It’s a testament to the potential size and significance of the Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia bout that it has immediately garnered mainstream sports world interest before a dedicated media campaign has even been organized.
Appearing on Stephen A. Smith’s First Take on ESPN, the 24-year-old Garcia talked up the 2023 high-profile showdown and continued to push the narrative of him being the relentless predator who forced this fight into being.
“This fight means everything to me,” Garcia said. “Since I was a young kid I’ve always wanted the biggest fights in the world. It’s been my dream and it’s finally here. I had to chase him down but we’re finally here, we finally made it happen, and I couldn’t be happier for the sport, for the fans and for everybody that’s gonna tune-in. Two undefeated young fighters finally fighting in their prime — I’m happy it’s happening.”
When asked to clarify about having to chase Davis down, “King Ry” had no trouble explaining himself.
“Actually, yeah, (Davis) was running from me. He was. But like I said, I made it happen and now it’s time to show everybody I’m the best fighter in the world. I’ve been the best since I was a young kid, was one of the best in the amateurs, and now I’m here in the pros and here to finally start everything I’ve dreamed of.
“I’ve been asking this fight since I was 17, 18 years old…I guess he always wanted to take a little easier route, which is fine, you can see by his opposition. So it’s finally here. All I gotta say is all that doesn’t matter now. The fight’s happening. I’m gonna whoop him, bad.”
On how the contest will play out, Garcia was also quick to insist that it will wow fans and impress everybody. Of course, he sees himself emerging as the victor.
“There’s so many different options, so many different scenarios for myself,” Garcia told Smith. “But I see probably the greatest fight you’ll see because if he doesn’t get knocked out early this is gonna be a war of speed, power — at all times somebody could get dropped, somebody could get knocked down. As you see, when I got knocked down I got back up and I knocked the guy out.
“So if something like that occurs this is gonna be an all-out brawl, an all-out slugfest with speed, accuracy, and IQ. So I think this is gonna be one of the greatest fights you’ll ever see.”
Well, it’s definitely a good sign that a major mainstream sports outlet like ESPN is taking interest in Davis-Garcia. It’s also of great benefit that the two fighters are very social media-savvy and have a dedicated grassroots following culled the new-school, online, way.
There are numerous issues that may stand in the way of this fight actually happening, though. So, it’s not exactly a “done deal,” despite the media reports claiming it is. Both fighters will have interim bouts before the big one in April. There’s plenty of time to lose, get injured, or simply have a public falling out that keeps things from coming together. Seeing that there’s currently no signed contracts legally binding both parties to the bout, it’ll be frighteningly easy for either side to move the other way.
Another issue is Davis’ upcoming February trial on hit-and-run charges. If found guilty, the fighter could see some serious prison time.
Also, Garcia’s history of mental health issues can’t be ignored, especially seeing as how they’ve led to him pulling out of fights before. So, yes, there’s reason to be hyped over Davis-Garcia and there’s reason to be excited about how much mainstream attention it may bring to a stagnant boxing scene, but it would also be wise to temper that enthusiasm with a healthy dose of realism. Boxing is boxing, after all.