It appears that an actual fight between Ryan Garcia and Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz won’t come of recent talks, though it hasn’t prevented the two sides from trading blows online.
The team surrounding Cruz has taken exception to claims made by Garcia and Golden Boy Promotions founder/chairman Oscar De La Hoya that the Mexico City native has stepped away from talks for the fight. The two sides were rumored to be in negotiations for Garcia’s planned return this spring, which will headline a DAZN show tentatively penciled in for April 2.
De La Hoya went public with claims that Cruz was turning down a career-high payday, as did Garcia who claimed the fighter known as ‘Pitbull’ was “more like a Chihuahua.”
Naturally, the comment wasn’t going unchecked.
“Hey Ryan, while Isaac Cruz may have a few concerns in his life, fighting you is not one of them,” Sean Gibbons, Cruz’s promoter publicly stated in response to a previous tweet from Garcia. “If you are serious about wanting this fight next, we are prepared to make you an offer with a purse you deserve.
“Please tell us to whom we should direct that offer.”
Garcia (21-0, 18KOs) has not fought since an off-the-canvas, seventh-round knockout of England’s Luke Campbell last January in Dallas, Texas. Cruz (22-2-1, 15KOs) has fought three times since then, posting wins over unbeaten Jose Matias Romero and former titlist Francisco Vargas before coming up just short in a twelve-round points loss to unbeaten rising star Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (26-0, 24KOs).
All have come on the heels of Cruz’s sensational first-round knockout of former title challenger Diego Magdaleno on Halloween 2020 at Alamodome in San Antonio. The heartbreaking loss to Davis saw Cruz end an eighteen-fight unbeaten streak, though also snap Davis’ 16-fight knockout streak heading into their Showtime Pay-Per-view main event which Cruz accepted on just five weeks’ notice in place of Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero.
It is clear that Cruz—whose last five fights have taken place on a Showtime-branded platform—would like to remain put for his next fight and beyond. His team insists the resources are there to make that happen and for Garcia—who boasts a strong social media presence—to expand his current fanbase and bank account.
“Oscar, when you are ready to negotiate in good faith, we are happy to discuss giving this fight the platform it deserves,” Gibbons noted to De La Hoya. “On Pay-Per-View, with a legitimate network. Don’t you believe Ryan Garcia is ready to become a pay-per-view star?
“We are very happy to make you a real offer for more than you pay Ryan. Please call me I am waiting by the phone!”
An optional plan for Garcia has yet to be publicly revealed. Speculation suggests that he will wind up facing a fellow Golden Boy-promoted lightweight in the event he and Cruz are unable to come to terms.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox