The sky seems to be the limit for Ryan Garcia after back-to-back devastating first round knockouts of Romero Duno and Francisco Fonseca.
Although Garcia is already calling out the likes of Gervonta Davis and Devin Haney at the tender age of 21, he’s slated to next fight former world champion Jorge Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) in what would be his most formidable foe to date.
“Everything I do in boxing is calculated,” Garcia said in an interview with DAZN. “So Linares, it’s all good and dandy. You had a great career. I have respect for you in that regard. Linares, all kudos to him. One thing he doesn’t have [is heart]. I’m going to test that when I see him.
“If he comes forward, he can’t get me. Even if he goes backward, I’m getting him. You’re going to get countered. Don’t throw that shot. I try to put fear into that guy’s mind because he knows it’s going to come.
“I’m going to f—- knock his a— out. He’s an old lion. I’m going to get him out of there. He’s going to be retired after my fight. I’m going to calculate my shot and hit him to where he can’t get up. I’ll say it like that."
Garcia and Linares were slated for a summer showdown at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 11 before the global pandemic of coronavirus reared its ugly head and abruptly stalled the sport. An official announcement has not been made yet, but promoter Oscar De La Hoya is adamant that the matchup will indeed take place.
The 34-year-old Linares got a first hand look at Garcia on Feb. 14 when he served as the co-feature to the undefeated fighter in Anaheim. Linares scored a fourth round KO of Carlos Morales, bringing his record to 3-2 in his last five fights.
Linares, a former three division champion, was last a world titlist in 2018 when he knocked down yet lost his WBA lightweight belt to Vasiliy Lomachenko via 10th round TKO.
Linares has also held titles at featherweight and super featherweight.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.