Pawn Ry

By William Trillo

As defined by
Pawn: a chess piece of the smallest size and value,
a person used by others for their own purposes

On Monday afternoon Golden Boy Promotions sent out not one but two press releases announcing they will be once again promoting shows for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown. Notable fighters on the two summer cards include Jorge Linares, Javier Fortuna and Hector Tanajara.

Quick quiz: What is the common denominator of those three fighters?

Answer: All three names were mentioned to be opponents for Ryan Garcia before they were unceremoniously scrapped for reasons unclear and/or unexplained.

In a recent article on Boxingscene penned by Manouk Akopyan it was revealed that the Golden Boy himself, Oscar De La Hoya, had apprehensions about putting Garcia in the ring with Linares after viewing some recent training footage of “El Niño De Oro”. Exclaimed De La Hoya, “He looks like a machine.”

I have no reason to question the validity of that article but let’s be clear, this is not the first time Oscar has second guessed putting Linares and Garcia in the same ring anytime soon. One only needs to look back at the post fight interview of Linares after he dismantled Carlos “The Solution” Morales inside of four rounds. During that interview it was revealed that plans were in the works for Linares to face Garcia in July. With Oscar De La Hoya in full view of the camera Linares was asked if he was ready for the challenge. Of course, he was. But the look on De La Hoya’s face said it all. That blank deer in the headlights stare told me everything I needed to know. Oscar was already thinking how he was going to get out of this mess.

Talk about a blessing in disguise; the world was shut down in March saving Golden Boy the embarrassment of having to come up with some lame excuse why Linares vs. Garcia would never, I repeat, never happen.

During the interim Garcia was on a social media blitz calling out everyone from “Tank” Davis to Muhammad Ali and all points in between. That was all well and good and real cute in some Social Media world I am sure, but when he was given the proposal to fight Javier Fortuna, suddenly Team Garcia had a case of Laryngitis.

I took the time to reach out to Fortuna’s promoter Sampson Lewkowicz to get him to confirm that fight was on the table. Economics aside Lewkowicz told me, “Javier Fortuna agreed to face Ryan García, then GBP informed us that García did not accept the challenge.”

Do with that information as you will.

Also mentioned in the possible Garcia opponent mix was the young Hector Tanajara. Please hear me loud and clear when I say that the undefeated Tanajara is a promising young fighter, but he would have had the lowest KO ratio of any of Garcia’s handpicked opponents. It would have been a bad fight for Tanajara to take at this stage of his career and I am glad it’s off the table for now.

So what is the real story here?

Is Garcia asking for way too much money to fight the likes of Tanajara?

Is Golden Boy afraid to throw Garcia in with a fighter the caliber of Fortuna?

Did anyone other than Garcia himself think he had a snowballs chance in hell to defeat Jorge Linares?

And why did DAZN, who was blowing the Garcia horn from the rooftops suddenly back pedal when Garcia was demanding more money by suggesting, “It’s the promoter that is responsible for and pays the fighters purse, not the network.” ?

These two current press releases from Golden Boy were a loud and clear chess play from the promoter.

The Bishop just took the Knight and his troops are beginning to dwindle.

Garcia only has a move or maybe two left in his arsenal.

Anything short of taking on a viable opponent and accepting the purse of a fighter who really hasn’t proved anything other than he is a Social Media star will be the wrong play.

After that you know what comes next….


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