The past few weeks have seen a strain in the relationship between Golden Boy and its prized prospect in Ryan Garcia. The 21-year-old believes the promotion is not respecting him as a professional when it comes to his current and future skills. As a result, he is looking to hold all the cards regarding negotiations.
As a recap: Garcia (20-0) was supposed to fight on July 4 for Golden Boy’s potential return to action. He then hinted that the fight would not be happening, and ultimately, called out Golden Boy and DAZN for offering him $200,000 to compete. Garcia believes he was not getting the respect he deserves as a big-name fighter for the promotion, and requested $500,000. He was then replaced by Vergil Ortiz Jr for a late July bout.
“There’s such things as minimums, but that’s why it’s called minimums. The bare minimum,” Garcia stated to The Atheltic. “What is this? You want to pay me the bare minimum? I just had two great fights and knocked them both out in the first round. All right, let’s step it up a little (opponent-wise) and get paid a little bit more.”
Due to his influence on social media, Garcia has been able to direct his fanbase towards his side. Garcia would call out Oscar De La Hoya in a now-deleted tweet, stating:
“You do realize you’re supposed to be my promoter not hater right?”
Speaking with The Athletic, Garcia discussed his troubles with De La Hoya and Golden Boy. He stated that calls were being unanswered even after De La Hoya stated to The Ring that Garcia was getting bad advice from advisor Lupe Valencia, who stated that DAZN has a limited budget and was rushing Garcia back. De La Hoya believes that Garcia needs to figure things out before he is ready to get back into the thick of things.
Garcia has won seven fights since 2018. He won the WBO-NABO and WBC Silver Lightweight Titles against Romero Duno in November via TKO, his third win in a row via knockout. “KingRy” won his last bout in February, hitting Francisco Fonseca with a devastating knockout punch. He has since responded to De La Hoya, giving him and Golden Boy a simple option.
“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,” Garcia went on to say. “Why do you want to hold back somebody who’s not going to be sh*t?
“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.”
The quarrel comes at an interesting time for Garcia. He has accepted the World Boxing Council’s order for him to compete for the WBC Lightweight Title. Garcia will face Luke Campbell sometime this year for the interim title, made official via Boxing Scene. The winner of that fight would face off against WBC Lightweight Champion Devin Haney. This comes after the WBO offered him a fight with Emmanuel Tagoe, with the winner potentially facing WBO Lightweight Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Before the opportunity, Garcia expressed a desire to face Gervonta Davis and Jorge Linares. While all with different promotions, Garcia believes a deal can work out. Valencia just wants what he believes is right for his client.
“It can’t be a situation where Ryan gets paid X amount of dollars for his next fight and then every promoter and everybody in boxing says, ‘Wow,’” said Valencia.
“I want to work things out; I want Ryan to fight. I want us to take cuts where we have to. But at the end of the day, I have to tell Ryan that he’s getting a fair deal.”
Golden Boy and Matchroom (who handles Campbell and Haney) fight under the DAZN banner. If Garcia were to explore free agency, it will be interesting to see who would look to grab the prized talent. It will also be interesting to see how De La Hoya will try and turn this around to potentially secure Garcia.