Bill Haney told Ryan Garcia he is going to order his son Devin to “kill” him when they fight on Saturday night.

Devin Haney makes the first defence of his WBC super lightweight title against his long-term rival at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and when they came face to face on Tuesday in Manhattan the animosity between them reached a new low.

Concerns surrounding Garcia’s psychological wellbeing persist as a consequence of his erratic behaviour and ill-advised use of social media since agreeing to fight Haney. The rivals fought six times as amateurs and won three fights each, but instead of that generating a mutual respect it has contributed to a growing disdain between them.

During the press tour to promote their fight Garcia’s parents accused Bill Haney, Devin’s father, trainer and manager, of being a “pimp”. Garcia’s social-media activity has also since offended the Haneys; Devin, like Garcia aged 25, also previously expressed understandable concerns that his opponent wouldn’t make it to the ring.

The Haneys were surrounded by their extravagant security team at Tuesday’s face to face at the Empire State Building, which Garcia attended only with his parents and trainer Derrick James. It was when Garcia was alone that Bill Haney started making the threats that he repeated in an apparent attempt to avoid any potential misunderstanding, and he repeated them again when Garcia’s mother Lisa arrived and could hear.

“I’m sending him to go kill him,” Bill Haney said. “You disrespect the country; you disrespect the people; you disrespect a religion – you will be sentenced, and I’m sending my son to go kill him.

“I don’t care what nobody says about him. If you don’t wanna watch it, and you don’t want to see it, then don’t watch it. It was a suicide for him to sign up [to fight] and it’s gonna be a homicide on April 20th, because of all the disrespect. It’s gonna be an annihilation. It’s not gonna be a beating, it’s gonna be an annihilation.

“Like [Ivan] Drago said in Rocky – if he dies, he dies.

“He disrespected boxing and he disrespected people. He disrespected the sport, and if he dies, he dies, just like Drago said. This ain’t a game. I’m sending my son to go kill him.”

The irony of Bill Haney accusing Garcia of “disrespecting” the sport was apparently lost on him. 

“Mrs Garcia, you can’t stop it now,” he continued when Lisa Garcia arrived. “It got real. It got real. It got real. It got real. Yeah, it got real. 

“You gon’ hit that canvas, boy. You out of boxing. That’s right.”