garcia the real deal?
I’ve been watching the kid develop over the past few years from a young prospect into a man that is very close to challenging for titles. But he is still a little green, and you would expect those around him to manage him with extreme care.
It will be disappointing for some boxing fans to see Garcia fighting guys below his level, but it’s par for the course in the sport these days.
Fighters like Garcia do not come around every day, so he will need to be protected from the big dogs for a little while longer. At least, until he can rectify some of the holes in his game and work hard on his fundamentals.
I don’t believe Garcia will fight Tank in 2021, nor will he be allowed near Lopez or Haney. As such, he is unlikely to win a world title over the next twelve months, but he’s nailed on to fight for one in 2022.
It’s going to be interesting to see just how far Ryan Garcia can go. But I’m not convinced he’s quite ready for the elite level just yet.
Garcia had a big 2020, and this year will be even brighter. But who were the major winners and biggest losers in boxing last year?
Until next time!