Ryan Garcia will face an opponent Friday night that Gervonta Davis has knocked out.
The fight Garcia really wants, though, is a showdown with Davis himself. Baltimore’s Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) appears headed for a fight with four-division champion Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) in the spring, but Garcia and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, hope Davis wins and then decides to defend his WBA world lightweight title against Garcia later this year.
Garcia discussed a fight versus Davis on Tuesday with a group of reporters after an open workout to promote his fight against Francisco Fonseca on Friday night at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
“It’s on course now, like a train,” Garcia said. “It’s on course to the destination. That’s what I want. I want that fight. I think I’m gonna get it this year. It’s a good fight. You know, a lot of people are gonna have me as the underdog. But I feel like with my discipline, with my commitment and with my honest dedication to winning that fight, I will win.”
Davis responded this week on social media to De La Hoya’s recent call for a bout between him and Garcia to take place in 2020.
“Let’s do it,” Davis responded in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “This year I will become super rich.”
Temporarily, Garcia is focused on facing Nicaragua’s Fonseca (25-2-2, 19 KOs). Davis defeated Fonseca by eighth-round knockout on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor undercard in August 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The 21-year-old Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs), of Victorville, California, is fresh off an impressive first-round knockout of the Philippines’ Romero Duno (21-2, 16 KOs) on November 2 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The emerging contender intends to defeat Fonseca more convincingly than Davis did in the main event of an eight-bout card DAZN will stream (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT).
The heavy-handed Davis is the only opponent who has beaten Fonseca by knockout in his 29 professional fights, but there was a controversial conclusion when they fought. Davis hit Fonseca behind his head, which Fonseca insists prevented him from continuing when their fight was stopped 39 seconds into the eighth round.
The IBF stripped an overweight Davis of its junior lightweight championship the day before he fought Fonseca (25-2-2, 19 KOs), thus that title only was at stake for Fonseca when they met. In his second shot at that IBF junior lightweight championship, Philadelphia’s Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs, 1 NC) out-boxed Fonseca and won a 12-round unanimous decision in December 2018 at Madison Square Garden.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.