Ryan Garcia will have many of his loyal social media following tuned in on Saturday, April 20th, as he faces the WBC junior welterweight champion Devin Haney in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. 

When looking back at boxing at the birth of social media, Garcia will be a chapter. In the post-Floyd Mayweather era, Garcia picked up the ball and went direct to the consumer. The thing that has frustrated older fight fans is that things that might matter to them, such as titles, and accomplishments, appear secondary to the millions of followers Garcia has amassed. 

In episode two of DAZN Boxing’s 40 Days: Two Different Paths To Superstardom, Garcia discussed his path to being boxing’s most viral fighter.

“To me, I discovered a blueprint,” said Garcia. “Make videos, go viral – and fight – win, even more viral.”

“Viral” is a term derived from social media platforms. It refers to when a clip is shared by users of a social media platform and not just the content creator. Going viral is often thought of as popularity that spreads quickly across the internet via multiple social media platforms. To go viral – time and time again – is the mark of an influencer, like Garcia. 

Few, if any other boxers, can lay claim to Garcia’s indent on social media over the past decade.

“I have been the boxer on Instagram, for a long, long time,” said Garcia. “Now people are starting to realize this guy is a strong figure in not only just boxing, just in pop culture.”

Garcia, 25, believes he has fame that extends beyond boxing and has more followers than some big businesses. His influence is vast, yet isn’t without pitfalls and pressure. In the build-up to his fight with the 25-year-old Haney, Garcia has been on various social platforms, interacting with fans and influencers. 

Now everyone wonders how Garcia will do fight night. Garcia spoke a bit about some of the burden of fame and explained: “It is a lot of pressure and it is kind of overwhelming at times.”