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Promoter say Ryan Garcia will box at 144-pounds going forward before eventual move to welterweight

Oscar De La Hoya and Ryan Garcia. Photo credit: Golden Boy Promotions

Former lightweight contender Ryan Garcia 25-1 (20) has decided what weight he wants to campaign at going forward.

It’s not junior welterweight. It’s not welterweight. It’s 144-pounds. Let’s call it ‘Garcia-weight’.

Only the biggest names in the sport get to dictate catchweights of their choosing. Think Floyd Mayweather Jr. Think Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Social media star Garcia, who boasts millions of followers across multiple platforms including 12 million on Instagram alone, believes he is cut from their cloth.

The 25-year-old Los Angelan ignored the 140-pound weight limit for his challenge of WBC junior welterweight champion Devin Haney 31-1 (15) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on the weekend, coming in at 143.2-pounds.

It was a risky move as 25-year-old San Franciscan Haney would have been well within his rights to walk away from the fight, but the gamble paid off.

Haney pressed ahead with the fight against the much larger Garcia and was dropped three times en route to a majority decision loss.

Garcia’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya says his boxer plans on boxing at 144-pounds for the foreseeable future.

“It was an amazing week for boxing. Imagine if every fighter was like Ryan, how boxing would just be the top sport again in the world,” the Golden Boy Promotions chief told Fight Hub TV.

“When you have characters like that, when you have people like Ryan who know how to push a fight, who are charismatic and who back it up, it’s pretty cool to watch and I’m getting phone calls from everybody all over the world saying how amazing it was.

“I haven’t seen anything like it since back in the days when Tyson was fighting, when I was fighting. People were really, really interested and they were cheering — they love Ryan.

“I think Ryan right now is riding a wave of not only success but confidence. Now he knows he belongs with the very best, now we know that as well. I mean, he beat Devin Haney and he destroyed him. It was not an even fight or a close fight. It was a destruction. So we have to give Ryan Garcia a lot of credit.

“Whoever wants to fight Ryan, yeah, he feels comfortable at 144. Obviously eventually he wants to go for a title at 147, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. But yeah, whoever wants any smoke come talk to me and we’ll make it happen, 144.”

Garcia has called out his old rival Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 29-0 (27). The undefeated WBA lightweight champion handed him his first and only professional loss in their 136-pound catchweight bout last April, knocking him out in seven rounds.

“Everyone wanna talk about the little stupid Tank,” Garcia posted to social media on Tuesday. “Let’s fight, [enough] of that funny talk. Come see me at 144 and stop the talk.”

De La Hoya says he is keeping his options open as he fields various offers.

“I haven’t even studied what the next step is,” the promoter said. “Normally I’m prepared or this and that, but I think there’s so many opportunities out there. I even heard Ryan saying maybe a crossover fight with Sean O’Malley. I think we have to maybe work things out with Dana but I have no problem with that.”