The recent announcement by the WBC slightly altered Golden Boy Promotions’ plans to announce the next fight for Ryan Garcia.
That doesn’t mean they can’t adapt and move forward.
An ordered title eliminator with Isaac Cruz (23-2-1, 16KOs) is currently on the table for Garcia (22-0, 18KOs), with the WBC calling for a 30-day negotiation period effective May 10. A purse bid hearing will be scheduled for June 14 if the two sides can’t reach terms in that period.
The fight was previously explored by Golden Boy for Garcia’s previous outing this past April, only for talks to stall with the hopes of revisiting at another time. That time has once again arrived, with hopes of concluding in time to move forward with a fight date already set aside for the unbeaten rising star.
“We have July 16 already set aside for Ryan Garcia,” Oscar De La Hoya, founder, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, told BoxingScene.com. “We want the fight. Ryan wants the fight. There’s no reason why that fight shouldn’t be made. The WBC ordered it. Let’s make it happen.”
The winner will be named the mandatory challenger to the WBC lightweight title currently held by Devin Haney (27-0, 15KOs), who next faces WBA/IBF/WBO champ George Kambosos Jr. (20-0, 10KOs) in an undisputed championship clash on June 4 in Melbourne, Australia. A rematch clause is in place for Kambosos, along with the winner also due to honor a WBO mandatory title defense versus former three-division titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko (16-2, 11KOs).
For now, job one is to secure Garcia’s next opponent, which means either getting Cruz to commit to the fight or to move out the way if he is not interested so that it can be onto the next one for Golden Boy.
Garcia previously confirmed the July 16 DAZN date and the desire for a potential homecoming. The Victorville, California native was adamant in his willingness to face Mexico City’s Cruz next, knowing that it will both clear out unfinished business and also position the winner for a guaranteed title shot, however long it takes to get ordered.
“I want to bring this fight to the city of [Los Angeles],” Garcia stated on Tuesday upon learning the news. “Let’s go [P]itbull, roof roof. [T]ime to make this happen. [D]on’t do anything weird, let’s give the fans what they want!”
Golden Boy is prepared to deliver the date and location for its star client, though it will require cooperation from the other side.
Efforts to secure Cruz as an opponent for Garcia’s ring return proved futile, instead settling on Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe (32-2, 15KOs) whom Garcia soundly outpointed over twelve rounds on April 9 at Alamodome in San Antonio. The fight was the first in 15 months for Garcia, who is bullish on remaining active in 2022 after having not fought at all since last January 2.
Not only does Garcia intend to grow under new trainer Joe Goossen, but also fight a minimum of three times in 2022 and with the intention of serving as the top contender to the lightweight throne heading into the new year. The fact that the WBC decided to have Cruz enter this mix will not interrupt those plans.
“Ryan has been very vocal about the fight. I’ve been very vocal,” insists De La Hoya. “There’s no reason whatsoever that the fight shouldn’t be made. We’re looking forward to it.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox