Oscar De La Hoya is overjoyed at the eagerness of junior welterweight Ryan Garcia and the fighter’s willingness to take on big challenges.

Garcia is set to challenge Devin Haney for a junior welterweight world title on April 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

De La Hoya, Golden Boy Promotions’ chairman and CEO, says Garcia’s boldness reminds him of the era in which he fought. During his Hall of Fame career, De La Hoya fought Felix Trinidad, Fernando Vargas, Shane Mosley, as well as both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) despite not having won a world title, is inarguably seeking major challenges. He stepped up last year when many thought he wouldn’t face Gervonta Davis. And although he was stopped, Garcia gained credibility for taking the fight and rebounded to beat Oscar Duarte. Against Haney (31-0, 15 KOs), Garcia will face yet another tough opponent – the fighter some believe is the best in the division.

“He is willing to fight the very best,” De La Hoya told Beto Duran on Tuesday’s Golden Boy live stream. “We had an era where everybody was fighting everybody. I made it, I built it, basically. Now, we are going back to that era.”

Cherry-picking and “marinating” fights has arguably become more widespread in boxing in recent years. Many have argued that the sport is healthier as a whole when elite fighters match with other elite fighters. De La Hoya says, contrary to what seems to have become conventional wisdom, the strategy of matching tough – even when it can end in defeat – ultimately earns a fighter the most money.

“This is what it is all about – the best fighting the best,” De La Hoya said. “The business follows. The money will follow. … If you become a fighter that is marketable, a fighter who is fighting the best, a fighter who is willing to risk their [undefeated record], then the money will follow you.”

With his massive social media following, Garcia could likely have made a lucrative career out of kicking sand on lesser, flawed, hand-picked opponents in the ring. Say what you want about his troubling behavior in the lead-up to the Haney fight, but it’s hard to argue that Garcia lacks competitive spirit.

“You always get a Ryan that is ready to fight, ready to go to war and ready to fight the best,” De La Hoya said.