Ryan Garcia vs Tank Davis: "Why not? It's a fight Ryan can win," claims Oscar De la Hoya
This Valentine's Day on DAZN, Golden Boy Promotions has scheduled a genuine treat for most interested boxing fans with an intriguing fight card featuring undefeated Lightweight phenom Ryan Garcia (19-0, 16 KO's) against Nicaraguan toughman Francisco Fonseca (25-2-2, 19 KOs) in the main event of the evening.
In the co-main event of the evening, former three-division world champion Jorge Linares (46-5, 28 KOs) will be pitted against Carlos Morales (19-4-4, 8 KOs).
Obviously, both men appearing in the main and co-main events respectively is no coincidence.
The brass at Golden Boy Promotions are hoping to schedule somewhat of a "crossroads" bout for both fighters on Cinco de Mayo weekend in support of Canelo's next big event on DAZN...should everything go according to plan.
But in the theater of the unexpected that is boxing, anything can and often does happen.
"It depends on how he looks," admitted Oscar De la Hoya to "AB Boxing News".
"It depends on how he feels. But It's by design that Jorge Linares will be fighting on the card as well. Those fights aren't a walk in the park for both guys, so it depends on how they look."
Although Fonseca is a tough fighter with some pop in both hands, Garcia is widely considered to be a future star of the sport and the "genuine article" in the ring. The Golden Boy believes his unbeaten Lightweight star to be the "goods" and is confident Garcia can pass his Valentine's Day test.
"We strongly feel that a Ryan Garcia/Jorge Linares fight can take place in the near future, but it all depends on what happens February 14th."
When analyzing the talent enriched 135-pound weight class, the 21-year-old prospect is just one facet of an incredibly exciting weight division. The Lightweight pool is very deep at the moment, with fighters like Vasyl Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, Luke Campbell, Lee Selby, Richard Commey, Rances Barthelemy, etc.
Oscar genuinely believes he has the eventual creme of the 135-pound crop in his promotional stable.
"I believe he's ready for a world title. I'm going to have Ryan at a fast pace this year. I think this will be his 'coming out' party. I think Ryan is ready for a world title, and sooner rather than later he'll be ready for anybody."
When asked how he felt about an eventual fight opposite Mayweather Promotions' standout Gervonta Davis, the Golden Boy flashed his iconic golden smile.
"Why not? It's a fight that he can win. Ryan has all the talent in the world. He's a tall, rangy fighter. For some reason, Tank went 11 rounds Yuriorkis Gamboa."
"I think Tank maybe got exposed a little bit in that fight, or he showed some vulnerability finally. Because many thought he was untouchable or indestructible."
On December 28th, 2019, Tank Davis received quite a bit of criticism for 1) struggling to make the 135-pound division limit in his first fight at Lightweight, and 2) struggling to stop a 38-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa who had ostensibly torn his Achilles tendon in the second round of their scheduled twelve round contest. Although the popular 25-year-old fighter did eventually become the third man to stop the former Olympic Gold Medalist within the distance, most critics and ringside observers felt the task was a bit more daunting than it should have been.
De la Hoya believes that if pitted against Garcia, fans would see the best version of Tank Davis in the ring.
"In boxing, he showed that he's obviously human. We're all human. But I'm sure that when Ryan and Tank do fight, they'll be the best shape of their lives, and we'll see who's the best."
Oscar would be wise not to criticize Gervonta's winning efforts against a former champion in the twilight of his career. He could easily be faced with a similar scenario in May with Ryan Garcia vs. Jorge Linares. Despite being obliterated by Pablo Cesar Cano in the opening round of his debut at 140 pounds in January of 2019, Linares remains one of the most skilled offensive technicians in boxing, and would easily be the toughest test to date for the 21-year-old Golden Boy prospect.
Hopefully, the fans will see some clarity in the seemingly log-jammed 135-pound weight division later this year.
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