After consulting with the teams of Ryan Garcia and Isaac Cruz, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman rescinded his sanctioning organization’s order Thursday of their lightweight championship elimination bout.
Sulaiman made the announcement on the WBC’s website, which indicated both fighters had “prior scheduled fights.” BoxingScene.com’s Jake Donovan has been informed that negotiations are ongoing for Garcia to fight Javier Fortuna in a main event DAZN would stream July 16.
The identity of Cruz’s next opponent and the date of his next fight is unknown. Sulaiman also stated Thursday that it remains possible that an elimination bout between Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs), of Victorville, California, and Mexico City’s Cruz (23-2-1, 16 KOs) could be ordered again in the future.
The 23-year-old Garcia, who is ranked second among the WBC’s lightweight contenders, has been adamant on social media about the third-ranked Cruz’s supposed unwillingness to fight him. Cruz, who is also 23, contended during the post-fight press conference following his fifth-round stoppage of 40-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-5, 18 KOs) on April 16 in Arlington, Texas that he would be willing to fight Garcia next, but that he and his handlers wouldn’t negotiate on social media or through the press.
If Garcia fights Fortuna, it will mark the rescheduling of a fight that was supposed to happen last July 9 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. Garcia withdrew from that 12-round fight soon after it was announced last April to focus on his mental health.
The Dominican Republic’s Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC) instead lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Joseph Diaz Jr. (32-2-1, 15 KOs), who won the WBC interim lightweight title that night, a championship that Garcia previously owned.
The winner of a Garcia-Cruz clash would’ve determined the WBC’s mandatory challenger for the upcoming full lightweight title unification bout between George Kambosos Jr. and Devin Haney. Sydney’s Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) and Haney (27-0, 15 KOs), of Henderson, Nevada, will fight for Kambosos’ IBF, WBA and WBO 135-pound championships and Haney’s WBC world title June 5 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
The WBC’s number one lightweight contender, Vasiliy Lomachenko, is currently unavailable to box because the three-division champion is committed to assisting in his native Urkaine’s military efforts in its ongoing war with Russia.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.