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Morning Report: WBC interim lightweight champion Ryan Garcia says he plans to retire at 26, then compete in MMA

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Ryan Garcia v Luke Campbell Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Ryan Garcia is one of the hottest up-and-comers in boxing. Following an extensive amateur career, Garcia turned professional in 2016 and signed with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy promotions. After quickly amassing a perfect record of 20-0, earlier this month Garcia won the WBC interim lightweight title with a seventh-round TKO of Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell. At only 22 years old, “King Ry” has one of the brightest futures in boxing. But it appears that future is destined to be short-lived.

Speaking with Rich Eisen recently, Garcia said that he plans to retire from boxing in just four years.

“Yeah, I plan to. If I say it, I plan to do it,” Garcia said. “I plan at 26 to retire, I don’t know, officially. You’ve seen in the past, fighters have retired and come back. This is what I will say: I still plan to retire at 26, yet, yet if I am to return back to the ring, I will only battle people that people will say at that time “There’s no way Ryan will beat them.” That’s the only time I’m coming back and I will always give the glory to God after I win. That’s what I plan to do. All I box for is to give the glory to God, so once I win I say thank you Lord, Jesus Christ is coming, there it is. That’s my plan.”

Retiring young doesn’t happen all that often in combat sports, but what Garcia plans to do next is even more rare. When pressed on his decision, Garcia revealed that though he plans to step away from boxing at 26, there is likely a future for him in MMA after that.

“To answer your question, 26, I still plan to retire,” Garcia said. “But if I do return back in the ring, I will promise everybody that I will fight people that they say I won’t beat. You know what I’m willing to do? I really haven’t said this out loud but what I plan to do is, say at 26 I’m done retired and boxing is all good. You know what I’ll do? If they say, “Okay, you’ve beaten everybody in the ring, right?” But somebody goes, “This ain’t real fighting. Real fighting is legs, choking, submission, all that.” Guess what I’ll do? I’ll go prove to them that I’m the best fighter all around in the world. I’m talking about hands, I’m talking about wrestling. I will go to MMA to prove a point that God is greatest and I’ll beat whoever in MMA that they say I won’t beat. If it has to be Conor McGregor, I will. And I’m not saying this to get money. I don’t care about money. I’m saying this because that’s just how I feel.”

Garcia and former UFC flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo have already been engaging in a back-and-forth so that fight might make a lot of sense. Of course, a lot can change in four years, but should Garcia actually transition to MMA, he would be among the most high-profile boxers to ever do so and he would have no shortage of possible opponents.


TOP STORIES

Weigh-ins. Max Holloway, Calvin Kattar on point for featherweight headliner.

Reefer. UFC, USADA make significant rule change regarding marijuana use for athletes under anti-doping program.

Class. Conor McGregor ‘not surprised’ Khabib Nurmagomedov would ‘scurry away’ into retirement rather than fight again.

Ponzi. From title hopeful to ‘fighting for my life,’ Santiago Ponzinibbio leaves struggles in the past for UFC dream.

NBK. Carlos Condit ready to ‘ante up’ again as he faces Matt Brown on final fight of current UFC contract.


VIDEO STEW

Fight Island 7 staredowns.

Between the Links.

Max Holloway looking back at memorable moments in his career.

Conor’s watch.

Garbrandt calling out Aldo.

Ranking Dustin Poirier’s opponents.


LISTEN UP

MMA Vivisection. Breaking down the fights at UFC Fight Island 7.

UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Matt Brown and Matt Serra.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

This is just wrong, but okay.

RDA making his case to rematch Nate.

Partnership.

USADA.

UFC 258 poster.

Tony.

Gotta say, Fiziev is becoming one of my favorite follows.

Good art.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ryan Hall (8-1) vs. Dan Ige (14-3); UFC Fight Night, Mar. 13.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Pretty rich of Conor to talk about “scurrying away” from title fights when he has literally never defended a belt in his entire career.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the fights, and see y’all next week.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who wins this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Max Holloway
    (557 votes)
  • 23%
    Calvin Kattar
    (175 votes)
732 votes total Vote Now

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