Ryan Garcia thinks that he needs a victory over Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis to feel validated as a fighter because he views him as “THE champion” at 135.
At the same time, Ryan (23-0, 19 KOs) says, “belts don’t matter,” and there likely won’t be one on the line if Tank agrees to come up to 140 to face the Golden Boy-promoted star in that weight class.
The Davis-Garcia fight would have more meaning if the 23-year-old Ryan Garcia beat someone good to deserve a title shot. Ryan’s sixth-round knockout victory over the shot to pieces 33-year-old Javier Fortuna last Saturday night doesn’t count for a fight earning a title shot.
Fortuna was beaten last year by Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz by a 12-round decision, and he did nothing to redeem himself after that loss. Jojo Diaz beat the brakes off Fortuna last year. Why, after that loss, did Ryan choose to fight Fortuna? I’ll give you one guess.
Fortuna was picked because he was an easy mark for Ryan to give him a sure-thing win to make sure that he didn’t lose before he got his big payday fight against Tank Davis, which he has virtually no chance of winning.
Last night’s fight was essentially a cherry-pick on Ryan’s part by fighting the recently beaten Fortuna instead of Jojo Diaz or one of the talented contenders like Vasyl Lomachenko, Isaac Cruz, Michel Rivera, or Jeremiah Nakathilia.
If the Tank vs. Garcia fight takes place in the light welterweight division, it would be a clash between two popular fighters without a title unless one of the sanctioning bodies elects to volunteer one of their belts for the fight.
My guess is one of the sanctioning bodies will gladly make available one of their titles for the Tank-Kingry fight, even if it’s a specially made trinket strap. It’ll be too tempting for the alphabet organizations to get in on the act to make money from sanctioning fees for their straps.
“Me winning championships is just going to give people more ammo to be like, ‘Oh, Ryan.’ I don’t care about that. I need to know in my heart that I beat the guy that I feel is the champion,” said Ryan Garcia to DAZN Boxing last Saturday night about his need to defeat Tank Davis to make him feel complete.
“If I beat Tank Davis or when I beat Tank Davis, I will feel like a champion regardless if he has a real belt or not. I will feel like a champion because the name [Tank] carries weight; his name carries weight,” said Ryan.
I doubt that Ryan believes he can actually beat Tank because if he really thought he could, he would have fought a better fighter last Saturday night instead of the old journeyman Fortuna. In the same post-fight interview last Saturday, Ryan admitted what is likely the REAL reason he wants to fight Tank by saying, “Making a bunch of money.”
“To me, he’s a great fighter,” said Ryan about Tank. “I would actually be a fan of his if I weren’t a fighter; I’d actually be a fan of his because I like how he fights, and I have respect for him, and I think he’s a great fighter.
“I think I’m a better fighter,” said Ryan about his opinion that he’s a better fighter than Gervonta.
“I know you want the fight, and I believe Tank Davis wants the fight,” said Chris Mannix of DAZN. “I believe both fighters want the fight. We need Mayweather Promotions to want the [Tank vs. Ryan] fight.
“We need Golden Boy Promotions to want the fight; we need DAZN and Showtime to want the fight. Everybody gets together. Ryan Garcia will be back in December one way or another, and hopefully, it’ll be against Tank Davis,” said Mannix.