Boxing

Somebody’s Lying in the Ryan Garcia-Isaac Cruz Mess

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An easy opening line for this article would be: “There’s been another twist in the Ryan “KingRy” Garcia vs. Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz soap opera.” But that wouldn’t be accurate.

It’d be more accurate to say that there IS no soap opera because, really, there was no push to make Garcia vs. Cruz in the first place.

The fuse for this bomb of misinformation was lit on Thursday when the founder of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, took to social media to take a dump on a few weeks of rumors regarding the lightweight bout in question.

“It is very unfortunate @IsaacPitbull98 team turned down a very lucrative offer, more than he made with Tank,” De La Hoya posted on his verified Twitter account.

Not long after that, Ryan Garcia jumped in.

“Guess [Cruz] was more like a Chihuahua [than] a pitbull,” the 23-year-old Garcia wrote.

Well, De La Hoya and Garcia spiking the ball and doing a social media touchdown dance didn’t sit all that well for those in a position to know that there was no touchdown and no ball to spike.

“Oscar, while I understand your desperation in showing @RyanGarcia you are doing SOMETHING on his behalf in your role as his promoter, do you think putting out a falsehood like this will impress him?” Sean Gibbons, president of MP Promotions, Cruz’s promoter, tweeted in response.

“We are very Happy to make you a real offer for more then you pay Ryan,” he would add. “Oscar, when you are ready to negotiate in good faith, we are happy to discuss giving this fight the platform it deserves– on pay-per-view– with a legitimate network. Don’t you believe @RyanGarcia is ready to become a pay-per-view[?]”

The veteran boxing presence then turned his attention to Garcia, himself.

“Hey @RyanGarcia, while @IsaacPitbull98 may have a few concerns in his life, fighting you is not one of them. If you are serious about wanting this fight next, we are prepared to make you an offer with a purse you deserve. Please tell us to whom we should direct that offer.”

The offer was based on the fact that Garcia’s broadcast outlet through Golden Boy, DAZN, doesn’t currently have a pay-per-view function that could help add money to any potential big fight payout. In a subsequent post, Gibbons says that Garcia-Cruz would bring Garcia “the biggest purse of his career” and that “the fight will be on a real platform that millions of people can see!! Not some app that has very few eyeballs!!” He also says that he’ll be “sitting by the phone,” waiting on a response.

So, okay, another he said-he said in boxing and, of course, a fan-friendly fight is held hostage in the process.

It would be unwise in the sport of boxing to assume that anyone is telling the whole, unvarnished truth. In this particular case, though, it would be more reasonable to lean towards Oscar De La Hoya being the shoveler of the BS or, at the very least, the shoveler with the biggest shovel.

On a recent Chris Mannix podcast, Golden Boy president Eric Gomez said that, although Garcia legitimately wants to fight Cruz, he’d personally prefer a “softer fight” for his fighter and that no plans for an opponent are currently in place for Garcia’s March or April ring return.

Was all of this just “We made an offer and he turned it down” stuff an effort from De La Hoya to appease his young, eager star? Is Cruz’s team being disingenuous about what actually happened? None of us will know for sure.

But what we DO know is that Garcia has talked big and pulled back several times before and that De La Hoya has often pumped false narratives and tall tales into boxing’s public discourse. We also know that Isaac Cruz is the kind of guy who would fight a threshing machine if his people signed him up for it.

In the meantime, while this mess untangles, don’t expect Garcia-Cruz anytime soon.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com