Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn was like all of us, intrigued to see the return of lightweight star Ryan Garcia this past Saturday night, where Garcia won a decision over Emmanuel Tagoe in San Antonio, and believes he’s got the guy to face Garcia next: Maxi Hughes.
Hearn told The DAZN Boxing Show that watched “most of” Garcia’s return on Saturday, a decision win over Emmanuel Tagoe, and said it was good to see the young star back in the sport, noting that his presence is “good for boxing.”
“I feel like when you are in with an opponent that doesn’t really want to engage, a guy that’s there to survive, it’s difficult to look good. Tagoe is limited but slippery and awkward, and he never really came to fight,” Hearn said. “I think it was quite frustrating for Ryan, because he would have rather closed the show. But really good for Ryan to get 12 rounds in the bank.
“And also, listen, really good to hear Ryan say after, ‘I need another fight, I need to stay active.’ Because that’s definitely what Ryan Garcia needs in his life, and I’ve got just the guy!”
On that note, Hearn began his push for Hughes (25-5-2, 5 KO) to get the next shot at Garcia (22-0, 18 KO).
“There’s a Cinderella story in the UK, a guy called Maxi Hughes, who’s on the most incredible run in the division. He beat Jono Carroll, he beat (Jovanni) Straffon, just beat Ryan Walsh. We’re dying out for a big fight! He’s the IBO world champion; we appreciate it’s not one of the big four, but all those belts are tied up right now,” the promoter stated.
“There’s a lovely place called Doncaster in Yorkshire, we can get 20,000 there outdoors for Ryan Garcia’s first fight in the UK. We’ve got the bags ready, packed, we’re willing to travel. We hope that Maxi Hughes can get the call, he deserves the opportunity.”
Hearn believes that with the four main titles tied up right now between George Kambosos Jr and Devin Haney for their June 4 fight, and Gervonta “Tank” Davis set to return against Rolando Romero on May 28, Hughes makes great sense for Garcia.
“One of the problems a lot of these fighters have had is they haven’t been active enough. So get active. He’s had a good 12 rounds there to blow away the cobwebs, the numbers were great on DAZN, like, he’s a big star, Ryan Garcia.
“He’s the A-side. I’m not even — even though Hughes is the champion, I’m not looking for ‘Hughes v Garcia,’ they can have all the sides they want,” Hearn said with a smile. “Let’s get Ryan Garcia back in the ring. Maxi Hughes or not, let’s get him back in the ring because he’s great for boxing.”
We mentioned Hughes as a possible solid “stay-busy” sort of opponent in our look at what could come next for Garcia, and with JoJo Diaz now saying he intends to move back down to 130, Hughes’ chance at getting this fight has probably gone up. If Garcia wants to fight in three or four months, it’s not going to be the Kambosos-Haney winner or Tank Davis or Vasiliy Lomachenko, the big dogs in the 135 lb division. And once you’re past those guys, Maxi Hughes has made about as good a case for himself as anyone else at the moment.