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Ryan Garcia could face Mercito Gesta or Saul Rodriguez in ring return

Garcia hasn’t seen action since January 2021

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

Despite the recent back-and-forth between Oscar De La Hoya and Sean Gibbons about pitting Ryan Garcia against Isaac Cruz, it looks like “Kingry’s” next bout will be a more modest test. Dan Rafael reports that Mercito Gesta and Saul Rodriguez are “in the mix” to welcome Garcia back to the ring.

Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KO) is one of many Filipino southpaws who failed to live up to Manny Pacquiao, falling well short in world title bids against Miguel Vazquez and Jorge Linares. He’s technically winless since 2018, as his last two fights were a technical draw with Carlos Morales and a stoppage loss to Juan Antonio Rodriguez.

“El Nene” Rodriguez (24-1-1, 18 KO) was a prospect of decent note before suffering a monstrous one-punch KO loss to unheralded Miguel Angel Gonzalez in 2019. He’s fought just once since, stopping 4-12-5 Josh Ross in February 2020.

Not exactly the sort of competition you want to see Garcia (21-0, 18 KO) face after a potentially star-making knockout of Luke Campbell last year, but he is coming off what was by all accounts a very rough patch, so I’m not too affronted.