Oscar De La Hoya accused Bill Haney of going “over the top” when he warned his son Devin is going to “kill” Ryan Garcia.

Devin Haney makes the first defence of his WBC super lightweight title against his long-term rival on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

He and Garcia, both 25, fought six times as amateurs and each won three fights, but their rivalry has become increasingly personal, contributing to the vulgar taunts of Bill Haney, Devin’s father, trainer and manager, when they came face to face on Tuesday in Manhattan. Concerns surrounding Garcia’s psychological wellbeing have also grown since Saturday’s fight was announced. 

De La Hoya, the figurehead of Garcia’s promoters Golden Boy Promotions, was involved in the bitterest and most aggressive of rivalries when, as an active fighter, he fought and beat Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga. 

He has also, in retirement, spoke of how much he disliked Floyd Mayweather before they fought in 2007, and asked of Bill Haney’s comments, responded: “It’s a fight. It’s a fight, but you can’t take it over the top, you know?

“They try to hype themselves up. 

“Yeah, a lot more [than I experienced as a fighter]. Exactly. A lot more. A lot more.”