LOS ANGELES – Ryan Garcia is confident, despite the obvious obstacles, that he’ll finally fight Gervonta Davis next.
The undefeated Garcia believes their handlers will work through the various issues that could prevent competing promoters and platforms from coming together to make one of the highest-profile fights in boxing for later this year. If, however, those complications cause them to go in different directions again, Garcia would want to face another popular boxer who has left the 135-pound division.
Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) named only one potential opponent other than Davis during his press conference after he knocked out Javier Fortuna (37-4-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC) in the sixth round of their 140-pound bout Saturday night at Crypto.com Arena.
“If that fight, for some reason, doesn’t happen, which I don’t see that happening,” Garcia said, “but if it doesn’t happen, then I wanna fight Teofimo Lopez at 140.”
Lopez and Garcia have had verbal battles of their own over the past few years. Unlike Garcia and Davis, their representatives have never had serious discussions about them meeting.
The 24-year-old Lopez and the 23-year-old Garcia are on similar schedules. If the heavily favored Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) beats Mexico’s Pedro Campa (34-1-1, 23 KOs) on August 13 in Las Vegas, he should be free to pursue a fight against Garcia.
A Garcia-Lopez bout would also require Golden Boy Promotions, which has Garcia under contract, to work with a competing promoter, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., which has an exclusive agreement with ESPN. Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy and Top Rank, Lopez’s promoter throughout his career, work together with more regularity, however, than Golden Boy and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
Baltimore’s Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) is promoted by Floyd Mayweather’s company, is affiliated with Haymon’s PBC and has had his last 11 fights televised by Showtime either live on the network or on pay-per-view. Haymon and Golden Boy typically don’t do business unless it is mandated by a sanctioning organization.
Golden Boy also has an exclusive content partnership with DAZN, which streamed Garcia’s victory over Fortuna as the main event of a seven-bout card.
Lopez will fight for the first time when he encounters Campa since he lost his lightweight titles to George Kambosos Jr. seven months ago. Australia’s Kambosos (20-1, 10 KOs) dropped Lopez in the first round and upset him by split decision in their 12-rounder to win the IBF, WBA, WBC franchise and WBO 135-pound championships November 27 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York.
Las Vegas’ Lopez later decided to move up to the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds for his return to the ring. The 30-year-old Campa has lost only once, but he’ll take a steep step up in class when he opposes Lopez three weeks from Saturday night in a 10-round main event ESPN will televise from Resorts World Las Vegas.
Beyond boxing Garcia, Lopez will have plenty of in-house options if he gets past Campa because Top Rank promotes several top contenders in the 140-pound division.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.