Trouble in Golden Boy land
By Max Warren
The 22-year-old rising star Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) is in yet another major financial and ego-fueled dispute with Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. After last year’s squabble with Golden Boy, in which Garcia was displeased about the offer he received to fight Romero Duno on a one day’s notice, it seemed like Garcia’s feud with his promoter was smoothed out.
Last year, Garcia’s originally-scheduled opponent for September 14th, Avery Sparrow, was apprehended on September 13th by U.S. Marshalls for brandishing a handgun in a domestic dispute that occurred several months before the scheduled bout.
Another lightweight, Romero Duno, was on the same card. Like Garcia, Duno made weight and was ready to fight. Golden Boy thought the fight-night could be patched up if Garcia would face Duno on the September 14th card. Garcia’s camp requested a larger purse because of the short notice. The request was denied. Things suddenly turned ugly between Garcia’s team and his promoter. Garcia was upset that the promoter mentioned that he didn’t want to face Duno. Garcia and his team incessantly claimed that there wasn’t any fear of facing Duno, but simply a desire for a better fight purse. Garcia didn’t fight on the September 14th card, and it remained questionable whether the rising star would even fight under the Golden Boy Promotions Banner again.
Garcia and Golden Boy resolved their differences, and the young prospect ended up agreeing to a 5-year contract extension with Golden Boy Promotions. Specific terms of the contract weren’t revealed, but the promotional company declared that it was one of the most lucrative deals in history for a boxing prospect. Despite the previous verbal sparring, Garcia fought Duno on the Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev undercard on November 2nd. He shocked much of the boxing public by scoring a thrilling 1st round KO.
But the smooth sailing between Garcia and his promoter has come to a halt. Garcia was originally slated to fight on a July 4th Golden Boy card, but the young fighter and his advisors are once again displeased about a purse offer. He believes that he is too great of a draw for the amount that he was going to receive. Right now, boxers can’t be offered as much money due to the circumstances arising from the novel coronavirus. Having a packed arena is not feasible, and ticket revenue is a key component to the financial success of a boxing event. The diminished revenue unfortunately affects how much a fighter gets paid.
With Garcia declining Golden Boy Promotions’ offer, a prospective July 4th fight card will be pushed back to later in the month. Instead, Golden Boy will turn to the undefeated 22-year-old prospect, Vergil Ortiz (15-0, 15KOs). Oscar De La Hoya tweeted, “Due to team @KingRyanG decision not to accept a July 4th bout, we will now return in late July with the future of boxing Vergil Ortiz.” From the looks of it, De La Hoya is dissing Garcia for not agreeing to an offer, and wants to reward his other undefeated prospect for not causing the promotional company as much grief. In response, Garcia tweeted, “You do realize you’re supposed to be my promoter, not my hater, right?”
After the sport being shut down for three months, boxing news has spiced up once again. Vergil Ortiz will headline a Golden Boy Promotions card in late July, and it will be interesting to hear about Ryan Garcia’s future with his promoter. There is a possibility that he could buy himself out of his current promotional deal, especially since several financial disagreements have occurred between the two sides over the past year.
Very few fighters in boxing history without a championship belt have received as much attention by a promoter and the public as Ryan Garcia. Due to social media, fighters have the opportunity to build their brand to an enormous level before even being in a championship bout. Garcia is a very special case. He boasts three million Instagram followers, and Oscar De La Hoya himself doesn’t even have half of the social media following that Garcia displays. It’s not certain that the two sides can ever patch things up once again. Such squabbles can only endure for so long. Garcia may have to test the waters with another promotional entity in order to feel more respected. Egos matter when it comes to business, especially in boxing.