Ryan Garcia’s issues with Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions are no secret, first bubbling up in 2019, then getting briefly fixed with a big new contract, and now coming back here in 2020 during the COVID lockdown.
Everyone has already pretty well formulated their opinion on the 21-year-old Garcia (20-0, 17 KO) and his “demands” and whatnot, which have included passing on what he felt was a lowball offer to fight on July 4 against Mercito Gesta or Hector Tanajara Jr, but The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger has a great new in-depth piece up on the situation from Garcia’s side of things, and it’s more than worth reading in full.
One point that seems to be sticking in Garcia’s craw is that as soon as he and De La Hoya began publicly beefing again, De La Hoya got petty with his words and seemed to dismiss Garcia as Golden Boy’s next top star, turning his favor to Vergil Ortiz Jr, who will instead be headlining Golden Boy’s first card back on July 24.
Garcia is challenging the promoter to just release him if they don’t think he’s what he’s supposed to be:
“If they don’t think I’m the next world champ, if they don’t think I’m the next big fighter in the world, prove it — let me go. Just free release right now and let me be. Why do you want to hold back somebody who’s not going to be shit? Don’t hold me back; release me. … If you don’t think I’m the real deal because you’re insinuating that I’m not really the real deal and I’m not on that level yet, release me and I’ll prove it to you.”
As for not taking the July 4 bout offered to him, Garcia adds that “nobody cares” if he knocks out Gesta or Tanajara, and that he’s asking for bigger fights. He wanted Jorge Linares, but that’s not happening, and now the focus is on a WBC eliminator with Luke Campbell, which seems headed in the right direction as far as getting made — at least for now.
It’s hardly the first dust-up De La Hoya has had with one of his company’s fighters. Tensions remain between De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez, even, and Alvarez is by far the company’s biggest star. Without him on the roster, Golden Boy really doesn’t have a lot as far as actual star power goes at the moment, and Garcia is realistically probably their second-biggest star, derided social media following alone.
It’s a real situation, to say the least, and in all reality, given the frequency of the spats, this might not be a relationship meant to last.