Oscar De La Hoya is planning to gift boxing fans the most desirable fight he can make from within his Golden Boy Promotions stable this holiday season.
“I'm working on Ryan Garcia versus JoJo Diaz on DAZN by the end of the year in Los Angeles. Tell me how good is that?” De La Hoya said during an Instagram Live session on Saturday night. “That's the fight I'm trying to work on. Ryan Garcia and JoJo Diaz deserve the best opponents for each other.”
The 23-year-old Garcia (21-0) and the 28-year-old Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KOs) are both mandatory challengers for WBC Lightweight champion Devin Haney (26-0, 15 KOs), but both contenders are only jawing back and forth at each other through social media and interviews rather than seriously pushing for the fight to be made.
Garcia and Diaz are both Southern California-born and bred boxers and a fight between the two Mexican Americans would certainly merit to be staged at Staples Center.
Both fighters have been trading barbs on Twitter all week.
“I can’t wait to beat the sh!t out of Ryan Garcia. He deserves it, no [cap].” said Diaz. “I hope me and Ryan Garcia get this fight finalized this week … My fight versus Ryan better not be considered Boxer verus Tik Toker.”
Garcia said it’s no secret he’s in talks to fight Diaz.
“The hardest thing about this JoJo fight is explaining to people who he is,” said Garcia. “Good thing for Joseph is that after this fight he won’t have to pawn his jewelry anymore.”
Garcia started off the year strong with a resounding knockout of 2012 Olympics gold medalist Luke Campbell. Garcia was dropped in the second round only to recover and finish the fight with a body shot in the seventh.
Garcia was supposed to fight Javier Fortuna in July but pulled out of the bout due to mental health issues.
Diaz instead stepped in to replace Garcia and scored a unanimous decision win over the Dominican. He called out Garcia immediately after the fight, and now, months later, it just may come to fruition.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com