By Adam Baskin: Ryan Garcia has a three-fight shortlist of big-name fighters he wants to face in the first quarter of 2024, provided he wins his warm-up fight against Oscar Duarte on December 2nd on DAZN in Houston, Texas.
It’s important that Ryan (23-1, 19 KOs) not overlook Duarte (26-1, 21 KOs) because this guy was looking at him today like he was food during their kick-off press conference.
The 25-year-old Ryan said he couldn’t help but notice how Duarte looked like he wanted to start fighting right away when they stood face-to-face.
This is the Mexico native Duarte’s big opportunity to make a lot of money by defeating Ryan Garcia, and he’s likely never going to get another chance like this again.
Ryan Garcia’s shortlist:
- Gervonta Davis – rematch
- Teofimo Lopez – WBO light welterweight champion
- Devin Haney – potentially WBC 140-lb champion
“He’s hungry, he wants to eat me, and he looked at me like a snack,” said Ryan Garcia to the media today, talking about what he saw in the face of his next opponent, Oscar Duarte, during their first face-off for their December 2nd fight in Houston.
The money that Duarte can get from beating Ryan and then facing him in a rematch would be insane compared to what he’s received for his previous 27 fights against obscure opposition during his ten-year professional career.
“He just looked at me like he’s ready to fight and wants to knock me out and is aggressive,” said Ryan about Duarte.
Ryan names three-fight shortlist
“I’m interested in all of them,” said Ryan when asked about potential fights against Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, and Teofimo Lopez for early 2024. “Obviously, you always want to run it back when you take a loss.
There’s an excellent chance Ryan can get the rematch with Tank Davis in early 2024, but that fight won’t help him reach his goal of becoming a world champion at 140.
Ryan isn’t going to return to the 135-lb division for the rematch with Gervonta, so their fight would be just for him to have a shot at avenging his loss and, of course, getting another big payday.
“I feel like under different circumstances, I could beat him, but also, Devin Haney, we have a long history in the amateurs,” said Ryan. “He obviously has a pretty big fan base, too, and Teofimo can talk his a** off and his dad, too. So that would be crazy.
“I think Teofimo interests me a lot because I think that whole lead-up would be crazy due to his pops,” said Ryan.
Trying to negotiate a fight with Teofimo could be a complete nightmare for Ryan, and might not be doable unless he’s willing to invest many months of headaches involved with the profess.
Teofimo will obviously expect to be A-side because he holds the WBO 140-lb belt, but that title means nothing when it comes to negotiating with a fighter as popular as Ryan.
Teo might as well be beltless because holding the WBO belt doesn’t give an advantage in negotiations. The average casual boxing fan has no idea he’s a champion and wouldn’t care, even if they did know. Being a champ no longer matters anymore in this generation of boxing.
“Everybody knows the obvious that I’m talking about,” said Ryan when asked how a rematch with Gervonta Davis would be different than their first fight, which he lost last April by a seventh round knockout. “Can you do an interview dehydrated? Imagine boxing.
Marination method = Destroying the sport
“So to me, level playing field. If you beat me, beat me. I took that fight because I was trying to change the system of boxing,” said Ryan. “As you see, Showtime is out. If they had come to me earlier or other people and let me run it like I know this new generation is run. It’s a whole different system, and there are a lot of unbelievers about how you should run it now.”
Ryan isn’t saying what his new method for changing boxing is, but he did mention that he does not favor the current marination method that promoters have been using.
It’s a simple-minded approach to making fights, which involves taking on weak opposition for years, waiting & hoping a fight against another fighter will one day become huge. In the meantime, the ratings are low, and the networks are stuck with a bunch of lackluster mismatch fights.
That style is the brainchild of Floyd Mayweather Jr., who designed it, but it’s only worked once for him against Manny Pacquiao. In truth, Floyd would have made a lot more money than he did if he’d fought Pacquiao earlier before he had been beaten by Tim Bradley & Juan Manuel Marquez.
Mayweather Promotions have used the marination method on Gervonta Davis’ career, and it’s crippled it, preventing him from becoming the huge household name he would have if he’d been fighting high-quality opposition for the last ten years.
If not for Ryan Garcia coming along to help Gervonta, he’d be still facing the same old low-level stew bums as he’d been doing his entire career.
“You guys [the media] are important. You don’t know how important you are,” Ryan Garcia continued. “Without you guys, the sport dies. Not everything is on TV no more. There isn’t really no network.
“It’s all social media. So, I was trying to pioneer that, and I was trying to change the blueprint of having to wait for those big fights over marination.
“So, I bit the bullet on that one, but I did it for a good cause. So, hopefully, I inspired these fighters on how to do it now. How to make the big fights now, and how to run boxing now.
“I think there’s a new way to do it. I think us boxers need to come together and come up with a solution to keep boxing thriving because it is a great sport. I touched on it on Twitter. Me and Terence Crawford have had conversations, and we will be talking more about plans,” said Ryan.