Ryan Garcia is at odds with Golden Boy Promotions yet again.
The popular, unbeaten lightweight contender can’t help but wonder whether his promoters have the same confidence in him as Garcia has in himself. Garcia reportedly wants to fight Luke Campbell next for the WBC’s interim 135-pound championship, but he also has the option of facing Emmanuel Tagoe in a WBO eliminator.
The 21-year-old Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) is frustrated because Oscar De La Hoya and other decision-makers for Golden Boy Promotions have proposed lesser fights to him recently in which Garcia has no interest in participating.
“If they don’t think I’m the next world champ, if they don’t think I’m the next big fighter in the world, prove it – let me go,” Garcia told The Athletic for a story posted to its website Thursday. “Just free release right now and let me be. Why do you want to hold back somebody who’s not going to be shi*t?
“Don’t hold me back; release me. … If you don’t think I’m the real deal, because you’re insinuating that I’m not really the real deal and I’m not on that level yet, release me and I’ll prove it to you.”
Garcia first expressed displeasure with his promoter last year, when he publicly complained about the purses he was offered for fights he felt were worth more based on his marketability. De La Hoya and Garcia repaired their relationship, but there apparently is tension again.
Garcia also made it clear in his interview with The Athletic that he wants to be paid appropriately if his next fight comes against England’s Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) or Ghana’s Tagoe (31-1, 15 KOs).
Garcia had hoped to fight former three-division champion Jorge Linares in his next fight. Golden Boy had preliminary plans to stage Garcia-Linares on July 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, but the COVID-19 pandemic made that impossible because Venezuela’s Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) couldn’t prepare properly in Japan, where he resides.
Golden Boy instead proposed lower-level fights against Mercito Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs) or Hector Tanajara (19-0, 5 KOs) for July 24, but Garcia passed on facing either opponent.
“Knock out Mercito Gesta, knock out Hector Tanajara in one or two rounds?,” Garcia asked. “What is that going to do? Nobody cares. I’m looking out for myself. At the end of the day, boxing is a one-man sport.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.