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Ryan Garcia ‘won’t accept’ limited budget purse for return bout

The Golden Boy prospect is prepared to wait until budgets are bigger.

Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev Photo by Sye Williams/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Ryan Garcia has been very busy during the COVID lockdown and boxing’s absence, trading words with everyone from Abner Mares and Gervonta Davis to Henry Cejudo and Devin Haney, but his latest beefs are the ones that seem most likely to impact his career.

The first bit came with Garcia railing somewhat against DAZN, having been told that Golden Boy said DAZN would only pay $200,000 for Garcia to do what would have been a tune-up bout on July 4. $200K is the minimum purse guarantee for Garcia’s contract with the company, a lucrative deal he signed last year after a prior spat with Oscar De La Hoya’s outfit.

And then De La Hoya himself came out swinging at Garcia a bit, officially canceling the July 4 idea and showing favoritism toward Vergil Ortiz Jr, another Golden Boy prospect and, being fair, the guy many think is really the best boxing prospect in the company, if not the one with the most social media followers.

“Due to Team (Garcia’s) decision to not accept a July 4th bout, we will now return in late July with the future of boxing, Vergil Ortiz Jr,” De La Hoya wrote on Twitter.

Garcia responded, “You do realize you’re supposed to be my promoter, not my hater, right?” but quickly deleted that Tweet.

Speaking with ESPN, Garcia adviser Lupe Valencia said that they simply feel the offer was “not acceptable,” and says the 21-year-old Garcia (20-0, 17 KO) is willing to wait for a better offer to fight again:

“Golden Boy asked DAZN to do a fight with a limited budget because of the whole COVID thing. My understanding was DAZN was planning to come back in September. Golden Boy wanted them to come back earlier and headline Ryan. My understanding is DAZN agreed to come back earlier with a limited budget. Our opinion was that we weren’t willing to come back earlier on the limited budget. That’s really the gist of it.”

Valencia says that Garcia doesn’t regret re-upping with Golden Boy, and says Garcia really does want to fight, but he wants to be paid what he thinks he’s worth. The reported amount Garcia wanted for July 4 was $500,000.

Fair or not, Garcia is going to get some backlash here, and Golden Boy will get some from those who side with Garcia. It’s really not going to make anyone look better, and seeing further strain on this fighter-promoter relationship — especially with someone as hot-tempered as De La Hoya has many times proven to be — means you really have to question how much further down the road these two sides will go.

Or they’ll get a $500K deal done for an August or September fight and everyone will smile and hug and do the thumbs up. Boxing!

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