Instead of fighting Gervonta Davis next fight as he promised to his 9 million instagram followers, Ryan Garcia signed a huge endorsement deal with Gatorade and went on vacation. Eventually, he came back from his mental health holiday, mentioned Tank a few more times in public appearances and summoned the gall to make even more grand promises to fans. This time, he seemed convinced that he could convince the public to expect the fruits of negotiating with Manny Pacquiao for a possible Ryan Garcia next fight.

Pacquiao, regarded by many as one of the greatest fighters in an entire generation, would have little to gain through a fight with Ryan Garcia. There’s such a disparity in the reputation of the two fighters, in fact, that the mere mention of Pacquiao as a potential opponent by Ryan Garcia stands to devalue Pacquiao’s name and ability to earn in the future. Or at least, that’s presumably the rationale behind the Cease and Decist order issued to Garcia from Pacquiao’s team.

While that’s completely possible, it’s also plausible that Pacquiao was unaware of Garcia’s trolling. It could even be that he just ignored it at first, seemingly preoccupied with duties pertaining to his side gig: governing The Philippines. Manny became aware of Garcia’s little tactic. At some point, The Pac Man grew tired of Garcia’s self promotion using his likeness, or at least aware of it, and issued a cease and desist to Garcia. This was immediately and completely effective against the strange promotional tactics of Garcia, who hasn’t mentioned Pacquiao since.

Why Do Pro Fighters Avoid Fighting?

There are all kinds of reasons to avoid a fight. The most obvious ones have to do with self preservation. Although professional boxers subject themselves to physical and psychological stress of the type that most mere mortals can only imagine, they are still living, breathing men and women. They feel every punch and suffer through every gasp. At the end of the day, nobody enjoys being diminished, physical, psychologically, or financially; every fight, you stand to lose ground in all areas.

Although reasoning for avoiding a certain fight might be straightforward at times, at the professional level boxers have more subtle motivations. Pacquiao is an accomplished champion, a future Boxing Hall Of Famer, and arguably one of the best pound for pound fighters of the past 30 years. Fear is unlikely to be the reason he would decline an opportunity for a Ryan Garcia fight. A fighter relies on his reputation and skills, neither of which would be augmented for Pacquiao through a victory over Garcia.

Ryan Garcia is a tall, rangey fighter with a good left hand. He’s got potential but it’s unlikely that he’s reached his potential yet. On December 6, 2008, when Manny Pacquiao dismantled Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, he faced a bigger, stronger, more talented, more experienced, complete version of Ryan Garcia’s hungriest possible aspirations. And despite these, and other serious physical disadvantages, Manny put on a boxing clinic against De La Hoya, brutally stopping him in the 8th.

Oscar De La Hoya vs. Golden Boy Promotions

Throughout his professional career, De La Hoya proved himself fearless, fighting anyone without exception. He’s claimed multiple times that he can get back in shape to fight in a boxing ring after his retirement, but has only made good on the promise via admittedly entertaining exhibitions. But as fascinating as the prospect of a matchup between a former great and a current hopeful might be, the difference in weight alone is too much of an obstacle in the way of a Ryan Garcia vs. Oscar De La Hoya fight.

Oscar has discussed fighting boxers in his own stable before. Despite showing up to commentate on Triller’s first event hilariously inebriated, De La Hoya insisted in his next appearances that he could beat Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. It’s not unthinkable, not now. At the time, Alvarez had only a single loss to the magnificent Floyd Mayweather on an impressive resume including Genndiy Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev, and Miguel Cotto. The idea that the geriatric De La Hoya would somehow be able to beat the seemingly unstoppable Alvarez in 2017 was a long shot.

Now, with Canelo having suffered another career loss against elite light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, the illusion of invincibility has faded somewhat. His refusal to acknowledge challenges flatly issued to him from David Benevidez exacerbate the issue. It’s somehow feasible that, were Canelo’s fight against Erislandy Lara somehow to be scored today instead of July 12, 2014, Alvarez might paradoxically have three losses on his record; one more from a former multidivision champion that’s watched him spar a hundred times would probably be reasonable to expect.

Add to this the reminiscent manner in which Canelo’s latest loss was delivered; at the end of a calculated, stiff jab. De La Hoya specifically mentioned that he’d use his upgraded jab against Canelo. Mayweather shared in an interview that the jab was the key to defeating Alvarez. With Bivol’s recent refresher course, it seems the blueprint to beating Canelo Alvarez has been thrust into the spotlight again.