On Saturday, January 2, Ryan Garcia proved he’s among the elite at lightweight with an astounding 7th-round TKO over Luke Campbell. It was a monumental win for the 22-year-old and sets him up for another huge fight later this year. Today, I’m going to break down a few of the best options for Ryan Garcia to face in his next bout.
There is no shortage of elite lightweights willing to face off against Garcia. He has some massive tests ahead in order to be called the best fighter in the weight class.
Before getting into some possible opponents for “KingRy,” let’s take a close look at his most recent victory in the ring.
Ryan Garcia Silences Doubters With TKO Win Over Luke Campbell
Going undefeated in boxing isn’t easy. That’s what Ryan Garcia has managed to accomplish, though, as he’s now 21-0 as a professional. Many have criticized Ryan for not taking on the toughest challenges in the past.
That can no longer be argued. This past weekend, Ryan took on Luke Campbell for the vacant WBC interim lightweight title. It was without a doubt the biggest test of Garcia’s career. Campbell is a knockout puncher whose previous fight came in a decision loss to Vasyl Lomachenko.
Fans around the world seemed torn on who would come out on top. Most online sports betting websites listed Ryan Garcia as the very slight betting favorite. In the second round, it looked like we had an upset on our hands after Campbell floored Ryan with a left hook.
That would be Luke’s biggest moment in the fight. As the rounds went on, Ryan began to take over with massive shots to the head and body. In round seven, he landed a vicious left hook to the liver that rendered Campbell unable to recover.
Garcia needed a massive win to silence his doubters. That is exactly what he managed to accomplish. He’s now without a doubt one of boxing’s top young up-and-comers. He’s also becoming a star with more casual fans and likely has some massive fights on the horizon.
There are many fighters now pushing for a fight with Ryan. Let’s look at some of the most likely possibilities.
Here Are the 5 Best Options For Ryan Garcia Right Now
Boxing is a sport that relies on superstars. Without them, there would be no money in the fight game. Most recognize that Ryan Garcia is a legitimate star. The goal is now booking him into the biggest fights possible.
Nothing has been made official yet. There seem to be a few men that seem likely to take him on next, though.
Here are the fighters that I think we could see Ryan Garcia stepping across the ring from sometime in 2021.
Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis have been verbally sparring for years. It’s clear that there’s a level of respect between the two men. It’s also clear that they want to compete with each other. Some still feel that Garcia needs more experience before facing off against “Tank.”
There might be some truth to that statement. Gervonta Davis is now 24-0 as a professional, yet he’s consistently faced a higher level of competition than Ryan Garcia. Davis is also an extraordinary power puncher, with all but one of his victories coming via stoppage.
Ryan Garcia doesn’t appear intimidated, though. After his win over Luke Campbell, he called out Gervonta publicly.
“I really want to be a man of my word,” Garcia said. “I really want to fight Tank. I know people are worried about it [happening], but I’m ready for it.”
Ryan Garcia clearly felt on top of the world after beating Luke Campbell. He might have let the adrenaline get to him when calling out Gervonta Davis, though. “Tank” is likely the scariest fighter at lightweight and can match Garcia’s power. If this fight takes place, I think Davis ends up getting the win before the sixth round.
Ryan Garcia obviously wants a big name the next time he steps into the ring. A fight against former pound-for-pound best Vasyl Lomachemko might be the perfect test for him. This is another one that seems too soon for Ryan, yet it’s a fight he would probably accept if given the opportunity.
Some might be wondering how this could be one of the best options for Ryan Garcia right now. “Loma” is a special fighter with an incredible amount of experience in the ring. He also seems to be angry at his most recent loss against Teofimo Lopez.
A win over Lomachenko could be massive for Garcia’s career. Lopez proved that power punchers can walk Vasyl down. If Garcia takes a similar approach, he can earn another massive victory.
Lomachenko wants to bounce back with an impressive win. Ryan Garcia is looking for another big name to add to his resume. It would be an incredible test for Ryan, yet one that could pay off in a big way if he earns a victory.
