No Lightweight Superfight? Ryan Garcia vs Arnold Barboza Should Get Made Next

Ryan Garcia and Arnold Barboza Jr. have different promoters and fight on different networks. They have almost completely different fighting styles. They have come about their success in boxing in different ways, Garcia receiving a lot of fanfare and gaining a massive social media following, and Barboza kind of going under the radar with strong performances. They are even from two different generations. But oddly they are at similar points in their career, both needed a signature win to prove their mettle, and I think now is the moment where they should meet in the ring. 

In Garcia, you have a 23 year old come forward, explosive power puncher with some technical flaws, who at 5’10” will actually have an inch on Barboza. In Barboza, a 30 year old calculated, smart boxer, who’s skills and IQ win him fights more than his power or athleticism, and who’s popularity may not match his talent. 

But it seems like they both can supply what the other needs, much like David Benavidez and Zurdo Ramirez. Garcia needs a legitimate test in order for people to take seriously the idea of him in a super fight with another star. Barboza is a natural 140 pounder who actually fought the first part of his career as a welterweight. It will be a way to see if Garcia’s power travels up in weight when he faces credible opposition who is used to bigger fighters, and to see if Garcia can think his way through a fight against someone with the ring intelligence of Barboza.

For Barboza, it would be a chance to showcase his skills against one of the biggest names in boxing, and though promotionally I think he would naturally fill the roll of the b-side, athletically I think its anyones fight. Barboza is very consistent in what he does, maintaining his distance and exchanging when needed, and his footwork is at a whole different level than anything Garcia has ever seen. They both fought last weekend, and at the end of his fight with Danielito Zorilla, Barboza was hurt badly but showed grit to fire back and finish the fight strong. Garcia has shown grit to get off the deck against Luke Campbell and finish the fight with a one punch knockout to the body. They have both shown the will to win in difficult situations.

Garcia’s unexpected move up to 140 opens up new opportunities for him, and though he may be leaving behind super fights with Tanks Davis, Devin Haney and Vasyl Lomachenko, he now finds himself in the mix of a division very much up for grabs and full of talent, and a division that Arnold Barboza Jr. would like to get to the top of. Why not now?

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Dakota McCormick

Dakota McCormick

Gym rat, trainer, and host of "The Slip and Weave Podcast"