Ryan Garcia hopes his fight against Jorge Linares still can be scheduled for later this year.
But even if Garcia knocks out the former three-division champion, the young lightweight contender doesn’t think he’ll get an appropriate amount of credit for what would be the most noteworthy win of his career. Garcia discussed plans for his next fight and the possibility of battling Linares during a recent appearance on “The Ak And Barak Show,” which streams daily on SiriusXM and DAZN.
“I’m in a very tricky situation,” Garcia said. “You know, obviously, I can’t get that Linares fight [next] because of the travel restrictions and whatnot. So, I’m looking elsewhere. But, you know, I’m definitely not gonna get any type of, I guess would you say credit for any victory I’m gonna get if it’s not Linares. And even if it was Linares, let’s be honest, people already got those excuses lined up. You know what I mean? They’re gonna say Linares was old and they’re gonna say he has no chin when I catch him. So, I’m already ready for it.
“But what I do know is no matter who I fight, I’m gonna keep moving forward. … As long as I’m in the ring. You know what I mean? As long as I’m in the ring, fighting, it’s gonna be good for me. So, that’s what I’m aiming for.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, his handlers at Golden Boy Promotions had hoped to match Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) against Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) on July 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Venezuela’s Linares is 34 and has lost by technical knockout five times, but he would be the most skillful, accomplished opponent of a career Garcia began in June 2016.
Linares lives in Japan, where he hasn’t been able to train and spar due to that country’s coronavirus restrictions. The former WBA/WBC lightweight champion stated during his own recent appearance on “The Ak And Barak Show” that he would need a 10-week training camp to fight Garcia.
The 21-year-old Garcia still expects to fight this summer.
“There’s something in the works,” Garcia said. “We’re working at it every day to make a fight happen. The last opponent I had was Abner Mares. It looks like it might not happen because I think he’s just gonna try to cash out one last time. So, I think he might price himself out. But other than that, we’re gonna keep looking.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.