Boxing fans, mark November 18th on your calendars. Oscar De La Hoya, the legendary boxer and founder of Golden Boy Promotions, recently confirmed that Ryan Garcia, one of the sport’s most promising talents, will make his highly anticipated return to the ring on that date. According to De La Hoya, the 25-year-old Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) will be facing a “top guy,” and the bout is likely to take place in Los Angeles.
“Look, Ryan is coming off a knockout loss. So me as a promoter, we have to make sure what’s best for his career, and match him up correctly and bring him back,” De La Hoya told Fight Hub TV. This remark underscores the critical juncture at which Garcia’s career currently stands. His last bout was against Gervonta Davis in April, where he suffered a knockout that raised questions about his ability to compete at the world-class level.
Initially, talks were circulating about Garcia potentially facing Ohara Davies (25-2, 18 KOs) for the WBA light welterweight title. The current champion, Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero, is currently out of commission due to an undisclosed injury, making Davies a viable candidate. However, Davies, despite being ranked #1 WBA at 140, is considered by many to be more of a domestic-level British fighter rather than a top-tier contender. “If he can’t even beat a fighter of Ohara’s level, it would show that Ryan isn’t cut out to fight at the world level,” said De La Hoya, indicating the crucial nature of Garcia’s next bout for his career trajectory.
When pressed about where the fight would occur, De La Hoya expressed some reservations. “We’re currently working on a venue, but California taxes are killing us,” he said. And as for the opponent? “Not yet. I can’t really say anybody, or they add another zero behind the negotiations,” De La Hoya remarked.
The choice of Garcia’s next opponent isn’t just a business decision; it’s a pivotal moment for a young boxer who has been under immense scrutiny, both for his talent and his career choices. Chris Algieri, speaking to ProBox TV, offered a nuanced perspective: “We have that old saying, ‘It’s tough to get up and do road work early in the morning when you’re sleeping in silk sheets,’ and Ryan Garcia has been a millionaire by 23 years old,” he said. Algieri questions whether the allure of quick fame and financial success might be softening Garcia’s competitive edge.
Paulie Malignaggi adds yet another layer to the discussion, raising questions about boxing’s governing bodies and rules. “How are you getting a shot after a loss? Is that one of the rules that they just decided to break whenever they want to? You can’t fight for a world title coming off a loss, but in some cases, you can,” Malignaggi said. His statement encapsulates the complexities and often arbitrary nature of boxing’s organizational structures, which can sometimes seem as labyrinthine as they are controversial.
While the specific location for the bout remains undecided, it is worth noting that Garcia has found a new training home at the “World Class Boxing Gym” in Dallas, Texas, under the guidance of a new coaching team. This gym has been the choice facility for other big-money fighters such as Anthony Joshua, Errol Spence Jr., and Jermell Charlo. Garcia parted ways with his previous coach, Joe Goossen, following his loss to Davis—a bout that generated over 1.2 million pay-per-view buys, more than $100 million in domestic PPV revenue, and a live gate of $22.8 million.
Adding complexity to the situation is the ongoing legal battle between Golden Boy Promotions, Garcia, and his adviser/attorney Guadalupe Valencia. Despite this, all parties are committed to organizing Garcia’s next fight, which may be broadcast either on DAZN or DAZN PPV. The initial plan to have Garcia face off against WBA Super Lightweight champion Rolando Romero was thwarted due to Romero’s injury and a mandatory defense against Ohara Davies.
November 18th looms large, not just as another date on the boxing calendar, but as a watershed moment in Ryan Garcia’s career. Will he validate the hype that has surrounded him, or will he provide further evidence that he may not be cut out for world-class competition? Either way, the boxing world will be watching intently, ready to dissect every punch, every round, and every decision in what promises to be a pivotal match for Garcia.