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Rematch Clause Still a Sticking Point in Ryan Garcia-Gervonta Davis Matchup

The anticipated bout could crumble if fighting between promoters continues.
Ryan Garcia smiles, lightweight bout

Efforts to finalize a fight between Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis have hit a snag.

Ten rounds while wondering how Francis Ngannou became the most sought after heavyweight opponent in boxing…

10. The latest developments in the ongoing effort to finalize a fight between Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis are … not good. As Sports Illustrated reported last week the issue of the rematch clause is a sticking point between Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Garcia, and PBC, the de facto promoter of Davis. Golden Boy’s position is that if Garcia wins, they should be the lead promoter in a rematch. In the contract PBC sent to Golden Boy, they would retain the controlling position.

Why does that matter? Because if Golden Boy is the lead promoter a rematch would likely land on DAZN, Golden Boy’s broadcast partner. PBC would keep the fight on Showtime Pay Per View. As of Thursday, both sides appeared fairly dug in. Garcia has weighed in publicly, suggesting on social media that they should drop the rematch clause, which can only be triggered by Davis. Thus far, Davis has remained silent. In boxing, there have been frustrating reasons for fights falling apart. An anticipated fight crumbling over a rematch clause—specifically which promoter/network will run the show—would be among the worst.

9. Erika Cruz made more than a few fans last week after a spirited performance in a losing effort to Amanda Serrano. According to CompuBox, Cruz threw 97 punches per two-minute round (Serrano threw 95), landing 20 of them. Cruz’s fast start was derailed after an accidental clash of heads opened a significant cut on her hairline that poured blood for the duration of the fight. The cut later required 11 stitches to close.

Cruz tells SI the cut had a significant impact on her performance in the second half of the fight.

“There was a lot of blood,” says Cruz. “I couldn’t see. And Amanda, rightly, took advantage of it. She hit me with a lot of power punches when I was trying to clean my eye.”

Cruz says she intends to stay at 126-pounds and hopes Serrano will give her a rematch. She plans to fight again in the summer and is open to the possibility of moving up in weight—if it means a shot at undisputed 130-pound champion Alycia Baumgardner.

“Of course,” says Cruz. “I would never say no to that fight.”

8. Shadasia Green is a problem. The undefeated 168-pound contender battered former titleholder Elin Cederroos, knocking Cederroos down in the third round before stopping her in the sixth. Green, a former college basketball player at Old Dominion, improved to 12-0 with 11 knockouts. She is the top contender for Franchon Crews-Dezurn, the undisputed super middleweight champion. Green-Crews-Dezurn would be a terrific fight for the undercard of Taylor-Serrano II in May.

7. Nickel for your thoughts, Gennadiy Golovkin? The middleweight champion is now one belt lighter after vacating his IBF title this week. Golovkin was facing a mandatory defense against Esquiva Falcao, a fight none of the major networks were interested in. Golovkin could face a similar decision later this month; the WBA has ordered a purse bid for Golovkin and Erislandy Lara, its “regular” champion. It’s unlikely Triple-G will receive a lucrative offer for that fight, either. Golovkin, who will turn 41 in April, said in September he has no intention of retiring but it’s likely the next time he steps into the ring he will do it without a world title around his waist.

6. Can Derrick James revive Anthony Joshua? That was the question on the minds of those attending Thursday’s kick-off press conference for Joshua’s ring return against Jermaine Franklin on Thursday. After back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua is rebuilding, enlisting James—best known for his work with Errol Spence Jr. and Jermell Charlo—to guide him. Joshua has moved his training camp to Texas for this fight where he has the kind of anonymity he has never had in the UK. Joshua offered few clues to what he’s working on with James but says against Franklin, he is ready to go to war.

“I’m not [in Texas] for anything else,” said Joshua. “I’m a serious person so I am not there for anything else. Throughout my career this is probably the most serious I have taken [training]. I’m not really there to go out for coffees. I’m there to f---ing work.”

5. Fun fact about O’Shaquie Foster, the uniquely named 130-pound contender who faces Rey Vargas on Saturday for a vacant super featherweight title: For a long time he didn’t even know his name was O’Shaquie. According to Foster, as a kid he went by O’Shanique. It wasn’t until his first fight that he realized his given name was something else. “It was spelled wrong on my birth certificate,” says Foster. “It’s crazy. Everybody from my hometown knows me as O’Shanique. They know me as ‘Nique. But everybody in the boxing world knows me as O’Shaquie or ‘Shock.’ I remember at my first fight getting mad at my coaches because they got my name wrong. But by my birth certificate they got it right.”

4. Former light heavyweight titleholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk returns on Saturday nearly four years after he retired following a knockout loss to Artur Beterbiev. The Ukrainian-born Gvozdyk has cited the ongoing war as one of the reasons for his comeback (“I just want to support my country by raising my flag in the sports arenas,” Gvozdyk told veteran reporter Steve Kim) … along with the predictable itch retired fighters get to return. Gvozdyk (17-1) will face Jorge Daniel Miranda in a six round fight but says he wants a top name before the end of the year. At 35, it will be interesting to see what Gvozdyk has left.

3. Tommy Fury was a no-show for a press conference this week to promote his Feb. 26 matchup with Jake Paul. Fury has twice backed out of scheduled fights with Paul. Don’t be surprised if it happens a third time.

2. Oleksandr Usyk became the latest prominent athlete encouraging the International Olympic Committee to ban Russian athletes from the 2024 Games while Russia remains at war with Ukraine. Any medals Russia wins, said Usyk, will be medals of “blood, deaths and tears.” Usyk, who retained his three heavyweight titles with a win over Joshua last summer, was a visible presence in Ukraine after Russia invaded last year.

1. As an in-ring interviewer, I take a measure of pride in listening to answers and being able to follow-up on them. Last week I had no follow-up to this: