Ryan Garcia is teasing his return to the ring this spring.
“My career resumes April 2,” Garcia revealed on YouTuber Noah Beck’s channel. “It should be in either Los Angeles or Las Vegas, most likely Vegas. So, I look forward to the announcement of the fight, of my opponent, and whatnot.”
Who exactly Garcia will fight remains to be seen.
For weeks, Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) was calling for lightweight contender Isaac Cruz, but a formal deal never materialized. Soon after the fight unraveled with the former Gervonta Davis foe, and after Golden Boy brass admitted they preferred a “softer fight” than Cruz, Garcia shot down a report that indicated Mercito Gesta and Saul Rodriguez were in the mix as potential opponents. Garcia tweeted to claim the development to be “not true.”
“The thing with 2022 though is I have to be focused on getting at least three fights done this year,” said Garcia. “I can’t be worried about if I’m making money on social media and all that stuff because if I’m a great boxer, the money is going to come in. Do you know what I mean?
“The pros [of social media stardom] is it’s given me freedom so that I don’t have to be desperate for fights, and I don’t have to be desperate for the promoters or anybody really because I make enough money outside of the ring.
“Obviously, the cons are people not giving me credit for what I do. But I feel with my amateur background, and now as a professional fighter, myself, I feel like I’ve done enough to prove to myself that I am one of the top fighters in the world and I am going to prove that I am the best fighter in my weight class.”
Garcia got off to a scorching hot start in 2021 by scoring a knockout against Luke Campbell on Jan. 2, 2021. However, in April, he abruptly pulled out of an announced July fight against Javier Fortuna citing mental health issues. While he was training for his return, the 23-year-old suffered a right hand injury that required surgery and his been sidelined since.
“I was struggling deep within myself [with mental health issues],” said Garcia. “Anyone that knows boxing knows that if you’re not there 100% mentally, you’re not going to be there 100% physically. You could die in the ring, so I took that pretty serious, and I decided obviously to take that break.
“I feel great coming back. Like I said, it wasn’t really a comeback for me. I’m resuming where I left off. I feel great. I’m going to come back just as strong, powerful, and when those knockouts come, I guarantee you that everyone is going to shut up, and it’s going to be like nothing happened.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.