Posted on 10/15/2021
By: Hans Themistode
Ryan Garcia had effectively taken a six-month boxing sabbatical to address his mental health. But while Garcia was confident that he got his mind right, it was his body that has recently failed him.
In Garcia’s return to the ring, the lightweight contender was set to take on WBC interim lightweight titlist, Joseph Diaz. The two were penciled in for a November 27th, showdown in Los Angeles, California.
Now, however, as Garcia began ramping up activity during training camp, he’s sustained a serious injury to his right hand. News of Garcia’s injury was first reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN. Coppinger later revealed that Garcia will now have subsequent wrist surgery and is hoping to face off against Diaz in February.
After picking up the most significant win of his career against Luke Campbell on January 2nd, earlier this year, Garcia’s momentum has come to a grinding halt. Since securing the win against Campbell, Garcia was set to take on multiple division titlist Javier Fortuna. Those plans though, never came to past as Garcia, as previously mentioned, prioritized his mental health.
Stepping in on short notice to replace Garcia was Joseph Diaz. Although Diaz moved up in weight to land the showdown against Fortuna, he showed little to no trouble in navigating the 135-pound waters. Diaz would both outbox and outmuscle his man to record the unanimous decision win.
At the moment, it’s unclear if Diaz would be willing to sit out the rest of the calendar year to face Garcia in the first quarter of 2022. If Diaz opts to go in another direction, he could bypass Garcia altogether and square off against WBC full titleholder, Devin Haney.
The 22-year-old Haney has often criticized both Diaz and Garcia for their refusal to face him. Presently, Diaz is the number one mandatory challenger to Haney and his lightweight world title.