Ryan García now has very good lightweight problems.

The unbeaten 21-year contender has two prominent choices to make for his next fight, with two separate sanctioning bodies angling to come along for the ride. The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has become the latest to join the sweepstakes, with the Puerto Rico-based sanctioning body ordering a lightweight title eliminator between Garcia and Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe on Monday.

“Please be advised the parties have twenty (20) days upon receipt of this letter to negotiate and reach an agreement regarding the WBO Lightweight Elimination contest between WBO Lightweight Participants Ryan García and Emmanuel Tagoe,” Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of the WBO Championship Committee stated in an official letter issued to both camps, of which BoxingScene.com has obtained a copy. “If an accord is not reached within the time frame set forth herein, a Purse Bid will be ordered pursuant with the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.”

The two sides will have until July 26 to come to terms to avoid a purse bid hearing. The ongoing global coronavirus pandemic could affect the location of the purse bid or perhaps reduce to a virtual session, but one where promoters must be registered with the WBO and present a minimum bid of $150,000 in order to participate.

Monday’s announcement comes on the heels of a recent story published by BoxingScene.com, revealing that a mandatory challenger within the WBO has not existed for nearly two years. Vasilily Lomachenko (14-1, 10KOs) is the sanctioning body’s current champ (and who also holds the WBA “Super” lightweight title) and is due to face IBF titlist Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12KOs) in a unification clash tentatively slated to take place on September 19.

Efforts to produce a mandatory challenger in waiting resulted in a ratings shakeup. Former featherweight titlist Lee Selby previously occupied the number one slot, but has been removed due to his being committed to a final eliminator versus Australia’s George Kambosos, Jr. where the winner will become the IBF lightweight mandatory contender.

Going down the list, California’s Garcia (20-0, 17KOs) and the streaking Tagoe (31-1, 15KOs) are ranked number two and number three, respectively. Both are clearly interested in the fight, hence the order submitted to their promoters—Golden Boy Promotions, representing Garcia and DiBella Entertainment as the promoter of record for Tagoe.

 Tagoe and Kambosos are both guided by Hall of Fame-elected promoter Lou DiBella and 2019 Manager of the Year nominee Peter Kahn, giving the team two clients in potential final lightweight title eliminator. 

"The WBO did the right thing by ordering the eliminator," Kahn told BoxingScene.com upon hearing word from the sanctioning body. "It's an excellent fight for both Ryan Garcia and Emmanuel Tagoe.

"They're both one fight away from securing a world title shot. Possibly for the undisputed lightweight championship depending on how the Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight plays out."

García was also ordered by the World Boxing Council (WBC) to begin negotiations for an interim title fight with England’s Luke Campbell (20-3, 16KOs). The winner of such a fight would be mandated to next face current full titlist Devin Haney (24-0, 15KOs), who has been granted a voluntary defense for his first fight back since recovering from shoulder surgery.

The interim title fight is far from within reach, as negotiations haven’t yet begun. Sources have informed BoxingScene.com that García is far more interested in exploring an option that would lead to facing the winner of the aforementioned Lomachenko-Lopez superfight.

García is coming off of a 1st round knockout win over Francisco Fonseca this past February in Anaheim, California.

Tagoe hasn’t fought since last July, with a planned stateside debut scheduled for March canceled due to the ongoing global health crisis. The 31-year old lightweight has won 31 straight since losing his pro debut more than 16 years ago.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox