By Dan Ambrose: Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya sent a message to Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz on Monday telling him that he has an offer to fight Ryan Garcia next.
De La Hoya specifically told Cruz (22-2-1, 15 KOs) to have his promoters respond to him because he’s got a “great offer.”
Interestingly, De La Hoya tagged the wrong Ryan Garcia and Golden Boy. That doesn’t matter because De La Hoya made sure he sent it to the right person in contacting Pitbull Cruz.
This is the fight that Ryan has been talking about for the last month, calling the 23-year-old Pitbull Cruz a “C-class fighter.”
Cruz came close to beating WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Gervonta ”Tank’ Davis last December 5th, giving him the most brutal fight of his career thus far.
“@isaacpitbullcruz98, congratulations on your fight with Tank Davis. @Goldenboy @Kingryan we are ready to make a great offer to you. Tell your promoter to answer us,” said Oscar De La Hoya.
Henry says Pitbull Cruz is “tune-up” for Ryan
Interestingly, Henry Garcia compares Isaac Cruz to past Ryan opponent Romero Duno, saying that many boxing fans had built up the Filipino fighter before he took on King Ry.
The difference is, Duno had never fought anyone of note during his career up until the time he fought Ryan in November 2019 and was knocked out in the first round.
In Pitbull’s case, he’s coming off a fight with Gervonta Davis last December, and he came close to beating him. Duno never fought anyone near the level of Tank, and it’s safe to say if he did, he would have been destroyed.
That being the case, Henry Garcia’s comparison of Pitbull Cruz to Duno makes no sense, and it sounds like silly wishful thinking.
If Henry truly believes that Duno is as talented as Pitbull Cruz, he will get his son Ryan knocked out when the two square off.
“Ryan is doing great. He said that from a scale of one to ten, his hand feels like a five or six, so we’re halfway there,” said Henry Garcia to ESNEWS.
“I think that would be a good tune-up for Ryan. It’s a perfect opportunity for both of them. Isaac just had a good performance with Tank.
“And from what I heard, his [Pitbull Cruz] father said he wants a match-up with somebody that is comparable to Tank’s ability. Well, who better than Ryan?
“Let’s put it this way. Just like I told you about [Romero] Duno. Everybody was saying he’s a power puncher and he’s this and that. And then I said, ‘I’ve been in the amateurs for so many years. I’ve never even heard of Duno.’
“So, I’m going to say the same thing. I’ve never even heard of Pitbull, but you know what? I like what he did. I’m not going to take that away from him. He’s a warrior, but my son is awesome. My son is a superstar.
“Trust me, you’ve got to be careful. Here’s the thing. People have got to stop saying that Ryan ducked and Ryan pulled out from [Javier] Fortuna and Jojo Diaz,” Henry said.
For Henry to be still saying he’s never heard of Pitbull Cruz after he easily beat former WBC super featherweight champion Francisco Vargas, last June and fought well enough to deserve a draw against Tank Davis, it sounds disingenuous on his part.
Pitbull Cruz best option for Ryan
Cruz is the best option for Ryan Garcia to fight if he wants to have his image rehabilitated in the eyes of the fans in just one fight.
But it’s a difficult match-up for Ryan to be taking with him coming off a hand injury, a long year and a half layoff, and a shaky performance against Luke Campbell.
“Let me tell you something. He [Ryan Garcia] didn’t pull out. What it was was he had a mental illness with Fortuna, so he had no choice. I was there. I’m his dad and I’m not going to lie.
“It was something I never experienced myself. With Jojo Diaz, we [Ryan] were working out and his hand was injured and it kept on stinging and cortisone shot wasn’t helping anymore.
“So, we decided that we would consult with a doctor, and it was the normal thing to do. The doctor said, ‘Why would you keep fighting like this? Let it cure the right way.
“Let me tell you this. When Ryan is 100%, and I’m going to tell you this. He will be 100%, and I guarantee you some knockouts. I guarantee because I know myself more than anybody else, okay?
“I’m going to tell you that anybody that comes in front of him, he’s going to put you down. I like that fight. Of course, I like that fight,” said Henry when asked if he likes a match between WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney and Ryan.
“But I think right now, yes,” said Henry about him feeling that Isaac Cruz is the best option for Ryan at this time. “April, yes, because let me tell you something. The crowd is behind him [Pitbull Cruz] because he had a good performance [against Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis on December 5th].
“I mean, hey, the pot’s hot. Let’s jump in, let’s get in there, you know? Let’s have some fireworks, you know? I would love that fight. Be careful what you ask for because you don’t know my son.
Isaac Cruz must be careful warns Henry
It’s not just Pitbull that needs to be careful. Ryan needs to be cautious because he doesn’t possess the best chin, as seen in his fight with Luke Campbell.
Ryan was dropped in the second round by a straight left from Campbell, and the only reason he survived is that Luke didn’t go for the kill/
“My son has been through this for so many years since he was seven years old,” said Henry about Ryan. “He’s not a Tank Davis. Tank Davis is maybe two inches taller than him [Isaac Cruz].
“Ryan is 5’11”, and he’s got a punch, and his hand is going to get better. I’d be careful what you ask for.
“Extreme motivation, there’s warmth and the team is awesome,” said Henry when asked how is it having Ryan working with trainer Eddy Reynoso and having Canelo Alvarez around in the same gym.
“Eddy is awesome, Canelo is awesome. Whatever comment that Canelo made [towards Ryan], it was all motivation because if anybody seen Ryan in the beginning, Ryan was on fire.
“But when you don’t see that, you have no choice but to say, ‘where’s that motivation? But people have got to understand this. Ryan was sick, he had some mental issues just like other athletes.
“The tennis player, the gymnast, the NBA player, they go through that, but you don’t know why but they go through it, okay? When a basketball player is injured, isn’t he sidelined? They’re sidelined. Even Larry Bird. Remember his back injuries?
“When you’re injured, you have no choice but to sideline yourself. They want to see gladiators,” said Henry on boxing fans not wanting to see weakness from fighters.
Fans don’t want to hear about injuries
It’s a bad idea for Henry to repeatedly talk about Ryan’s mental health issues and his hand injury. The fans don’t care about those things, and it just makes him look bad that he keeps bringing it up.
“They want to see warriors that go out and battle through the pain,” said Henry about fans viewing fighters as gladiators. “Anybody that is wrong with them [fans don’t want to hear about it]. It’s a no-win situation. It’s sad because people just want to see them go at it.
“They don’t want to hear anything, they don’t want to believe anything. Even if you show them a broken hand. It wasn’t a broken hand [that Ryan suffered last November]. It was his tendons that needed to be repaired.
“That was it, but even that is not convincing because people will keep on saying that ‘you pulled out, you’re ducking.’ They said the same thing about Duno. ‘You’re ducking.’ That was the knockout of the year.
“But I’m going to tell you something. Be careful about what you ask for, okay? And we are more than willing to sign the contract,” said Henry about him and Ryan being willing to sign too fight Isaac Cruz.