For all of the talking and tweeting. For all of the explanations and excuses. For all of the accusations that sought to deflect the blame and change the narrative. 

For all of that to end with Ryan Garcia settling his case with the New York State Athletic Commission — to accept a one-year suspension, a seven-figure penalty, and his victory over Devin Haney being overturned — and still spend the immediate aftermath proclaiming his innocence and arguing persecution.

It is fitting. It is infuriating. It is stupid. It is Shakespearean.

It is the story of someone who aspired to be a hero but whose desires for greater glory turned him into a villain. It is the story of a villain who sought to hold on to his ill-gotten earnings before at last recognizing his fate.

And, to quote the Bard: It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

That’s what we got from Garcia before his fight with Haney. The buildup to their April pay-per-view was ugly and annoying, full of antics and acting out. Garcia has claimed it was all a performance, ongoing mind games he was playing with his opponent. Garcia’s actions since suggest otherwise.

After Garcia’s fight with Haney, he has remained much the same. There seems to be some combination of mental health issues and other personal struggles. Plus an aggravating mix of naivete and stupidity. Plus the conduct of a social media phenomenon who will say or do anything for attention. Plus the consequences of people enabling his misbehavior for years due to the talent he otherwise has and the fame and fortune that talent can bring.

The result for those who aren’t fans of Garcia — or those who haven’t converted a dislike of Haney into support for Garcia — is a wish for him to put up or shut up. Or rather for him to do both.

The only time Garcia put up was in the ring on April 20, when he dropped Haney three times and hurt him on several other occasions, yet still shut down for long portions of rounds and struggled en route to a majority decision victory.

And even that was tainted.

That was tainted before we knew Garcia had tested positive from urine samples taken the day preceding and the day of the fight. 

And it was tainted even further afterward, once those results came in, no matter what has since been said by Garcia, his defenders and Haney’s detractors.

In the initial aftermath, before the positive tests had been revealed, Garcia’s win over Haney was reminiscent of the second fight between Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales. 

Garcia, like Castillo, had come in more than three pounds over the agreed-upon weight limit. Haney, like Corrales, accepted a financial deal for the fight to move forward. Corrales-Castillo 1 had already shown that Castillo could hurt Corrales when both were on equal footing. But while Corrales had punished his body to make weight for their rematch, Castillo hadn’t done so to the same extent. Castillo was less weakened, and therefore much stronger, able to knock Corrales out with a left hook in the fourth round.

Garcia intentionally failed to make 140 for this fight with Haney. That left Haney with a difficult decision. He had gone through a full training camp, with all of the time, the physical and mental effort, and the expenses that come along with it. Although Haney was previously the undisputed lightweight champion and now held a junior welterweight title, this was the biggest event of his career, a potential launching pad to even greater things. Yes, Haney received $600,000 from Garcia by agreeing to move forward. But that didn’t remove the risk or the competitive disadvantage.

And for those who argue that Haney adds significant poundage between weigh-in and fight night, consider these two things: One, that’s been within the rules of the athletic commissions and sanctioning bodies. And two, a fighter’s ability to perform is not just about the weight gained, but also about the weight drained.

That’s why when Corrales-Castillo 3 was about to happen, and Castillo once again came in overweight, Corrales made a different choice for their third fight than he did for their second. He called off the bout.

“He backed me into a corner and made me make a call I didn't want to make,” Corrales told boxing reporter Dan Rafael at the time. "I trained nine-and-a-half weeks to fight and I have to walk around tomorrow and watch other people fight, and I can’t. I trained to make weight and fight, and now I can’t because of something someone else did. Last time my actions were to take one for the team, to take one for everyone who loves this sport, to take one for the fans, the writers, the promoters, the casinos, one for everyone who wanted to see the fight. I sacrificed for everyone. Why couldn’t he sacrifice this time? The only difference between me and him is that I am professional.”

Garcia not only intentionally came in overweight, but he did so while using ostarine, which helps athletes lose weight without losing muscle mass. So he was stronger by not boiling down to 140, and stronger by artificially having more muscle at 143 than otherwise may have been the case.

No, Garcia’s use of ostarine didn’t create the flaws in Haney’s defense or the weaknesses in Haney’s chin. But it’s rational to conclude that it helped Garcia be more able to take advantage of each. Garcia was better than he would’ve been had he made 140, and done so naturally. 

Would Garcia have won anyway that night? We’ll never know. The point is that athletes have a reason for using performance-enhancing drugs. And that reason is — get this — to enhance their performance.

