When Gervonta “Tank” Davis beat Isaac Cruz last Sunday via harder-than-expected 12-round unanimous decision, lightweight rival Ryan Garcia was among the first to cast shade on the victory.
"Gervonta gets away with fighting c level fighters, out of all the lightweights he’s the weakest!!!" the undefeated 23-year-old Garcia said via social media [without much regard to grammar or punctuation] "His toughest test was Leo Santa Cruz, almost lost tonight bring it on I’ve been calling you out for awhile."
"We all know Luke Campbell [who Garcia beat via TKO 7 in January] is better [than] all of [Tank’s] opposition," Garcia added. "Tank can’t beat me. He knows that and Mayweather knows that. I’m too fast and I got too much accuracy. C’mon Mayweather, you can’t protect him forever."
Well, obviously, that didn’t sit too well with the 27-year-old Davis, who upped his record to 26-0 with 24 knockouts against Cruz.
"He an Instagram fighter," Davis told media after his Staples Center victory when asked about Garcia. "We don’t worry about him. [He’s a] YouTuber, yeah. He’s a pretty girl. That’s what he is. He just talk."
According to promoter Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, a fight with Garcia was a target of theirs, but the idea was ultimately nixed by Team Garcia, who claimed to have plans to fight Manny Pacquiao in an exhibition bout.
"We tried to make this fight," Mayweather told media. "For those that don’t know, we tried to make this fight before, [with] the kid, Ryan Garcia. We tried to make the fight. He chose – what happened, Leonard? You know. Give the whole breakdown."
Ellerbe responded, "I tried to make the fight and they didn’t wanna fight – bottom line."
"He said that I guess he was gonna do an exhibition with Pacquiao instead of fighting [Davis]," Mayweather said. "You know, you get to do an exhibition when you retire. So, you can’t be doing no exhibitions when you young and active. Real fights."
Garcia, who withdrew from a Javier Fortuna bout earlier in the year due to reported mental health issues and then from a Joseph Diaz Jr. encounter with an injured hand, is taking a precarious stand when it comes to bashing any fighter’s level of opposition and activity. One could legitimately point out that the only real name of note on his resume is Luke Campbell and that cancellations and postponements have been much more common in his career than high-end challenges.
Garcia’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, would toss fuel on the flame by jumping on social media, declaring that his young fighter would "beat any lightweight in the world" and that he would "destroy"
Davis, being a product of these social media times, was quick with the harsh Twitter comeback.
"I will beat the both of y’all asses."
Davis-Garcia WOULD be a big fight and it would make a lot of money for both sides. The problem lies in untangling conflicting business ties (Davis fights under the PBC/Mayweather Promotions banner, Garcia fights under the DAZN/Golden Boy banner) and figuring out if either actually, really even wants the fight. Both teams have distinct career plans that don’t show any signs of flexibility when it comes to fighting outside of their respective in-house boxing universes.
Time will tell, of course, whether this beef is anything more than young people having an online flame war over social media. Hopefully, though, the rough words will eventually turn into rough exchanges inside the ring.