This fight could play out a million different ways. Four months ago, I would have claimed Lomachenko wins without breaking a sweat. He looked hesitant against Teofimo Lopez, however, and that could signal that he’s reaching the end of his career. If Garcia keeps up the pressure, he can land a knockout shot similar to the one he caught Luke Campbell with last weekend.
The previous two fighters are both world-class. Boxing is a sport that involves bringing up fighters slowly. Generally speaking, taking risks in boxing is unadvised. With that in mind, perhaps one of the best options for Ryan Garcia is a fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Gamboa was a superstar back in the 2000s. Some felt he would go on to become the next big thing in the sport. He found tremendous success but recorded losses against the very best fighters in the ring.
Gamboa is now riding a two-fight losing streak. To fans, that means he’s beginning to enter the twilight of his career. Ryan Garcia could be the perfect opponent to face against Yuriorkis Gamboa right now. It seems likely that Ryan would be the betting favorite according to sites like BetOnline.
Garcia’s management might agree. A win over Gamboa puts you in a special category. Only the elite fighters in the weight class have managed that feat. The timing seems right and both men would likely agree to the matchup.
Time catches up with every boxer. Yuriorkis Gamboa is now 39 years old and is riding the first losing streak of his career. Garcia, however, is just getting started in the game. It won’t be easy, but I believe Ryan could earn another knockout victory against a grizzled veteran of the game like Gamboa.
Boxing’s lightweight division is filled with exciting young contenders. Many feel that Devin Haney is the most promising young fighter in the weight class right now. He is undefeated at 25-0 and has recorded wins over several former champions.
Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney have a past. They have trained on several occasions back in the day. They have also competed against one another as amateurs. This backstory is enough to make Devin Haney one of the best options for Ryan Garcia right now. This fight is also being ordered to take place by the WBC.
— Devin Haney (@Realdevinhaney) January 4, 2021
Some are pushing against this idea. No one likes to see a promising young fighter earn a loss early in their professional careers. A bout between Garcia and Haney is one in which someone’s undefeated record would need to go.
From an entertainment perspective, this would be a good one. Haney and Garcia have been challenging each other on social media for years. Everyone wants to see how a professional fight between them would go.
This is another extremely difficult fight to call. Haney was victorious in the amateurs. The professional game is different and may benefit Garcia’s style more. In a coin-toss prediction, I think Garcia lands enough hard shots to earn a decision victory.
Perhaps the toughest-possible opponent available at lightweight right now is Teofimo Lopez. At 16-0, he’s now considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing. Lopez shocked the world with his recent decision victory over Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lopez might also be one of the best options for Ryan Garcia right now. Unlike some of the other fighters on this list, Teofimo is still fairly new in the professional game. That relative inexperience could benefit a fellow young fighter like Ryan Garcia.
This one doesn’t seem very likely at this point, though. All signs seem to point towards an upcoming rematch between Teofimo Lopez and Vasyl Lomachenko sometime this year. That could push a fight against Ryan Garcia back considerably.
It’s exciting to think about. In many ways, Lopez and Ryan Garcia are similar fighters. Both have devastating knockout and solid fundamentals. One just seems to be a slightly more polished fighter.
Teofimo Lopez faced the toughest test of his career against Vasyl Lomachenko this past October. He looked amazing and earned the decision over one of boxing’s best fighters. I don’t think that win was a fluke. Lopez’s power and skill would make him too much for Ryan Garcia. I would expect Teofimo to earn a knockout sometime in the early rounds.
Ryan Garcia is the perfect addition to the sport of boxing right now. He’s young, exciting, and undefeated. Some of the best options for Ryan Garcia might now be just around the corner.
For now, Ryan should sit back and enjoy his recent victory. He’s just 22 years old and has a huge number of important matchups ahead of him. A clear opponent is likely to present himself sometime in the next few months.
What do you think are the best options for Ryan Garcia? Do you think he’ll face any of the men on this list in 2021? Let us know in the comments section below!