There was a time when Oscar De La Hoya wasn’t nearly this confident about how Ryan Garcia would fare versus Gervonta Davis.
Based on Garcia’s considerable improvement while working with trainer Eddy Reynoso, though, “The Golden Boy” doesn’t think the undefeated Davis would stand a chance against the fighter his company promotes. De La Hoya primarily mentioned Davis during a press conference Thursday as the lightweight champion he wants Garcia to fight “when” Garcia beats Luke Campbell on Saturday in Dallas.
“I think that Ryan Garcia can fight anybody at 135,” De La Hoya told DAZN’s moderator, Todd Grisham. “I think he can go up against [Devin] Haney. I’d love the ‘Tank’ fight. I think Ryan Garcia walks through ‘The Tank’ [Davis]. And if you were to ask me like three years ago, I would’ve been kind of like maybe questioned it. But now that Ryan Garcia’s the fighter who is improving, the fighter who is growing, the fighter that’s getting stronger and faster, I think Ryan Garcia walks right through ‘The Tank.’ I really do.”
The 22-year-old Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) has regularly mentioned Baltimore’s Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) as his preferred potential opponent throughout the buildup toward his 12-round, 135-pound title fight against England’s Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs). The fourth-ranked Garcia, of Victorville, California, and the third-rated Campbell, of Hull, England, will fight for the WBC interim lightweight title in the main event at American Airlines Center.
Las Vegas’ Haney (25-0, 15 KOs), the WBC world lightweight champion, expects to face the Garcia-Campbell winner in his next fight. Grisham informed De La Hoya that Haney will part of DAZN’s broadcast team for Saturday’s show (8 p.m. GMT; 3 p.m. EST).
“Look, the beautiful thing about Ryan is that every world champion is calling him out,” De La Hoya said. “You know? It’s not the other way around. Every world champion out there, and this is the unique position that Ryan Garcia’s in, that every world champion needs Ryan Garcia. It’s not the other way around, so it’s a pretty cool position to be in.”
Davis, meanwhile, owns the WBA world 135-pound title and the WBA “super” 130-pound crown. The left-handed knockout artist is open to taking his next fight either in the lightweight division or at the junior lightweight limit.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.