WBC interim lightweight champion Ryan Garcia has explained why he has put aside a fight with Gervonta Davis in favour of a potential match-up with Manny Pacquiao.
In an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Garcia refused to name his next opponent but insisted it will be a much bigger fight than facing Davis.
“If I told you what’s going to happen, you wouldn’t believe me,” Garcia said. “I wish I could [tell you]. What I will say is, I have to put Gervonta on the side for this fight. It’s a much bigger fight. And it’s the biggest opportunity. It’s an honor that I’m coming close to a deal to make this.”
“I had a lot of inspiration growing up,” Garcia added. “Muhammad Ali was one of my biggest inspirations. Manny Pacquiao is a big inspiration to me, Oscar De La Hoya is another big inspiration of mine. Sugar Ray Robinson. I could go down the list of the greats that I look up to … I’ve kind of taken a lot of inspiration from them and learned from their mistakes. You could say that I’m going to make my own path and my own legacy. I’m excited about what’s going to come, but yeah, I have a lot of inspiration.”
Garcia may have put Davis on the backburner for now but he believes should the fight not come off it is Davis whose legacy will suffer.
“Man, honestly, we just have to see with time,” Garcia said about a potential Davis fight. “I know I will KO Gervonta Davis in two rounds, and he knows that. He senses that. And I’m being generous. In the first round, I might let him survive just so I can fulfill my promise. You know how I know he’s scared? He’s saying I’m on steroids. That shows you that he’s really scared. Come on now, I don’t need anything. I’m worried about squeezing every ounce of greatness out of a fight, not every ounce of dollars … If he doesn’t end up fighting me sooner rather than later, his legacy will forever be tainted. Remember that.” (Transcribed by Boxing Scene)