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Ryan Garcia vs Yuriorkis Gamboa ?

Ryan Garcia could be facing former WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in his next fight rather than Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz Jr. as he had initially planned. It’s still not official that Ryan Garcia will be taking on the 39-year-old Gamboa, but he’s a name that’s being mentioned as a possibility.

The fight between Ryan (21-0, 18 KOs) and interim WBC lightweight champion ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz (32-1, 15 KOs) has hit a snag in the negotiations. According to Chris Mannix, Golden Boy, the promoters for the two highly ranked 135-pounders, are having difficulties finalizing the fight from Ryan’s side, It’s believed that Ryan’s team wants him to take an easier fight than Diaz Jr, who would be a formidable opponent for the 23-year-old Garcia. Ryan has been out of the ring for the last nine months since beating Luke Campbell by a seventh-round knockout on January 2nd. Garcia was supposed to have returned three months ago to face Javier Fortuna on July 9th, but he pulled out of the contest due to anxiety problems.

Fighting the former IBF super featherweight champion ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz would be a VERY tough fight for King Ryan, even if he were active. But given Ryan’s inactivity, anxiety problem, and how he looked in his last fight against Campbell, it would be a mistake for him to face Jo Jo Diaz next.

Golden Boy would still like to see Ryan Garcia fight Jo Jo Diaz Jr. next, but it’s looking like he’ll opt for an arguably safer choice in Gamboa.

By no means is Gamboa (30-4, 18 KOs) a sure thing for Ryan because this is a guy with a great deal of experience, power, and hand speed.

Lately, Gamboa has looked faded in losing his last two fights against Gervonta ‘Tank’ David and Devin Haney. Gamboa lost a wide 12 round unanimous decision to Haney last November in Las Vegas.

Gamboa’s once-promising career has come off the tracks in the last seven years, with losses to Terence Crawford, Robinson Castellanos, Tank Davis, and Haney.


By Jeff Aronow

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