• Ryan Garcia says he plans to retire from boxing by age 26
  • He entertains thoughts of facing Conor McGregor in cross-fight
  • Garcia needs to focus on his current run and face realistic opponents

WBC interim-lightweight champion Ryan Garcia remains the talk of the town following his stunning win over Luke Campbell earlier this month. But though his future looks bright, he recently said that he wants to retire from boxing in just four years.

Garcia said in an interview with Rich Eisen that he plans to retire at 26, though he did not close the door on a return.

“You’ve seen in the past, fighters have retired and come back,” he continued. “This is what I will say: I still plan to retire at 26, yet, yet if I am to return back to the ring, I will only battle people that people will say at that time 'There’s no way Ryan will beat them.' That’s the only time I’m coming back and I will always give the glory to God after I win.”

In the world of boxing, it would be rare to see young pugs consider retirement at an early age. Garcia is only 22 years old and has several opponents ahead. The one that makes the most sense is WBC full lightweight champion, Devin Haney. A clash would determine who deserves to be recognized as the true champion.

However, the American boxer has other opponents in mind. He has his eyes set on Gervonta Davis and just recently hinted at possibly facing Manny Pacquiao. Of the two, he may have better chances of booking a fight with Davis since Pacquiao already has prospects lined up such as Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr. and possibly Terence Crawford.

Ireland's Conor McGregor acknowledges the cheers of the crowd before his TKO victory over Donald Cerrone in their UFC246 welterweight bout in Las Vegas
Ireland's Conor McGregor acknowledges the cheers of the crowd before his TKO victory over Donald Cerrone in their UFC246 welterweight bout in Las Vegas GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Steve Marcus

Garcia does have a future opponent in mind, but he is not from the world of boxing. He is open to facing someone like Conor McGregor, but only after he defeats all boxing opponents thrown at him.

“I’ll go prove to them that I’m the best fighter all around in the world,” Garcia said of possibly joining MMA after retiring from boxing. “I’m talking about hands, I’m talking about wrestling. I will go to MMA to prove a point that God is greatest and I’ll beat whoever in MMA that they say I won’t beat. If it has to be Conor McGregor, I will. And I’m not saying this to get money. I don’t care about money. I’m saying this because that’s just how I feel.”

Garcia remains unbeaten in 21 fights, 18 coming off knockouts. It does not hurt to plan for the future but saying he would retire at 26 years old may be a bit premature. For now, he should focus on who to fight next with a lot of worthy opponents available.

As for McGregor, he may consider a fight with Garcia once he fulfills his current obligations. He is set to face Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Jan. 23, which marks his long-awaited return to the mixed martial arts scene.

From there, the word is ripe that he will face Pacquiao next. No fight date has been set, but most feel it will happen in 2021. Once all that is settled, Garcia could enter the fray, although landing a fight with the former UFC lightweight champion remains just a possibility at the moment.

WBC interim lightweight champion Ryan Garcia
Canelo Alvarez (L) congratulates Ryan Garcia after the WBC Interim Lightweight Title fight against Luke Campbell Getty Images | Tim Warner