Ryan Garcia has high expectations for what’s going to happen over the next few years among rivals in a loaded lightweight division.
Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez all have spent time talking trash about one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. None of them are expected to face each other anytime soon after live boxing resumes, but Garcia is looking forward to what he believes will be fantastic fights once those talented, unbeaten 135-pound boxers begin squaring off.
Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) went as far as to predict an entertaining era comparable to that of “The Four Kings” during his appearance Friday night on Impact Network’s “Stars And Champions.” Legends Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and “Sugar” Ray Leonard were dubbed “The Four Kings” and engaged in some of the most memorable bouts in boxing history during the 1980s.
Garcia also included Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) in the breakdown the Victorville, California, native gave host Dan Rafael.
Ukraine’s Lomachenko is 32, significantly older than Davis (25), Garcia (21), Haney (21) and Lopez (22). The three-division champion, whom Lopez is expected to battle later this year, also is clearly the most proven among that group of fighters.
Like Lomachenko, though, Baltimore’s Davis (23-0, 22 KOs), Las Vegas’ Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) and Brooklyn’s Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) own lightweight world titles. Davis is the WBA’s secondary champion at 135 pounds (Lomachenko is the “super” champion), whereas Haney holds the WBC crown and Lopez owns the IBF belt.
“It’s gonna be fun. I think it’s gonna be like a throwback,” Garcia told Rafael, a BoxingScene.com contributor and former ESPN.com boxing writer. “You know, Duran, Hagler, Hearns, all them, but in the lightweight division. There’s a lot of interesting fighters there, you know, with a lot of different type of styles. You know, you’ve got Devin Haney – long, lanky. You’ve got, you know, Teofimo Lopez, you know, short, but he’s destructive. You know, he has his good skill. And then you’ve got Gervonta Davis. I consider him a little Mike Tyson. You’ve got Lomachenko, the magician, the technician. And then you’ve got me – everything. So, I’m ready for it, you know, no matter who it is – Teofimo, Devin, Gervonta.
“But my personal opinion, what I really wanna do, I really wanna fight Gervonta Davis. You wanna know why? I see him as Sonny Liston. … He don’t really love boxing. I see that he loves the money. So, he don’t need to be world champion. I’m like Muhammad Ali. I need to be world champion. He can’t represent it like me. So, that’s my attitude coming into it. And I’m ready to prove those words.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.