Many opponents were in front of Ryan Garcia. The unbeaten lightweight candidate had plenty of choices because his name had apparently been making waves since entering the scene.
Garcia was always fascinated by the thought of going up against Davis. Garcia will finally get his wish as the two will square off on April 22 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, much to his delight.
Davis holds the WBA's secondary championship, but since the fight will take place at a catchweight of 136 pounds, Davis' version of the world title won't be on the line. “For me, this is a legacy fight,” said Garcia to BoxingScene.com. “Titles are titles but this is really a world title fight for me.”
Only by defeating Davis from Garcia's perspective can he establish himself as the man to beat and pave the path to superstardom. Garcia ultimately found himself on the verge of contending for a genuine world championship just a few years ago, thanks to his winning streak and rising popularity.
Before combining the other world championships in the weight class to establish himself as the undisputed champion, Devin Haney openly offered to face Garcia in a defense of his WBC lightweight title.
Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) was initially expected to be Haney's mandatory challenger, but he demonstrated little to no interest in doing so. The California star stated that going after Davis and winning would be the more important course of action.
Garcia currently has nothing to add to his title mantle. But despite missing out on a prize, the talkative 24-year-old isn't sure that winning the championship will advance his career and win him the respect he so badly wants.
“Yes," said Garcia when asked if he would like to chase more meaningful bouts as opposed to titles. "If there’s a belt attached to it, great. In everything, I look for the truth. I can steal a title somewhere against somebody who just so happens to hold it. But does that really make me a champion? It doesn't. If you really look for the truth, you’ll find it. And for me, I found the truth with Gervonta Davis. He’s a great fighter and that’s why I believe this is a world title fight.”