Promoter Eddie Hearn says he wants to bring unbeaten #1 WBC lightweight contender Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs to the UK in the summer to match him against the tough scraper Maxi Hughes (25-5-2, 5 KOs).
U.S boxing fans would prefer Ryan fight a more recognizable opponent than the 32-year-old fringe contender Hughes, but there’s too much money on the line for King Ry to take a risky opponent right now.
Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn sees the Garcia-Hughes contest as an excellent way to keep the famous undefeated young superstar Ryan active.
At the same time, he waits for a mega-fight against WBA lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis for September or October. Tank has a fight on May 28th against Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero that he must win for him to face Ryan later this year.
For the fight against #11 IBF, #15 WBC ranked Maxi Hughes to take place, Ryan needs to win his contest against Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1, 15 KOs) this Saturday, April 9th.
Ryan, 23, and #7 WBC Tagoe will be meeting in the main event live on DAZN at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
The powerful knockout artist Ryan Garcia should breeze through the 33-year-old Tagoe without any problems, but we could see some potential issues early on.
“I called Eric Gomez and said, ‘Let’s bring Ryan Garcia to the U.K.,’” said Eddie Hearn to The DAZN Boxing Show about King Ry’s next fight after Tagoe.
“I want to give Maxi Hughes this big opportunity where we can do a big outdoor event in Yorkshire. Bring Ryan Garcia. It’ll be wild. For me, once he gets through Tagoe, they’ve got to keep him active,” said Hearn.
There are many better fighters with more of a name out there that would jump at the chance to fight Ryan Garcia, but it’s too risky for him.
“You’ve got Gervonta Davis fighting at the end of May so that he won’t be ready until September or October,” said De La Hoya. “Let’s get Ryan Garcia over in the summer. I’d love to give the opportunity to Maxi Hughes.”
Hopefully, Ryan doesn’t wind up stunting his popularity/career by fighting no-name British fighters one after another and wind up with nothing to show for it.
We saw what happened with Demetrius Andrade when he fought a handful of obscure British fighters, and he never got a big fight.
The problem with Ryan being matched against no-name guys is that it doesn’t do anything for him to increase his popularity in the United States because there’s no interest generated for these types of fights. After all, fans have never heard of the foreign fighters, and the hardcore fans rightfully see the contests as mismatches.
Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz recently showed interest in wanting to fight Ryan, but when it came time to negotiate, Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya revealed that it was a no-go. Cruz admitted that there never was any discussion about the fight, and he felt that Ryan’s team didn’t want the war.
Ryan has been out of the ring for 15 months, so there will be some rust on him that the older, more experienced fighter Tagoe can take advantage of on Saturday.
Should Ryan and his promoters at Golden Boy agree to Hearn’s idea of a fight against Hughes in the summer, it would be the second British fighter that King Ry has faced in his last three contests.
In January 2021, Ryan defeated British fighter Luke Campbell by a seventh-round knockout in a competitive match. Ryan was decked by Campbell in the second round after getting clobbered by a lead left hand to the head.
On paper, Hughes isn’t nearly as difficult as Campbell for Ryan, so it should be a fairly easy stay-busy / showcase type of fight for the young King Ry.
Hughes’s past defeats:
- Liam Walsh
- Sam Bowen
- Martin Ward x 2
- Scott Cardle