De La Hoya’s Optimism Masks Mounting Concerns Over Ryan Garcia’s Readiness

By Tim Compton - 03/07/2024 - Comments

Promoter Oscar De La Hoya is confident in Ryan Garcia’s readiness to face Devin Haney for his WBC light welterweight title on April 20th on DAZN PPV.

Despite Ryan’s mental health appearing to disintegrate over the last two weeks, De La Hoya feels everything is fine with the social media star, saying, “He looks good,” which is hard to believe.

Fans Skeptical, Fear Last-Minute Withdrawal

Many fans believe Ryan is having a rapid mental breakdown, and they’re apprehensive about purchasing the event, believing he could pull out before April 20th. Fans are understandably hesitant to invest in the PPV event.

Promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s not looked into a plan B option for his fighter, Haney, if Ryan is pulled from the card for health reasons. Shakur Stevenson has already thrown his hat in the ring, saying he’ll step in and replace Ryan.

“Come April 20th, it’s going to be a blood bath, it literally is,” said Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya to the media, when asked about Ryan Garcia’s status for April 20th against Devin Haney.

“I’ve been in touch with Ryan Garcia. I spoke to him yesterday, and we FaceTimed each other. He looks good; he looks ready. All I know is he left for camp yesterday, and he’s with Derrick James, and he’s with his whole team,” said De La Hoya. “It’s all good. We will see Ryan Garcia up in the ring on April 20th.”

There would be a lot to lose for De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions if Ryan is pulled out of the fight, as his idea for a substitute is Arnold Barboza Jr., and that’s pure poison for PPV.

If you’re Haney, you can’t be happy knowing that Barboza Jr. would be the possible replacement because that would doom him to a second poor PPV card, likely bringing in similar numbers as his last fight against Regis Prograis last December.

Hearn Prioritizes Garcia’s Well-Being, No Plan B Yet

“We never know the truth because, from the outset, it doesn’t look good. I felt when I was at the press conference that he wasn’t behaving like Ryan Garcia,” Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn told the press when asked about his thoughts on Ryan’s situation for his match against Haney.

Ryan has shown signs of mental unraveling since the first press conference, and the things said are bizarre. Some boxing fans believe he’s showing signs of rapid onset of schizophrenia, which is why he should be evaluated and a substitute lined up just in case.

Hearn openly calls for a postponement or withdrawal if Garcia isn’t 100% mentally ready, advocating that Ryan’s safety is paramount.

“The people around him, Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy, Bernard Hopkins, they’re former fighters and they care about their fighters. I’m sure they, with Ryan Garcia’s family, will make the right decision. He needs to go in that ring 100%, and if he’s not 100%, he shouldn’t fight.

“He can be delayed, he can get some help, and he can get fit,” Hearn continued about Ryan. “Is there five weeks to go? It’s not really a long period of time. So, leave it to the people that know him and care about him, and hopefully they make the right decision for the kid.

“Not at the moment,” said Hearn when asked if he’s working on a plan B opponent to face Haney on April 20th if Ryan needs to be pulled.

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