‘The New’ Ray Robinson wants a piece of Thurman, Crawford and Garcia
With that name, the guy has to be good…no…ideally he’s great because enter a boxing ring and have Michael Buffer announce “Ray Robinson,” well, expectations are immediately heightened.
Eyes are on you, and the critiques will be sharper, because who the heck has the temerity to enter a boxing ring and have his name be Ray Robinson? Someone with some chutzpah, at the very least…
Ray Robinson (24-2, 12 knockouts), the welterweight born in 1986, fighting under the Lou DiBella promotional umbrella, hails from fighting Philadelphia. I touched base with him a short time ago and I will admit I was struck by his easy charm and humility. (Believe it or not, he was calling people out but doing so in a charming way.) So, I perked up and listened that much more intently when he told me whom he’s gunning for…
“Danny Garcia,” the lefty hitter, who most recently gloved up on June 30 and downed Breidis Prescott in Atlantic City, told me. “I feel like Danny Garcia has just been running from the tough competition. Philly boxers are known for their heart and I just feel like Danny Garcia don’t have one. It’s just that simple! He don’t have one! Philly trying to give him back; we don’t want him!”
Now, Garcia sure did go in tough his most recent outing, against Keith Thurman. But before that, he’s been roundly ridiculed for not seeking the sternest competition, looking to get maximum money for minimum risk. Hey, smart business model for Team Garcia, in the long run but at what price? His earnings have popped but is his rep where he wants it to be? Is he respected all around? Will he have the legacy, as a fighter, that he desires when he hangs up the mitts?
Robinson is ranked as high as No. 9 by a sanctioning body. Would Garcia do an intra-city challenge for his comebacker, after his loss to Thurman last March? “At the end of the day, Danny Garcia and his father know they don’t want this kind of work. I’m tall, good southpaw. I got power.”
Noted, I’d think Garcia is in a place to be wanting to fight names for money, no?
“What’s a bigger name than mine?” Robinson asked, with a sly smile.
This Ray Robinson, managed by the Split-T Management group, is clearly hungry, wants to chomp down on the big name-big game in this field. “I beat Terence Crawford in the amateurs,” he informed me. “That was a long time ago,” maybe 10 years ago but he’d love a crack at “Bud.” “I’d welcome him to the welterweight division!”
Robinson is eyes wide-open and knows Crawford, the undisputed junior welterweight champion, wouldn’t want to start out at 147 against a top-tier test. He knows he’s not (yet) regarded that loftily. Any other names he wants to call out? “I hear (WBA/WBC welterweight titleholder) Keith Thurman is looking for a test. He don’t want to fight a champion, so I’m number 10. Let me at it. It’s not my style to be an a**hole but I feel like that’s how I need to be,” he said, talking about stirring the pot, shaking trees, poking beehives. “I need to get in these guys’ faces, convince these guys that I’m here to fight. I’m tired of smiling and all that…Nice guys sometimes finish last, so I’m calling these guys out. I feel like they haven’t really fought anybody. In my head, I feel like Keith Thurman is a basic fighter. I’m being honest; he don’t really move me. Danny Garcia don’t got no heart. I feel like when he fought Keith Thurman – you know when you’re a fighter; you know when you’re losing – I felt like Danny Garcia didn’t get his feet in the mud and really try and win that fight! He gave up! So right there, he ain’t got no heart! I don’t respect a fighter that won’t put their feet in the mud and go get that win! That’s my opinion: These guys got paid good-ass money!”
Robinson, a pro since 2006, met Shawn Porter in 2010 and, he said, when he was knocked down, knew he had to get cooking or he’d be toast. He said his team should look back at the fight, and see how he responded, with heart, “My coach, back then, told me to box. I told him, ‘Are you crazy? It’s time to fight now. It’s in (Porter’s) hometown. (Incidentally, the bout took place in Southaven, Mississippi, not Porter’s home state of Ohio.) We gotta rumble. I’d rather get knocked out. Let’s work.”
My three cents: Love the attitude and ambition. I say give this kid a chance. Garcia, Crawford, Thurman, all are coming off a loss, injury or going to a new weight class and want a perceived lighter touch. Robinson is aware that he’d be in that slot and is OK with it. Props to a hungry man who wants to get a taste of finer fare – and is willing to fire walk to get to the table.
Follow Michael Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069.
Struggling to locate a copy of THE RING Magazine? Try here or
You can order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page.
On the cover this month: Mikey Garcia