Ryan Garcia described himself as a “little mental” as he finalised his preparations for what could prove one of his defining fights.

On Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, he challenges his long-term rival Devin Haney for the WBC super lightweight title.

At Wednesday’s media workouts there were again concerns surrounding his weight – he looks on course to fight at 147lbs – and since Saturday’s fight was announced there have been wider concerns about his mental health.

Garcia, like Haney aged 25, has contributed to their existence via his erratic behaviour and ill-advised use of social media. At Tuesday’s face-to-face with the champion he appeared agitated, and at Wednesday’s media workouts he appeared hyperactive – both appearances were in contrast with the significantly calmer individual seen in the days before his fight with Gervonta “Tank” Davis in April 2023.

“I’m fast,” he said. “I’m quick. I’m strong. You saw how fast that was. I can do this all day. This type of motivation – all the s*** that I’ve been through. I’m a little mental, yeah, but I’m ready to destroy the mother******. 

“Y’all weren’t talking about Mike Tyson when he was like this. You all respect him now. So you gotta respect me. I seen some s*** I should have never seen, but I’m a killer now.

“I haven’t tested positive for one drug. That’s all I’ve got to say. This is me.

“No consequences [if I miss making weight]. I’ll miss that s*** if I want. It’s my event. I’m kidding. Bro, I’m gonna make the weight. It’s easy. 

“I know I’m gonna win, bro. You guys can’t even play ping-pong dehydrated, let alone fight in front of millions of people. Fact.”

Garcia’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who has previously spoken of his own struggles with his mental health, has insisted he isn’t concerned about his highest-profile fighter. On Tuesday and Wednesday Garcia’s respected trainer Derrick James was by his side, and similarly appeared unconcerned.

“You guys will see an event like you’ve never seen before,” continued Garcia, who has previously spoken about battling anxiety. “I have something super planned – you’ve got no clue. 

“I’m talking about the entrance, to the performance, to the theatrics, and then in the ring it’s going to be a good first round – maybe I’ll feel him out. See what he got going on, then start hitting him, touching him a little bit, and then all of a sudden, 30 seconds, I’m gonna drop him, let his ass get up. 

“Second round, I’m gonna knock him the f*** out. Then we gonna go party. We’re gonna go crazy.

“I heard this – when Devin Haney gets touched in sparring he lets the sparring partners go. That’s what I heard. I don’t ever let them go.”