Ryan Garcia is unquestionably the most popular boxer Oscar De La Hoya’s company promotes.

The 24-year-old Garcia has more than 9 million Instagram followers and a marketing deal with Gatorade, despite the fact that he has held only an interim lightweight title during his six-year professional career. If Garcia’s pay-per-view fight against Gervonta Davis does the type of business De La Hoya anticipates April 22, “The Golden Boy” believes Garcia can become a bigger star than even Canelo Alvarez and himself.

De La Hoya discussed Garcia’s star potential with announcer Ray Flores during his fighter’s open workout Tuesday at the Maloof mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

“He can go, and I’ve always said it, even before he was a superstar,” De La Hoya said, “I’ve always said that Ryan Garcia can become even bigger than Canelo, bigger than Oscar De La Hoya, bigger than whoever out there.”

Alvarez, 32, remains boxing’s biggest draw in the United States, both at the gate and on pay-per-view. The Mexican icon parted ways with De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in the fall of 2020 and later partnered with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.

Alvarez’s last fight – the long-awaited completion of his trilogy with rival Gennadiy Golovkin – eclipsed one million pay-per-view buys worldwide, according to DAZN, which distributed the event September 17 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The 50-year-old De La Hoya, meanwhile, was the most productive pay-per-view fighter of his generation outside of the heavyweight division. The six-division champion, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June 2014, headlined numerous HBO Pay-Per-View events during his 16-year career, including a split-decision defeat to Floyd Mayweather that produced approximately 2.4 million buys, then a record, in May 2007.

Mayweather later became boxing’s most successful pay-per-view attraction in the history of that platform. His points victory over Manny Pacquiao generated a record 4.6 million buys in May 2015.

Garcia hasn’t had nearly as much success at the gate as Alvarez or De La Hoya. He’ll headline a pay-per-view show for the first time versus Davis, who is one of the sport’s top ticket-sellers, but De La Hoya is confident this crossover event will help make Garcia bigger than ever.  

“Because we’re living in times where [social] media is everything,” De La Hoya explained. “And [social] media has brought the world together. Just like the world will be watching April 22nd, and it’s gonna shatter pay-per-view records or numbers. It’s gonna do huge amounts of buys. But the world is coming together [in] such an easier, you know, way, bringing the world together.

“You know, the word is spreading so fast on this fight. It’s just catching fire and, you know, people are waiting for this fight to happen. And come April 22nd, it’s gonna be not only fireworks, but it’s gonna be the biggest event that any sport can have.”

Most handicappers have established Baltimore’s Davis (28-0, 26 KOs) as more than a 2-1 favorite over Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs), of Victorville, California. Their 12-round main event, which will be contested at a contracted catch weight of 136 pounds, will top a four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast (8 p.m. ET; $84.99).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.