You don’t need a belt evidently to be tops in the lightweight division, according to Ryan Garcia’s personal hierarchy.
The lightweight contender still believes former unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko is the top threat in the division, putting him over the likes of WBC titleholder Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, Teofimo Lopez, and the recently crowned WBA/IBF/WBO champion George Kambosos.
Lomachenko lost his belts to Lopez in their unification matchup in November 2020. Since then the Ukrainian has reeled off two straight victories against Nakatani and, recently this past December at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Richard Commey.
Garcia, 23, slotted Kambosos into the No. 2 spot on his homemade list, followed by Haney and Davis at either No. 3 or No 4.
“Loma No. 1,” Garcia told World Boxing News. “Close between Devin and Tank. Then you got George, who fought well. Loma No. 1. Then I would say Kambosos No. 2 and Devin and [Davis] a toss-up. They both had pretty mediocre performances.”
Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) said he would eagerly welcome a fight with Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs). The social media influencer from Victorville, California was especially impressed by Lomachenko’s dominant decision over Commey.
“I think that’s a huge fight, me versus Lomachenko. But I would love to fight Lomachenko as well,” Garcia said. “I think he’s a great fighter and I think he fought masterfully. He looked great.
“Lomachenko just fights so pure with his movement and he doesn’t waste any energy. He flows and he has the footwork, his body positioning. He fought amazing, but he should have knocked [Commey] out.”
Garcia was also impressed with Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs), who scored one of the biggest upsets of the 2021 with his decision over Lopez at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in November.
“Stars aligned for Kambosos,” Garcia said. “I don’t know if Kambosos is going to go after another top fighter but if he does I personally don’t think he’s going to hold onto the belts. Maybe he will. He surprised me once.”
On the other hand, Garcia was not blown away by either Davis’ or Haney’s recent performances. Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) and Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) are both coming off unanimous decisions, the former against Joseph Davis and the latter against Isaac Cruz.
He just doesn’t know how to handle himself when he gets hit,” Garcia said of Haney. If that makes sense. He gets flustered easily when he gets hit with a good one and he starts doing random things that I see I could capitalize on in the ring.”
Of Davis, Garcia believes he gave “too much respect [to Cruz] in the opening rounds.”
Garcia has spent nearly a year away from the ring, citing mental health conditions. He has since announced he is ready to return to fighting. Garcia has stated that he would like to face Cruz, telling the hard-nosed Mexican last week to “sign the contract.”