3 minutes read

Ryan Garcia Feuds With Promoters On Stage As He Spills The Beans On Being Set Up To Lose

Ryan Garcia Feuds With Promoters On Stage As He Spills The Beans On Being Set Up To Lose featured image
HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 30: Ryan Garcia looks on during a press conference on November 30, 2023 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy/Getty Images)

During the pre-fight press conference ahead of Saturday’s boxing event featuring Ryan Garcia and Oscar Duarte, Garcia criticized his promoters, with whom he has been in dispute since his first career loss to Gervonta Davis in April this year. This dispute has now escalated to the point where Garcia publicly lambasted the promoters, accusing them of not having his best interests in mind.

At the presser for his December 2nd fight, Ryan Garcia (23-1, 19 KO’s) responded to retired Hall of Fame boxer Bernard Hopkins’ apparent comments urging Garcia to retire if he lost to Oscar Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KO’s). Hopkins, a part of Golden Boy, often co-promotes fights with Golden Boy founder and CEO Oscar De La Hoya, who holds a similar esteemed status in boxing due to his professional career.

Amid a feud between Garcia and the co-promoters, where he appears to be pushing for a split with Golden Boy due to perceived lack of support following his match against Gervonta Davis (29-0, 27 KO’s), amongst other accusations, Garcia seemed to escalate the dispute by rejecting Hopkins’ retirement suggestion.

There’s a couple of things I want to touch on. One thing on my heart is the statements that Bernard [Hopkins] made, where he’ll decide if I’m gonna finish, or if I should continue boxing after this fight,said Garcia.

He doesn’t decide that. My coach does, my team does, everybody that grinds with me day in and day out, that’s who decides, and ultimately, God decides. Not him.

Nobody was telling him [Bernard Hopkins] to stop boxing; he stopped boxing at 45, so kudos to him, but he doesn’t determine that.

Ryan Garcia also addressed Golden Boy founder Oscar De La Hoya, who, alongside Hopkins, has promoted Garcia since November 2016.

Another thing I want to touch on is Oscar saying we [Garcia’s team] misinterpret what they [De La Hoya & Hopkins] say. It’s plain English. I didn’t hear anyone say it in any language I don’t know,” Garcia continued.

It’s very clear to me that they’re backing this guy [Oscar Duarte] to beat me, just like they thought [Romero] Duno was going to beat me; he was the next Filipino star, they say he’s the next Mexican star…

Garcia’s accusations seem to revolve around the belief that Golden Boy is trying to set him up for a defeat, and he mentioned former opponent Romero Duno, whom he knocked out in the first round in 2019. According to Garcia, Duno had been matched against him to secure a victory for the Filipino fighter, similar to how he believes Oscar Duarte, his Saturday opponent, has been positioned to beat him.

Garcia’s accusations did not seem to take into account the expected role of promoters, which is to match fighters with the best possible opponents for competitive bouts and rankings improvement. While not every great boxer is well-known, it is generally considered positive if promoters match their fighters against strong opponents, as the fighter gets tested as needed to be able to compete at an elite-level. Garcia’s assertions appear to revolve around the fact that Duarte is also a Golden Boy fighter and thus in the position to replace him, in a sense.

However, as they need to promote a fight, it is natural for Golden Boy to positively address Duarte as a solid and dangerous opponent for Garcia to face, which will only help Garcia’s name and brand if he manages to defeat an opponent that has been marketed as a legitimate threat.

Additionally, there are doubts about Duarte’s abilities as he moves up to 140 lbs to face Garcia, despite regularly fighting at lightweight, suggesting that his promoters actually sought to ease the level of opponents Garcia could face, which seems to be even more the case when observing Garcia’s opponents before his loss to Gervonta Davis on April 22nd. Notably, Javier Fortuna (38-4-1, 27 KO’s) and Emmanuel Tagoe (32-2, 15 KO’s) were both fighters hat had been accustomed to fighting at 135 lbs before being brought up to super lightweight to face Garcia.

Had Garcia’s promoters truly intended to see him defeated, they could have matched him with a natural super lightweight with a high ranking, such as Ismael Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KO’s) and Ohara Davies (25-2, 18 KO’s), who are also currently signed to Golden Boy, or any other high-ranked super lightweight signed to Golden Boy or to another promotion.

It is unclear whether Garcia’s rant is part of the ongoing feud with his promoters or a marketing ploy, but it likely falls into one of these categories. Despite Garcia’s words, the event will proceed as planned on December 2nd at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.