Ryan Garcia rode into his press conference Thursday on a horse, but if he were to be knocked off it, a replacement opponent is on standby to fight Devin Haney

In recent days, Garcia has called for a change in the location of his announced fight from New York to Las Vegas, and the 25-year-old has even documented his alcohol and marijuana use.

The behavior prompted the WBC super lightweight titleholder Haney to quip that the enigmatic Garcia might even retire before the fight. 

The series of unpredictable moves have left Golden Boy Promotions to build a backup plan should Garcia not make it to the opening bell on April 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 

Super lightweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (29-0, 11 KOs) revealed in an interview with BoxingScene.com that he’ll be featured as the co-main event bout and has even been pegged as the backup fighter to potentially save the show. 

“That’s why we’re here at the press conference. I’m in the co-main event, and I’m standing by as well. That’s why we haven't announced our opponent yet because there could be a big possibility that Ryan doesn’t get his s*** together and we step up and fight Haney,” said Barboza. 

“Haney seems to be the more focused fighter right now, but I really don’t care [who wins]. I’m not focused on what they're doing. Ryan just needs to put his head down and grind, stop doing little videos, and all that. You don’t want to cheat the people who are paying money. Maybe he’s playing a mental game with Devin, you never know. I hope he puts on an exciting fight. 

“I’m going to make a statement in my fight. Hopefully, that gets me the winner of this fight. We’re in the works right now with Golden Boy for an opponent.” 

Barboza went on to say that Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) is biting off more than he can chew against Haney (31-0, 15 KOs), a former undisputed lightweight champion who’s already beaten the likes of George Kambosos Jr. twice as well as Vasiliy Lomachenko and Regis Prograis.

The 32-year-old Los Angeles native Barboza signed a promotional pact with Golden Boy in November soon after splitting from Top Rank. 

Barboza fought in January and scored an eighth-round stoppage against Xolisani Ndongeni. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.