Ryan Garcia has withdrawn from another fight with a southpaw for the WBC interim lightweight title.
Golden Boy Promotions announced Friday that Garcia sustained an injury to his right hand that’ll require surgery next week and prevent him from fighting Joseph Diaz Jr. next month. Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KOs), of Downey, California, was supposed to defend his WBC interim 135-pound championship against Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs), of Victorville, California, in a DAZN main event November 27 in Los Angeles.
“I want to thank my fans for all the continued support,” Garcia said in a statement released by Golden Boy Promotions. “We are postponing my next fight for a couple months as a result of a significant hand injury that requires immediate surgery. I will undergo surgery at Cedars-Sinai on Monday. I promise early [in 2022] I will return better, faster and stronger than ever. I love you guys!”
The Diaz-Garcia fight was supposed to be officially announced earlier this week, but Garcia’s injury delayed it. Once a doctor confirmed that the 23-year-old Garcia needs surgery, Diaz and his handlers realized that the 2012 U.S. Olympian will have to find another opponent to box next.
Diaz won the WBC’s interim 135-pound championship July 9 in a fight from which Garcia withdrew. The left-handed Diaz, a former IBF junior lightweight champ, defeated Dominican veteran Javier Fortuna by unanimous decision in that 12-round bout at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.
Garcia was supposed to face Fortuna (36-3-1, 25 KOs, 2 NC), but he withdrew from their DAZN main event the week after it was announced to address mental health issues. By the time he returns from hand surgery, Garcia won’t have fought in more than a year, not since he overcame a second-round knockdown to knock out England’s Luke Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) with a body shot in the seventh round of their January 2 fight at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The polarizing Garcia won the WBC interim lightweight title by beating Campbell, yet he refused to fight WBC world lightweight champ Devin Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) in his subsequent bout. Defeating Campbell for the WBC’s interim title guaranteed Garcia a shot at Haney’s belt, but he relinquished that title once he withdrew from the Fortuna fight.
“Ryan is a very resilient young man,” Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy’s chairman and CEO, said in the aforementioned release. “We hope he takes the necessary time to heal and recover. As a fighter, I understand the importance of taking hand injuries seriously, and I am glad Ryan is doing the right thing and addressing the injury quickly. We wish him a speedy recovery.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.