Promoters Leonard Ellerbe and Oscar De La Hoya got some words in at today’s final Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia press conferences, and the two men — who have an extensive, largely adversarial history — didn’t hold back.
De La Hoya suggested that Davis’ team don’t believe in their fighter, owing to the many concessions Garcia accepted, and Ellerbe shot back that his side have been dominating De La Hoya fighters for years, not only just beating them but also “taking” them.
Here’s what De La Hoya led with:
“I know firsthand what it takes to compete at the highest level, and this is the highest level. I look at Ryan and know he’s ready. When I look at Ryan’s team, they know he’s ready. I look at Tank and he looks ready. But when I look at Tank’s team’s actions throughout the promotion, I’m left to wonder, ‘Do they think he’s ready?’ Catchweights, rehydration clauses, late afternoon weigh-ins, all of these small, petty requirements, point to a team that looks to protect their fighter.
“Why would they protect their fighter if they don’t think, ‘Maybe he’s not ready for this moment’? I really believe Tank’s team is worried he’s going to lose, and when you’re a fighter, nothing feels worse than your team not believing in you.
“You look at Ryan, who was so hungry, so willing, so ready for this stage, that he simply said yes to every request, no matter what it was. That is a confident fighter. That is a fighter whose team has his back. That is a fighter who’s ready. It’s why you’re going to see Ryan come out as the new face of boxing on Saturday night.”
And here’s how Ellerbe responded:
“The talk is done. It’s go-time. Biggest fight in boxing. Oscar, those comments you made, first off, we believe in Tank 1000 percent. 1000 percent! When it comes to you, you have no room to talk about anything. We’ve been the A-side in this situation, and that’s how the A-side carries itself.
“You’ve been asleep under the fuckin’ wheel for many, many years. That’s exactly why we took all your fuckin’ fighters and Floyd beat ‘em all while you’ve been asleep under the fuckin’ wheel. It’s gonna be no different this Saturday night. Tank Davis by KO, like I’ve been saying, and it might be early.”
Like we’ve said many times this week, the pride on the line is about more than just the fighters here. It’s promoters, it’s trainers, the networks associated to some degree, the fan bases. It’s from all angles. It’s a big one.