A promoter’s job is to promote their fighter as they head into battle. But instead of getting behind Ryan Garcia as he returns to action against Oscar Duarte, there appears to be turmoil between the boxing superstar and Golden Boy Promotions.
At Thursday’s final press conference, “KingRy” accused Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins of backing his opponent.
“It’s very clear to me that, you know, they’re backing this guy [Duarte] to beat me, just like they thought [Romero] Duno was gonna beat me. He was the next Filipino star. They say he’s the next Mexican star,” Garcia said.
The 25-year-old also had some choice words for Hopkins, who drew Garcia’s ire when he said he would make a “personal decision” whether or not Garcia would fight again after December 2.
“I will see how he looks in this fight [against Duarte] to make my personal decision whether he should fight again,” Hopkins said in an interview with FightHype in October.
“One thing that’s been on my heart is the statements that Bernard made where he’ll decide if I’m going to finish or if I should continue boxing after this fight,” said Garcia. “He don’t decide that. My coach [Derrick James] does, my team does. Everybody that grinds with me, day in and day out, that’s who decides.”
Garcia went on to call both De La Hoya and Hopkins liars and Hopkins responded by suggesting the sport will “call your bluff” when telling athletes when it’s time to retire. After the press conference, De La Hoya took to X and aired out his grievances in a since-deleted post.
“I have to say that I’m really concerned about Ryan Garcia’s state of mind,” De La Hoya wrote. “Considering his history of mental instability (which he’s documented himself) his current erratic behavior shows he’s clearly not focused on Saturdays fight. You won’t take my calls, Ryan I hope you’re OK.”
For a fighter looking to rebound after a knockout loss to Gervonta Davis in April, a public spat with his promoter should be the least of his concerns. But there’s a history between Garcia and Golden Boy and it also isn’t the first time the promotion has had a public feud with a superstar they promoted.
Golden Boy Promotions vs. Canelo Alvarez
In 2018, Canelo Alvarez signed an unprecedented 11-fight, $365 million deal with broadcaster DAZN as part of Golden Boy Promotions. But after two fights things began to sour between Alvarez and Golden Boy. Following his 2019 fight with Daniel Jacobs, Canelo and Golden Boy had trouble agreeing on the Mexican superstar’s next opponent. DAZN expected Canelo to face Gennadiy Golovkin for a third time but Canelo had other plans.
Canelo would go on to face Sergey Kovalev in November but reports began to surface that there was open disdain between Canelo and De La Hoya where the fighter accused his promoter of making promises to DAZN without his consent. As fight week approached, the tension between Canelo and De La Hoya was visible as the two sides had zero interaction with one another.
In 2020, Canelo filed a lawsuit against both Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN, alleging a breach of contract and sought a minimum of $280 million in damages. The two sides reached an agreement where Golden Boy would release Canelo from his contract in November of that year. A month later, Canelo resumed his relationship with DAZN and left Golden Boy out in the cold.
“I’m glad to go away from him,” Canelo would say in a September interview ahead of his fight with Jermell Charlo. “He’s f—ing crazy. He’s a hypocrite.”
Ryan Garcia had the proverbial ringside seat to this very public dispute as he was part of trainer Eddy Reynoso’s stable of fighters, which was highlighted by Canelo Alvarez.
Although Garcia and Canelo had a falling out as Garcia split from the stable in 2021, he witnessed everything that happened between the fighter and his promoter.
And now it’s happening to him.
Ryan Garcia vs. Golden Boy Promotions
Tensions between Garcia and De La Hoya seemingly began once a deal was agreed upon for the young star to fight Gervonta Davis. After Garcia urged Golden Boy to do whatever it took to land the fight, which included a rehydration clause that some would call ill-advised, things took a turn for the worse on the night of the fight.
Following Davis’ seventh-round stoppage of Garcia, De La Hoya was nowhere to be found at the post-fight press conference, calling into question his allegiance with his fighter. De La Hoya stated that he didn’t attend the press conference because of death threats he received but it was obvious that there was more to this issue.
The promoter took to social media to blame Garcia for losing and calling into question the rehydration clause. A public feud ensued. Meanwhile, De La Hoya told reporters in May that he was targeting Manny Pacquiao for Garcia’s next fight, a fight that Garcia said he didn’t want. By June, a lawsuit was filed by Golden Boy against Garcia and his advisor, Guadalupe Valencia, to enforce its contract with the boxer. A week prior, Garcia’s legal team sent a demand letter to Golden Boy that alleged violations of their promotional agreement, similar to the claims Canelo had with the promotion.
The two sides appeared to smooth things over and Garcia’s return was set for December 2 against Duarte, but after Thursday’s press conference, it’s obvious that matters are far from settled between the young star and the promotion.