Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya revealed on social media that he’s concerned about Ryan Garcia’s mental state over his behavior during today’s final press conference for his headliner against Oscar Duarte this Saturday night, December 2, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
De La Hoya said about Ryan: “His current erratic behavior shows that he’s clearly not focused on Saturday night.” Hopefully, Ryan doesn’t have a breakdown before Saturday’s main event clash with Duarte because the card would fall apart without him.
During the press conference, the 25-year-old Ryan (23-1, 19 KOs) ripped into Golden Boy executive Bernard Hopkins about past comments he’d made about him supposedly needing to retire based on how things go against Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs).
After spending a considerable amount of time at the podium roasting the 58-year-old Hopkins over his comments from two months ago, Ryan then claimed that Golden Boy had picked Duarte out, hoping to get him beaten just as they had done when they matched him against Romero Duno in 2019.
Oscar De La Hoya reacts to Ryan Garcia firing back at him and Bernard Hopkins at their press conference today… pic.twitter.com/8IF0B9DyOo
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) November 30, 2023
It was a strange, paranoid-like comment from Ryan Garcia, thinking that Golden Boy picked out a slow, lightweight fringe contender, Duarte, to try and get him beaten.
Duarte isn’t a high-level fighter, as he’s only fought one notable fighter in his career, journeyman Adrian Estrella, and he lost to that guy. So, it didn’t make sense that Ryan thinks that Golden Boy selected Duarte to get him beaten.
Golden Boy obviously didn’t pick out the slow fringe contender Duarte to get Ryan Garcia beaten because they couldn’t have picked an even weaker guy than this one, given that it’s a main-event fight on DAZN.
Duarte is just a cellar dweller fighter at 135. If Golden Boy wanted to get Ryan beaten, they’d have picked a 140-pounder, like Gary Antuanne Russell or Arnold Barboza Jr., and they’d do the job quite nicely.
De La Hoya concerned about Ryan Garcia’s mental state
“If you take a look at the interview Bernard [Hopkins] did during the [Alexis] Rocha press conference, which was about two months ago, Bernard stated that if it was him as a legend, as a fighter, as a legendary hero, this is what he would. He didn’t say, ‘This is what Ryan should do,'” said Oscar De La Hoya to Fight Hub TV about the beef Ryan Garcia has with Bernard Hopkins.
“So, when you’re dealing with kids, it’s really hard to get across that message, and then you have Ryan saying this and that. So it’s all BS. It’s a great fight. We’re looking forward to it. No, it doesn’t take any focus away. Ryan and Oscar are carrying the whole promotion, so we’re very fortunate.”
De La Hoya was never one to get worked up over comments by his promoters and management during his career, so Ryan’s behavior is alien to him. It wasn’t De La Hoya’s nature to get defensive over criticism.
Of course, De La Hoya was a far better fighter from the jump than Ryan Garcia. When he was the same age at 25, he was out of this world good.
The way that Ryan magnified Bernard’s comments, making more out of it than what was there, it was troubling. Hopkins clearly wasn’t trying to take a shot at Ryan.
“Teofimo, I guess, turned down what Bob [Arum] offered him [to fight Ryan Garcia. I don’t know what that was, but that’s out the window,” said De La Hoya about a fight that had been talked about between Ryan Garcia & WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez for Super Bowl weekend on February 10th.
“Ryan Garcia, if he wins [against Duarte], that’s a big IF, we’ll see. We’ll go back to the drawing board and get the big world title fights because Ryan Garcia hasn’t won a world title.
“Ryan Garcia has lost [against Gervonta Davis last April]. How he’s going to react against a big power puncher [Oscar Duarte] because Ryan just got knocked out by a power puncher, and now he’s facing a power puncher.
“People are curious about how he’s going to react, how he’s going to step up against a guy that has never been dropped, who has a hell of a chin. Yeah, it’s a very interesting fight,” said De La Hoya ahout this Saturday’s fight between Ryan Garcia and Oscar Duarte on DAZN.