The line continues to grow for willing challengers to face newly crowned lineal and unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr.
Among them is an unbeaten contender in search of his own springtime opponent.
Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18KOs) and his team are applying the finishing touches on a planned April 2 ring return. Whoever lands in the opposite corner, the idea from there is for the undefeated rising lightweight star to advance to the title stage. Garcia brings as much notoriety as—if not more than—any other top fighter in the division, which he sees as a major selling point in landing a blockbuster fight with Australia’s Kambosos (20-0, 10KOs).
“I do like that fight,” Garcia told ESNews’ Elie Seckbach of a potential shot at the championship. “I would sell better than all these other guys. I win this fight, I knock him out probably within seven rounds.”
Garcia has not fought since an off-the-canvas, seventh-round knockout of 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and former two-time title challenger Luke Campbell (20-4, 16KOs) last January 2 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Kambosos also only fought once in 2021, though landing the biggest win among any lightweight in a twelve-round decision over then-unbeaten divisional king Teofimo Lopez (16-1, 12KOs) to claim the lineal/WBA “Super”/IBF/WBO championship last November at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City. His first title defense is still being sorted, with the undefeated Sydney native aiming for a headliner in his home country.
Among his pursued targets are WBC titlist Devin Haney (27-0, 15KOs) and secondary WBA titleholder Gervonta Davis (26-0, 24KOs). Garcia’s name has yet to come up, other than being floated by Golden Boy Promotions founder and chairman Oscar De La Hoya immediately after Kambosos’ win over Lopez.
Garcia was recovering from hand surgery at the time, ironically having to withdraw from the same November 27 fight date that was filled by Kambosos-Lopez. A showdown between the top lightweight in the world and arguably the most popular one would seem to make perfect business sense.
“I hope he wants it,” notes Garcia. “I make more sense. I’m coming off a layoff. He just got the belts. I just got the surgery. I’m the perfect picking.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox