Oscar De La Hoya has suggested that Ryan Garcia’s next fight could be for a 140-pound title.
Garcia, of Victorville, Calif, is coming off a seventh-round knockout loss to Gervonta Davis in their high-profile 136-pound fight in April at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. That fight marked the end of Garcia’s stint at lightweight.
His next fight could take place in November but his opponent remains unknown, according to De La Hoya, the founder of Golden Boy Promotions. However, De La Hoya hinted that there’s a chance that that fight could be for the WBA’s 140-pound title, thanks to the status of one of De La Hoya’s new signees.
Golden Boy recently signed England's Ohara Davies to a promotional contract. Davies is the No.1 140-pound contender for the WBA belt currently held by Rolando Romero. However, Romero filed an exemption with the sanctioning body, citing an injury. The WBA is currently waiting on Romero to furnish proof of his injury. De La Hoya has even gone so far as to threaten legal action if the WBA does not resolve the matter in a timely fashion.
In a recent interview, De La Hoya seemed to float a scenario in which, if Romero is stripped of his title, Davies and Garcia would then, eschewing hierarchy, battle for it. Garcia, who has never won a title at 135, is ranked No. 6. in the WBA's 140-pound class. Romero won the WBA 140-pound title controversially in May against Ismael Barroso.
“We have a date for him in November,” De La Hoya said of Garcia in an interview with FightHubTV. “We’re figuring out the opponent. We feel that Ryan at 140 can be a force to be reckoned with. We did sign a couple of fighters who are No.1 contenders.
“The belts can possibly be at stake. So given the fact that Rolly is in recess—I believe he got injured, something was wrong with him, whether it’s his back or his arm, I’m not really too sure, he’s a fighter in recess. So now there’s going to be some opportunities there to possibly [have] Ryan [fight] for a world title.”
Of course, things are hardly rosy between De La Hoya and Garcia as they are currently in litigation. De La Hoya sued Garcia earlier this summer for trying to violate the terms of their contract, a move that preceded their public row on social media. Garcia had taken issue with De La Hoya for not showing up at the post-fight press conference in the wake of his loss to Davis.
De La Hoya seemed to stir the pot recently when he needled Garcia on social media for hanging out with Floyd Mayweather Jr., one of De La Hoya’s oldest rivals-cum-antagonists. But he responded more nonchalantly regarding Garcia’s association with Mayweather in the same FightHub interview.
“I don’t know what that’s all about but it’s none of my business,” De La Hoya. “Any fighter can hang out with any fighter. That’s just the nature of the beast. It doesn’t really matter. On the contrary, I think Ryan hanging out with Floyd, he can get a lot of knowledge from Floyd because he’s one of the best boxers out there, or was. I know for a fact that Floyd isn’t giving him any business advice, but I know that Floyd can give him some fight advice. And if Ryan soaks it in and listens to him, yeah, it can only help him.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.