Oscar De La Hoya believes that the Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia fight will be such a big deal that it will have a long-lasting effect on the boxing industry.
Garcia's promoter projected that the two fighters' fame outside of boxing's dwindling fan base and on social media would make their pay-per-view event a financial success. Since the day tickets went on sale last month, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where Davis and Garcia's bout is scheduled for April 22, has been completely sold out.
“The Golden Boy” believes such high demand for admission is an accurate indication of how many consumers will buy a four-fight pay-per-view show that’ll cost $84.99 in the United States. De La Hoya has stated that Davis-Garcia could generate two million buys in the U.S., though most industry insiders have been much more conservative with their estimates.
Nevertheless, the six-division champion believes Davis-Garcia's matchup has been planned at the perfect time to generate some much-needed momentum for a niche sport in which business challenges frequently prevent the most compelling fights from taking place. During Garcia's open workout on Tuesday at the Maloof house in Beverly Hills, California, De La Hoya talked about the significance of their fight.
“This is the fight to save boxing – literally,” De La Hoya told Showtime’s announcer, Ray Flores. “You know, they keep on – every decade has its fight to save boxing. This is the fight to save boxing. And the reason why it is, is because you have two young guys, two undefeated guys, who are the best of the best, willing to fight each other. You can see the anticipation, you can feel it. The sellout in four minutes of tickets. It’s a great indication that this pay-per-view is gonna be huge, so yeah, this is the fight of the year.”
Most bookies rate Baltimore's Davis (28-0, 26 KOs) as more than a 2-1 favourite to defeat California's Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) in their 12-round non-title bout, which will take place at a stipulated catch weight of 136 pounds. Even against a dangerous southpaw who has knocked out 93% of his opponents, De La Hoya believes the 24-year-old Garcia will put up a remarkable performance in the greatest fight of his six-year pro career. Davis was complimented by De La Hoya on Tuesday.
“I told [Garcia] the other day, ‘I can see it in your eyes. There’s something in your eyes that tells me you’re gonna do something special,’ ” De La Hoya said. “Because there’s fighters in each generation that are chosen. And Ryan is the chosen one for this generation.”