[ photography credit: Getty images]
It is good to be King.
Ryan Garcia (20-0 17KO’s), or KingRy
as he is often referred to, currently has a plethora of options available. The 21-year-old boxing prodigy from California by way of Mexican descent is a very wanted man.
Most recently, the WBC ordered their #2 and #3 ranked contenders to challenge for a version of their lightweight crown. Sitting second on the list, is massively underrated world class boxer from England, Luke Campbell (20-3 16KO’s). Right behind him at three is Ryan Garcia. The winner becomes Devin Haney's mandatory for his WBC lightweight strap.
Not an organization to be left behind, the WBO also ordered a 135lb title eliminator between Ryan Garcia and Ghana's Emmanuel Tagoe (31-1 15KO’s). WBO Ruler Vasyl Lomachenko awaits the victor of Garcia-Tagoe.
In boxing nothing is guaranteed. Even if the sanctioning bodies demand certain fights take place, the boxers and promoters ultimately call the shots.
But for shits and giggles lets take a closer inspection of KingRy's options and my preferred route.
Hailing from Yorkshire in the UK, 32-year-old Luke Campbell is by far the more proven commodity between Ryan Garcia and Emmanuel Tagoe. Last we saw of young Luke, was in his competitive battle against pound for pound pugilist Vasyl Lomachenko last August. Campbell frustrated Lomachenko with his height, reach and pure technical boxing ability for 12 exciting rounds! The fight was much closer than the scorecards would indicate, and Campbell exited with the respect of all who watched.
His thrilling fight with Hall of Fame bound Jorge Linares in 2017 is one of the purest technical boxing scraps available! Linares was streaking at the time! No other boxer was hotter, and Campbell pushed him to a razor thin split decision. Had Campbell been afforded hometown advantage, the result might have been more favorable.
Campbell's body of work in those two bouts is why the hardcore fans are salivating at a Garcia vs Luke match-up.
Pull up almost any sanctioning body’s world rankings, and you will be hard pressed not finding “Gameboy” on them. (With the exception of the WBA, but to be fair, not even the WBA knows what the WBA is doing. Shots fired!)
Proud Ghanian Emmanuel Tagoe (31-1 15 KO’s) is sitting pretty in the WBO’s rankings at third, seventh for the IBF, eighth in the WBC and ninth on the highly esteemed “The Ring” list.
After a rocky start to his professional career, “Gameboy” has racked up 31 consecutive wins! Mostly all in his native Ghana. The notable names on “Gameboys” resume are former world champions Mzonke Fana and Moses Paulus.
Training out of Centeno's Sweat Box Boxing Gym, Tagoe is known for his ferociousness and tenacity! Something instilled by the pedigree of his boxing family. His uncle is a former two division world champion while another uncle is a very respected trainer.
MY BEST OPTION
If Oscar De La Hoya bestowed upon me the responsibility of picking Ryan Garcias next fight, I would write in Luke Campbell before he could finish! (Much respect to “Gameboy” and our good friends at Centeno Gym.) A Luke vs Ryan fight would bring out some of the best boxing fan bases going. La Raza Mexicana and our brothers in England!
It is very hard to maintain a high level of respect in the boxing game. A never-ending soap opera with fickle fans. But if Ryan Garcia were to defeat Luke Campbell, no easy task, the hardcore would be obligated to give him his props. Even if for a day.
Since it is my dream world, I’ll take it one step further: Ryan Garcia vs Luke Campbell co main event to Canelo vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko in September!! Sign me up! Eddie Reynoso, trainer of Ryan and Canelo, is on board.
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