It was the kind of video that you had to watch twice to make sure you heard things correctly.
On Tuesday, FightHub posted a YouTube short featuring Ryan Garcia discussing a showdown between himself and Naoya Inoue as a potential pay-per-view attraction in the future.
Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs) is the reigning undisputed super bantamweight champion and arguably the best fighter in the world today.
“I believe Inoue can become a multiple-weight world champion,” said Garcia, ignoring the fact that the Japanese star has already claimed titles at four weights. “So, I’m thinking, what if one day we end up fighting? I’m talking about the future, and we do it in Japan. It’ll be huge.
“Mark my words. If that fight plays out that way, that fight will be one of the biggest pay-per-views of all time. Remember, I just said that.”
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Garcia is something of an entrepreneur. As well as being a 24-1 world-rated contender, the young Californian has a colossal social media presence (10.3 million Instagram followers), which is gold for the world of influencer marketing. He’s a good-looking young man and he wants to be more than just a boxer.
However, KingRy’s matchmaking is venturing into dreamland territory on this one.
The Sporting News takes a deep dive into the Inoue vs. Garcia fantasy matchup.
Will Ryan Garcia vs. Naoya Inoue happen?
In a word – No.
Inoue has already navigated his way through four divisions on his way to 122 pounds. While he’s likely to reach featherweight (126 pounds), anything beyond that looks unlikely.
It all comes down to dimensions. Inoue is 5-foot-5 with a 67 ½ inch reach. As great as he is – and he is great – there are weight divisions for a reason. The higher Inoue climbs, the bigger the opponents become – that’s obvious.
Garcia is listed at 5-foot-8 ½ and has a 70-inch reach. He was bursting at the seams as a lightweight and subsequently moved up to super lightweight (140 pounds). He is currently four weights north of where Inoue competes.
Face it, this one isn’t happening.
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Has any fighter made a four-weight jump?
The closest example of this in the modern era would be Manny Pacquiao taking on Oscar De La Hoya.
On April 14, 2007, Pacquiao was competing at 130 pounds when he knocked out Jorge Solis in nine rounds. Three weeks later, De La Hoya lost his WBC 154-pound title to Floyd Mayweather.
With Pacquiao and De La Hoya being 24 pounds and four weights apart at that point, a fight between them was miles away from becoming a reality.
However, on December 8, 2008, Pacquiao and De La Hoya met in a 145-pound catchweight contest in Las Vegas. Pacquiao dominated en route to an eighth-round stoppage and De La Hoya never fought again.
There are differences though. Firstly, despite being the bigger man, De La Hoya was also the older man by four-and-a-half years. The much bigger Garcia is six years Inoue’s junior, so he has a clear advantage in this area.
Secondly, Pacquiao’s fleet-footed, volume-punching style lent itself to weight hopping. It’s no coincidence that the Filipino icon holds the record for most weight divisions conquered (eight). Inoue is a more measured boxer-puncher and simply doesn’t have the style to emulate him, relying instead on otherworldly power that has obliterated some of the very best operators in the lower weight divisions.
Inoue vs. Garcia? Don’t hold your breath.
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