Tank Davis vs. Garcia Fight Has To Happen With DAZN’s Involvement, Golden Boy COO Says

Boxing Scene

LOS ANGELES – Soon after Ryan Garcia rocked and dropped Javier Fortuna three times and scored a sixth-round knockout, fans at the Crypto.com Arena started chanting “we want Tank! we want Tank! we want Tank!” in unison.

Garcia has been very vocal over the last two years that a fight against Gervonta Davis is the one he most desires. 

As the adage goes though, that’s easier said than done. 

Garcia is tied to Golden Boy Promotions and streaming service DAZN, while Davis is tied to Mayweather Promotions, Al Haymon’s Premier Champions Boxing, and premium cable network Showtime.

Adding another obstacle to the mix for staging the super fight, Garcia is now adamant that he plans on exclusively fighting at 140 pounds after making his division debut against Fortuna. Davis has fought across three weight classes – 130, 135, and 140 pounds – in his last four fights. His last two fights have been at the lightweight limit. 

Another bargaining chip on the negotiations table is who indeed is considered the A-side and is the bigger draw. 

Golden Boy announced that Garcia, a Southern California native, drew 11,288 for the Fortuna fight, while the Baltimore-bred Davis pulled in 15,580 fans for his fight against Isaac Cruz in December in the same venue in December for his Showtime pay-per-view fight.

Garcia made a guaranteed purse of $2,000,000 for his fight against Fortuna, per the California State Athletic Commission. 

Executives Oscar De La Hoya and Leonard Ellerbe have both insisted that all roads go through the fighter they each represent. 

On Saturday, Golden Boy Chief Operating Officer Robert Gasparri further shined a light on the company’s stance on a potential fight. 

“That’s the fight that everybody wants. We will have to come together as promoters and do what’s right for the fans. You can’t have one network say, ‘no, we have to be exclusive.’ We’re with DAZN, and DAZN has been great to Golden Boy, so DAZN has to be involved in that fight. They have done it already with other promoters and networks. Why not share it?” said Gasparri.

“That’s going to be a big fight. We’re going to have to find a big enough location. I wouldn’t mind it at Crypto.com Arena.

“It is very realistic [for a fight to be made]. I like Stephen Espinoza. He used to work with Golden Boy. You know, anything can happen. I hope everyone writes about the fight, but there is no way we’re going to do it without DAZN. DAZN has been with us building Garcia. How would it be to just take him away and do it exclusively through Showtime? Showtime has done split broadcasts, so there is no reason why they shouldn’t do it this time. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not going to happen. It’s going to happen with DAZN.”

Earlier this week, Espinoza doubled down on previous statements and told Jomboy Media’s Dan Canobbio that he doesn’t believe the fight requires two platforms to push the potential fight. 

“Ryan Garcia is not exclusive to DAZN. I know Golden Boy is. But the reality is, it’s an interesting and ironic change of events. They’ve spent three years trying to go around us to get to every fighter that we have. Now all of a sudden they’ve figured out, ‘oh, let’s go to them.’ I don’t think we need two platforms in this. I think there are plenty of other ways that are fair to resolve this,” said Espinoza. 

“Golden Boy has a deal with DAZN. I don’t think Ryan Garcia, personally, has a deal with DAZN. I’m not the expert on that aspect of it. But it’s not as if they signed Ryan Garcia to an exclusive contract. I mean, DAZN repeatedly said, ‘hey we’re going to Deontay Wilder, the Charlos, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, and all of these guys because they weren’t signed exclusively to Showtime.’ Well, shoes on the other foot now. Why would we need to go to DAZN when DAZN isn’t signed to Ryan exclusively?”

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.

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