Promoter Oscar De La Hoya says he views the March 30th fight between Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero and Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz as an “appetizer,” setting up Ryan Garcia’s “main course” meal. Oscar frames it as a positive for Ryan that Rolly is fighting Cruz rather than him.
De La Hoya states that he wasn’t surprised that Rolly (15-1, 13 KOs) didn’t take the fight with Ryan (24-1, 20 KOs) because he says he never heard back from his promoter, Tom Brown, after an offer was made for the fight.
Now, with how things have worked out, De La Hoya likes the idea of Rolly fighting lightweight Cruz. He feels that will set up a fight between Ryan and Romero afterward. In other words, De La Hoya believes Rolly will win against Cruz.
Fans would rather Ryan Garcia fight a quality champion at 140 instead of Rolly, who is viewed as a paper champion, just some guy who was given a title due to a poor referee job last year in his fight with 40-year-old Ismael Barroso.
The way De La Hoya and Ryan want the Rolly fight tells you a lot about them. They don’t have the confidence to go after IBF 140-lb champion Subriel Matias, WBC champ Devin Haney, or WBO belt-holder Teofimo Lopez.
Rolly vs. Cruz: Prepping the Plate for Garcia?
“Rolly fighting Cruz is a great appetizer for what’s to come for Ryan. The winner of that fight can get in the Ryan sweepstakes. So, I’m glad they’re fighting because that’s the appetizer for Ryan,” said Oscar De La Hoya to Fight Hub TV when asked about his thoughts on Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero choosing to fight Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz next on March 30th rather than facing Ryan Garcia.
Ryan and De La Hoya will likely have as many problems negotiating a fight with Rolly after he faces Cruz as they did this time. If anything, a win for Rolly over Pitbull will turn him into an intractable, impossible-to-deal-with champion, and there will be no way to negotiate a fight with him.
Cruz isn’t even a contender at 140, and he looked beyond horrible in his last fight against Giovanni Cabrera. A victory over Cruz shouldn’t give Rolly delusions of grandeur, but it probably will.
“Nothing whatsoever,” said De La Hoya when asked if Ryan vs. Rolly was ever close to being finalized. “Eric [Gomez of Golden Boy] talked to [promoter] Tom Brown and made an offer. We never heard back. So that’s the bottom line.
“That’s just brainwashing from their side,” said De La Hoya when asked about his thoughts on Rolly leaking a DM that he sent. “I don’t think Rolly even knew what was going on. I actually praised Rolly, wishing him all the best, and now he’s going to be fighting Pitbull as an appetizer to the main course, and that’s Ryan Garcia.
April 20th: Date to Circle on the Calendar?
“Ryan, we have April 20th, we’re there. That’s our date, and I’m going to announce something really big when it gets signed. There are no ships that have sailed,” said De La Hoya.
Oscar isn’t giving any hints about who Ryan’s April 20th opponent will be, but it’s likely to be another 135-pounder that will be pulled up in weight to fight him rather than someone from the 140-lb division. Someone weak-punching like Jovanni Straffon or Maxi Hughes would be right up Ryan’s alley.
“Ryan holds the cards. Devin Haney holds the cards. We just have to be strategic here, but when I have something writing that is concrete, it’s going to be a huge announcement,” said De La Hoya.
“At this point now, every time Ryan fights, it’s going to be a huge announcement. You never know. Maybe he moves up to 147,” said De La Hoya.