Garcia ready to get back to work after suffering first loss

Referee Thomas Taylor counts out Ryan Garcia, who was knocked down by Gervonta Davis in a lightweight boxing bout Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ryan Garcia has already put the first loss of his career in the rearview mirror. After being stopped in the seventh round by a vicious liver shot from Gervonta Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) on Saturday night that was billed as the year’s best fight to date, Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) said he was disappointed and sad. But he planned on getting right back in the gym and returning whenever he can.

“I’m already looking past it,” Garcia told The Associated Press of losing the lightweight bout. “You know, it’s all good. Lost today, but ready to get back into it whenever I can, which is in like three months. So from that, get right back into it.”

Easier said than done, since Garcia will have to temporarily wear the tag of someone who appeared to get right out of the fight by taking a knee after Davis’ wicked left-handed dart to his body.

It was a shot that solidified Davis as one of the sport’s pound-for-pound best fighters, and sent Garcia back down boxing’s ladder.

Though one of the hardest things for a fighter to overcome is accepting he’s no longer undefeated, Garcia walked out of the back of T-Mobile Arena surrounded by his team with nearly the same air of confidence with which he entered.

Next stop for the 24-year-old: 140 pounds.

Garcia, who had his chance to make a bid for a title shot with a victory over Davis, shook his head in agreement when suggested he’d likely have to work his way back through a bevy of fighters before earning a shot at a championship belt, but said he is ready to tackle the junior welterweight division.

One thought is Shakur Stevenson (20-0), who by taking a step up in class would prove his worth before fighting in significant championship bouts. Though Stevenson has carved his way through most of his opponents, both could help one another’s career, as Garcia could be a legitimate contender for the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist.

Garcia could also turn toward George Kambosos, who would also have to move up a class.

Teófimo López and Josh Taylor are both at 140 and are scheduled to meet on June 10. The loser of that fight would also be hungry for a bounce-back fight that could be an attractive draw for Garcia.

Any of the aforementioned boxers would bring a hefty payday and plenty of attention.

Whomever Garcia faces next remains a mystery, as he wouldn’t divulge who he has his sights set on for his next bout.

“That’s gonna take some time for me to think about,” Garcia said. “Obviously I just lost, so I’ve got to go back to the drawing board before I say anything. And then from there, I’ll make my decision.”