Haney vs. Garcia has now been turned into a “no contest.” Haney is once again undefeated at 31-0 (15 KOs). He still has the WBC world title that was no longer on the line once Garcia failed to make weight.

But the damage, physical and otherwise, is done. Haney doesn’t have a blemish on his record, but he still has to rebuild. He has to regain respect and try to show that he’s better than he looked against Garcia.

That rebuilding can only take place in the ring, not through any further efforts by Haney and his team to recoup the losses that happened from the defeat that, well, no longer exists. Haney is less marketable because of April 20. His potential next fight, a defense against Sandor Martin, received a much smaller purse bid than Haney would’ve preferred

When Deontay Wilder’s fight with Alexander Povetkin was canceled due to Povetkin’s use of banned substances, Wilder sued Povetkin and won. The circumstances with Haney and Garcia are very different, but it is understandable that Haney would consider such measures to further punish Garcia beyond what’s come from the NYSAC. Fighters cheat because they think they can beat the testing, and because they think the penalties will be light if they are indeed caught.

Garcia might have thought he could beat the testing. And then perhaps he thought he could avoid or minimize the punishment. His statements defied logic and strained credibility.

Garcia said he never used banned substances. He said that hair samples from his head had tested negative and would clear his name. 

However, according to a 2017 study by the same expert who tested Garcia’s hair: “Hair testing should not be considered as an alternative to urinalysis but only as a complement in positive case [...] and it must be clear that in case of positive urine results, the negative hair result cannot [...] overrule the positive urine result.”

And, per a 2021 study from the same expert: “The authors present eight authentic cases of anabolic steroids abuse [...] Even in three cases, no steroid was identified in head hair, although present in body hair.”

Garcia also wondered why he was negative in earlier tests but positive just before the fight. This line of logic doesn’t consider the effects of microdosing, nor how cutting weight can take banned substances from the muscle tissue and into the bloodstream. 

Garcia also contradicted himself, saying the ostarine came from two supplements he’d taken. But his team apparently didn’t follow standard protocol. Instead of testing unopened supplements from the same batch, Garcia’s team sent in their opened versions, which could’ve been tampered with.

One of the companies that manufactures those supplements vehemently pushed back on Garcia’s claims. 

And, in the grand scheme, the fighter is still responsible for what they put into their body.

Garcia also tried to implicate Victor Conte, the infamous figure who helped athletes such as Barry Bonds, Shane Mosley and Marion Jones cheat two decades ago. Conte works with Haney and other boxers these days, helping them with nutrition, strength and conditioning. He’s also a vocal supporter these days of better drug testing, particularly via the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which often organizes drug testing for major boxing matches.

“Victor Conte has no role with VADA,” Dr. Margaret Goodman, who runs VADA, told me in 2012. “He, among others like Dick Pound and Dr. Don Catlin, has educated me on the topic of PEDs. He is certainly knowledgeable on the topic of PEDs. I think part of the reason why PED testing is not as rigorous as it should be in boxing and MMA is that commissions are not speaking to the right people.”

And as Dan Rafael reported earlier this week, Garcia also tested positive for ostarine in a sample obtained by the NYSAC, not just the VADA samples.

“The New York commission also took its own urine samples from the fighters and had them tested under its usual standards. But its less expensive and less complete protocol did not include tests for ostarine and many other substances,” wrote Rafael, making a subtle point underscoring the need for more stringent testing in general. “However, once Garcia’s positive VADA tests were returned, the commission had a sample it collected from Garcia — unrelated to the sample provided to VADA — tested for ostarine and it was positive.”

It is no surprise, then, that Garcia and his team likely recognized his back was against the wall with the commission, and that a settlement was the best route. As significant as this punishment is, it could have been even worse.

It’s also no surprise that Garcia is still trying to win in the court of public opinion, rather than accepting his guilt and showing contrition.

The hero turned villain is supposed to have his catharsis, to recognize the folly of his ways and accept the punishment coming his way as just.

That’s not Garcia. Not yet. He remains too early in the cycle of the tragic hero. He hasn’t quite recognized the role he played in his own downfall.

To quote Shakespeare one more time: “I am a man more sinned against than sinning.”

Perhaps Garcia will grow from this. Judging by our recent experiences with him, it is most likely that he will not. Garcia has a year to think about it. Alas, he will probably spend that time posting his objections on social media, continuing on with an unceasing monologue that is more polemic than poetic.

Ryan Garcia may not be the Bard — but he is, for now, barred.

Follow David Greisman on Twitter @FightingWords2. His book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” is available on Amazon.