In boxing, not only do you not get punished for rabble-rousing and speaking out of turn, but you actually get rewarded for it.
The case of 21-year-old lightweight top prospect and future superstar, Ryan “Kingry” Garcia, is the perfect example of that boxing dynamic.
Following his second very public spat with promoter Golden Boy in less than a year´s time, the young fighter is seeing opportunities tossed at his feet.
The WBO recently ordered a title eliminator between Garcia and Emmanuel Tagoe. Winning this bout would line him up for a shot at the current kingpin of the lightweights and universally-regarded pound-for-pound presence, Vasiliy Lomachenko.
But that´s not all.
Soon after the WBO declaration, the WBC would chime in with their own mandate. They ordered Garcia against former title challenger Luke Campbell for the interim WBC lightweight title. The winner would then be in line to face another top prospect in Devin Haney for the full WBC title.
By all accounts, Garcia and his team have accepted the WBC proposal and are now set to start negotiating terms and conditions.
The Good and Bad
There’s good and bad to both sanctioning body offers, though.
The WBO path takes Garcia straight to the very top of everything. If all went well in the eliminator, he’d be facing Lomachenko for all the marbles and a pound-for-pound spot next year. That, however, may be too ambitious, even for a fighter with such a tremendous up side.
The WBC path immediately puts him in the ring against his toughest, most seasoned opponent to date in the UK’s Campbell. A win would line up a very intriguing young gun vs. young gun battle with fellow undefeated 20-something star, Haney, for WBC strap.
All in all, the second plan seems like the best, with the greatest reward for the least amount of risk. Beating Haney, however, will be no small feat. For that matter, beating Campbell is no walk in the park, either.
But for a fighter with high ambition who’s also facing the reality of not being ready just yet for the best of the best, the WBC plan provides the best path to true stardom.
Bad Lesson Learned
Unfortunately, the lesson learned from this mess with his promoter is not a great one. Garcia has learned that scandal and stubborn mutiny sell. He’s essentially being rewarded for balking at the requests of his promoter and insisting on his own hand-selected path to the top. It’s safe to asume that this lesson will be carried through to the rest of his career.
Could Golden Boy, though, be using these offers as a back-handed way of punishing their mutinous fighter?
Garcia is not ready for someone like Lomachenko and should be severly tasked in facing Campbell. A bout with Haney would put Garcia in the ring with someone just as young, ambitious, and talented…and, arguably, more skilled at the moment.
Time will tell how this all plays out. Either way, it’s going to be sink or swim time soon enough for Garcia. And maybe this is all a win-win for Golden Boy. They will walk away with either a full superstar in Garcia or a spanked bad boy, taught a serious lesson in humility.