Clearly, Ryan Garcia has the attention of his future desired target.
Unbeaten two-time 130-pound titlist Gervonta Davis has heard his name mentioned leading up to and in the aftermath of Garcia's recent off-the-canvas 7th round knockout win over England’s Luke Campbell (20-4, 16KOs). The lightweight bout—which aired live on DAZN this past Saturday from American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas—came with an interim title at stake, with the intention of the evening’s winner becoming the mandatory challenger to reigning WBC lightweight champ Devin Haney (25-0, 15KOs).
The WBC has since confirmed its intentions to next order that fight, though every comment from Garcia regarding his future has clearly suggested that Haney is—at best—a second desired option for his next fight. A showdown with Baltimore’s Davis (24-0, 23KOs) very much remains the immediate goal.
“I don’t have time for celebrations; I’m on one mission,” Garcia told TMZ Sports in a recent interview. “I’m on a mission to knock out Gervonta Davis in [two] rounds. This man will go down. Two rounds—that’s a promise.”
From there came a more direct claim from the rising star.
“If you do not take this next fight from me, you will not be remembered,” insists Garcia. “Your legacy will forever be tainted if you do not accept this fight.”
The attempted threat drew a chuckle from the other side.
“Lol, when I ever been a bitch,” Davis rhetorically asked in a since-deleted tweet. “You know who you talked to 10 [minutes] before ya ring walk… the fight already been made.
“[N]ow… shut up and get ready!”
Representatives from both sides declined comment on any progress being made in putting together such a fight at least in the foreseeable future.
Davis is coming off of a 6th round knockout of Leo Santa Cruz last Halloween at The Alamodome in San Antonio. The feat marked the first stateside title fight to take place with an audience beyond a small gathering since the pandemic, with 9,000 or so in attendance.
The bout topped a Showtime Pay-Per-View event, the first such headliner for Davis who sold a reported and profitable 225,000 units. It comes on the heels of Davis establishing himself as a marketable draw, pulling in favorable attendance numbers in three separate U.S. cities in 2019 including sold-out crowds in Baltimore and Atlanta, both which he considers home.
Garcia's last two headliners have also sold all available inventory. The unbeaten lightweight drew 10,000 in attendance for his 1st round knockout of Francisco Fonseca last Valentine’s Day at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. More than 6,000 people were in attendance for this past Saturday’s win over Campbell, with added tickets made available to the public after selling out the venue which was originally configured to hold 25% capacity—roughly 5,000 for the 20,000-seat arena.
Both fights for Garcia headlined separate DAZN telecasts, with the platform having housed his last four starts through an output deal with Golden Boy Promotions. Davis has fought primarily on Showtime (and its PPV arm) during his rise to stardom.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox