ARLINGTON, Texas – The ferocious fighter nicknamed “Pitbull” assured Ryan Garcia that he hardly just barks, but doesn’t bite.

Garcia took to social media late Saturday night, as the polarizing lightweight contender commonly does in the aftermath of fights involving potential opponents. He interpreted Cruz’s comments during his post-fight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray to mean he isn’t interested in facing Garcia next.

Garcia mocked the hard-hitting Mexican veteran for being “all bark no bite” because Cruz told Gray that Garcia would have to “wait his turn” to fight him. Cruz’s comments were made in the ring after he stopped overmatched former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in the fifth round on the Errol Spence Jr.-Yordenis Ugas undercard at AT&T Stadium.

Cruz changed his tune once he arrived at a post-fight press conference. The Mexico City native clarified that he is willing to fight Garcia next, but he challenged Garcia and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, to stop attempting to make their fight on social media.

“Well, they said that I needed to win this fight,” Cruz said. “I won this fight. Now Oscar De La Hoya and Ryan Garcia, come on down and negotiate with us. Let’s make this fight happen, but not on social media. Let’s negotiate. Let’s not dance – let’s fight.”

Cruz is promoted by Manny Pacquiao’s company, is affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions and his past six fights have been broadcast by Showtime or Showtime Pay-Per-View. Garcia is represented by De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, which has an exclusive streaming agreement with DAZN, the carrier of Garcia’s past six fights.

Other than matches mandated by sanctioning organizations, which required cooperation, De La Hoya and Haymon haven’t done much business together since Haymon launched PBC early in 2015. Haymon previously managed or advised various fighters that had promotional contracts with Golden Boy, which sued its former CEO, Richard Schaefer, yet surrendered its promotional rights to many of the boxers affiliated with Haymon before PBC’s first card in March 2015.

Cruz (23-2-1, 16 KOs) dropped Cuba’s Gamboa (30-5, 18 KOs) once apiece in each of the final four rounds. Referee Mark Calo-oy finally stopped their scheduled 10-round bout once the 40-year-old Gamboa was knocked into the ropes early in the fifth round, which should’ve counted as the fourth knockdown of their one-sided fight.

Cruz, 23, fought for the first time since he took knockout artist Gervonta Davis the distance December 5 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The determined, durable Cruz ended the strong southpaw’s 16-fight knockout streak in that Showtime Pay-Per-View main event and became the first opponent in his nine-year career to go 12-rounds with Baltimore’s Davis (26-0, 24 KOs).

A week earlier, Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) went the distance with Ghanian underdog Emmanuel Tagoe. The Victorville, California, native, who fought for the first time in 15 months, dropped Tagoe (32-2, 15 KOs) in the second round April 9, but Tagoe survived to the final bell in their 12-round junior welterweight bout at Alamodome in San Antonio.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.