Oscar De La Hoya appears to be all-in on the highly anticipated fight between undefeated lightweights Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia. De La Hoya said he is prepared to make a fair, valuable deal to book a bad blood battle pitting Davis against Garcia.
De La Hoya drew eyes over the weekend during the four-belt unification bout between George Kambosos and Devin Haney. "The Golden Boy" tweeted that Haney vs. Davis was "the most exciting fight in boxing" despite his client Garcia's vocal campaign for the Davis fight.
"Obviously, the fight to make is Ryan Garcia vs. Tank Davis," De La Hoya told CBS Sports. "Ryan Garcia winning July 16 against [Javier] Fortuna will put Ryan Garcia in a position where he has a shot at fighting the very best and that's Tank Davis. I want to make Tank Davis a multi, multimillion-dollar offer to fight Ryan Garcia, possibly in October or November. So if Tank Davis is listening, let's make this fight happen... It's the biggest fight in boxing today."
Check out the full interview with Oscar De La Hoya below.
De La Hoya's alleged commitment to booking Davis vs. Garcia should help silence those who think Golden Boy Promotions is sheltering Garcia from tough fights. De La Hoya says a July 16 fight against Javier Fortuna is the stepping stone to Davis.
"You're going to get your criticism, especially from the boxing fans, because they want to see the best fights take place and they want to see them now," De La Hoya said. "Unfortunately, Ryan Garcia was dealing with mental health issues and he was off for a while. He had surgery on his right hand recently. So he's been off for quite a while.
"If Ryan Garcia beats Fortuna at the Crypto Arena on July 16, then we can start talking Tank Davis... Let's split everything down the middle and then the winner becomes the best fighter on the planet at 135."
Garcia, 23, returned to the boxing ring in April following a 15-month layoff. The undefeated boxer took a break to focus on his mental health and heal a hand injury. In a sport big on bravado, De La Hoya is deeply proud of Garcia for being vulnerable.
"I'm very proud that he can be kind of can be an advocate as well and speak to the world and how difficult it is, yes, but how rewarding getting your life back can be," De La Hoya said. "Ryan Garcia, to me, is the most courageous fighter on the planet, not only because he can fight inside the ring, but he had an even tougher fight outside the ring. Everything happens for a reason. I'm glad that Ryan Garcia was able to manage and take control of his life, of his mental health issues and really excel and now show the world that it can be done. You know, there is help. It's very rewarding to promote a young man like Ryan Garcia, who can be an example for millions."
De La Hoya and UFC president Dana White have historically had a bitter rivalry rife with personal attacks in the media. White had previously expressed a desire to expand into boxing. The UFC boss recently made a U-turn, telling "The Pivot Podcast" that boxing is "a broken business" he has no interest in pursuing. Reacting to White's statement, De La Hoya made a U-turn of his own and extended an olive branch to his fellow promoter.
"All power to Dana for trying. What the Fertitta brothers and Dana did with UFC is incredible," De La Hoya said. "Boxing is a fragmented sport. There are so many promoters, so many fighters who are with different promoters. So it's really tough to consolidate the whole sport. But there's always a way. I would gladly extend a helping hand or maybe even a partnership with Dana White and Golden Boy Promotions. I'm actually extending the the the olive branch here and maybe even working together.
"Boxing is not easy to deal with but there is a way. When I started Golden Boy Promotions, I believe 21-years-ago now, it wasn't easy and it's not easy now. But there's a formula on how to work with fighters, managers, promoters, and networks. So if Dana, if you're still interested, I'm more than happy to discuss, to talk on how we can possibly consolidate or fix this sport once and for all."