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Haney Vs. Garcia Title Bout Ruined By Garcia’s Antics

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 18: Ryan Garcia speaks during a press conference at Barclays Center on April 18, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy/Getty Images)

The press conference between American WBC 140 lbs champion Devin Haney and countryman Ryan Garcia will likely still commence on April 20th, and summed up an event that now appears to be a complete and total disaster following months of Garcia’s antics―which can be viewed as either extremely ineffective attempts at promoting his upcoming fight, or a series of public mental breakdowns that draws questions as to Garcia’s mental capacity to compete in a professional boxing match.

The press conference between Devin Haney (31-0, 15 KO’s) and Ryan Garcia (24-1, 20 KO’s), held on April 18th at the Barclays Center in New York, did not prove as entertaining as it was concerning as several weeks of social media antics by Garcia came to the public forefront.

While pre-fight pressers are usually meant to promote―and generate interest towards―a bout, the opposite occurred as Ryan Garcia continued his antics on the live broadcast, prompting a lot of questions given the profanity-ridden rants by Garcia and an overall display of behavior that seems peculiar even when it comes to Garcia; who has often been outspoken when promoting fights.

Garcia’s antics are widespread and quite difficult to illustrate, but mostly revolves around Ryan Garcia being unfiltered in what he says, and does. The earliest sign of perhaps mental issues that Garcia might be dealing with started in early March and featured Garcia leaving odd and even Satanic posts on his Twitter/X account. While Garcia attributed the posts to being hacked, since that period the American 140 lbs contender went on to spread a wide range of conspiracy theories that had nothing to do with his fight with Haney.

These antics, which saw Garcia start to do what could be considered the equivalent of extreme “trolling“, spilled over into yesterday’s presser, and saw a last effort attempt to promote promote a WBC super lightweight title bout between him and Haney into a pseudo-circus show reminiscent of social media influencer fight pressers .

It came to the point that Garcia’s in-presser antics were directly mentioned during interviews, with the DAZN broadcasting team even posing a question to De La Hoya surrounding Garcia’s behavior and mental state to compete.

Well look, social media and reality are two different things,” Oscar De La Hoya said. “I see Ryan [Garcia], he’s in great shape, on weight. I see Ryan just focused. When he trains, he trains. When he posts social media that’s his time to do whatever he wants to do.

I obviously don’t control that but Ryan’s ready, it’s his a big opportunity, this is the one that counts. Number seven, three-and-three in the amateurs, they know each other very well. Ryan’s very confident he is going to beat Devin Haney.

While Oscar De La Hoya tried his best to ignore the fact that Ryan Garcia was acting out-of-the-ordinary during the press conference itself, and not just social media, De La Hoya’s occupation as a promoter clearly prevented him from drawing too much attention to Garcia’s antics.

However, the live broadcast showed plenty of glimpses into Ryan Garcia’s behavior; exemplified by his profanity which resulted in the DAZN live broadcast featuring an apology message for profanity several times throughout the entire show―and apologies from DAZN’s broadcasting team themselves following an interview they held with Garcia.

There were further odd moments that Garcia displayed, from being the sole individual in the room to “boo” Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn―whose own participation hints at him being Haney’s promoter for this fightto making several personal and lewd comments about a random individual’s mother that had nothing to do with the fight.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 18: Bill Haney, Devin Haney, and Eddie Hearn pose for a photo during a press conference at Barclays Center on April 18, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy/Getty Images)

During the past couple of weeks, several institutions in boxing, including the WBC, have attempted to evaluate Ryan Garcia psychologically due to his behavior on social media, but he has apparently passed every test since then. However, Garcia’s recent behavior still leaves many doubts as to his ability to compete, and interest in the fight may have deteriorated as a result―as Garcia’s own father recently hinted at during an interview with MillCity Boxing.

While the result of the April 20th match between Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia is ultimately what matters, the best result will be both fighters not suffering any more damage than needed, which in the case of Garcia could be extremely devastating if he is indeed not that mentally sound.