Hours after Ryan Garcia publicly lambasted his promoters at a press conference, Oscar De La Hoya took to social media to air his concerns about his ace charge.
Garcia, the junior welterweight from Victorville, Calif., caused a stir Thursday in Houston, Texas, by disparaging Golden Boy Promotions, particularly its key partner Bernard Hopkins, ahead of his upcoming fight this Saturday against Oscar Duarte at Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets.
The 25-year-old Garcia has been on the outs with Golden Boy for much of the past year, ever since De La Hoya, Golden Boy’s founder, and Hopkins failed to show up in the press conference after Garcia’s knockout loss to Gervonta Davis in their high-profile fight in May. The two sides are currently in litigation over Garcia’s promotional contract.
Garcia took exception to Hopkins’ notion that he has a say in his career. Hopkins, in turn, told an outlet that Golden Boy is “not in the business of kissing [a] fighter’s ass.”
When it was Garcia’s turn to speak at the dais, he did not hold back, calling Hopkins, a Hall of Fame fighter, a liar. In the background, De La Hoya could be seen reacting uncomfortably to Garcia’s vitriolic tangent.
While De La Hoya did not respond to Garcia on stage, he sent a message of sorts to his charge on social media.
“I have to say that I’m really concerned about Ryan Garcia’s state of mind,” De La Hoya wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “Considering his history of mental instability (which he’s documented himself) his current erratic behavior shows he’s clearly not focused on Saturday’s fight. You won’t take my calls, Ryan, I hope you’re OK.”
Garcia, of course, has had a history of battling mental health issues. He took a 15-month hiatus from boxing after his knockout victory over Luke Campbell in January of 2021. Garcia once described how we would break out in tears for no reason while training with his peers.
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.