Golden Boy Promotions have another potential superstar on their hands in Ryan Garcia. The Californian of Mexican heritage has it all, good looks, a knockout punch and charisma.
No one is better placed than Oscar De La Hoya to plot Garcia's career path. Although De La Hoya had an Olympic Gold medal that propelled him to instant fame as a fledgeling professional, he too gained a popstar following like young Garcia.
Nicknamed "The Flash", Garcia has blasted his way to an unblemished 18 fight record that includes 15Ko's. In his latest outing, Garcia pummelled Puerto Rican Jose "Wonder Boy" Lopez (20-4-1 14Ko's) into retirement after 2 rounds.
Garcia is fast and hard-hitting, he is supremely confident but at the same time a respectful young man that will appeal to old and young fans alike.
In recent times there has been some banter between Garcia and Mayweather Promotions regarding a matchup with WBA super-featherweight ruler Gervonta "Tank" Davis, and in the wake of the Lopez win, Garcia and Davis have traded insults on Twitter, leading us all to believe that a Garcia vs Davis fight is imminent.
Well, it's not. While Garcia probably thinks he is ready for Davis, De La Hoya will know that it would be way too risky to put the 20-year-old in with the (21-0-0 20Ko's) powerhouse from Baltimore at this stage. Garcia has looked sensational and certainly is one for the future, but even though he might have a natural size advantage, it would not make up for the experience that Davis has gained through wins over the then unbeaten Jose Pedraza, travelling to London and stopping talented Liam Walsh, Francisco Fonseca, Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar and 2 weight former world champion Hugo Ruiz.
There are faults to be ironed out by trainer Eddy Reynoso and his team that the likes of Davis, his trainer, Calvin Ford and mentor Floyd Mayweather will have been watching. Ryan Garcia is not the finished article at the top level yet and I suspect that better opposition will teach him that when the time comes.
The Lightweight division is filling up with talent. Lomachenko dominates the landscape but with IBF champ Richard Commey and contenders:
Robert Easter Jr
There are plenty of opportunities available that will prepare the young Californian and time is on his side.
With Teofimo Lopez set to meet Edis Tatli on 20th April at Madison Square Garden and Robert Easter Jr facing Rances Barthelemy on the 27th April in Las Vegas for the vacant WBA regular title, Garcia's Lightweight peers are making moves towards that top tier.
Garcia vs Haney would be an interesting battle of unbeaten young guns or Garcia vs once-beaten Puerto Rican Felix Verdejo are both fights that would take Garcia closer to title level without the risk he would face against the heavy-handed knockout artist "Tank" Davis.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Oscar De La Hoya was 21 years old when he won his 1st world title from Dane Jimmi Bredahl at Super-featherweight in 1994. Bredahl was no world-beater, retiring in 1996 after being stopped by Troy Dorsey, 3 years after De la Hoya forced Dorsey to retire after only 1 round.
De La Hoya was expertly manoeuvred into becoming a title-holder in only his 12th bout by old hand Bob Arum, but he really never faced any true world-class opponents until he fought the likes of Jorge Paez, John John Molina and Jesse James Leija in 1995.
I think Oscar knows the game so well that he will take another 2 or 3 fights before matching Garcia against the likes of Gervonta Davis, Lomachenko or Easter Jr.
Richard Commey is who I can see De La Hoya targeting for his young hopeful.
Oh, and there's still the possibility of Mikey Garcia coming back down to 135lb.