Garcia, Golden Boy and De La Hoya show the strain

Ryan Garcia’s relationship with his promoters Golden Boy remains in disrepair. 

Since his first defeat, by Gervonta “Tank” Davis in April, Garcia’s relationship with Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy has become consistently strained and to the extent that legal action exists between them.

On Saturday, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Garcia headlines a Golden Boy Promotion when he fights for the first time since then, against Oscar Duarte Jurado.

The 25-year-old will also be fighting for the first time under his new trainer Derrick James and since returning to 140lbs, but the picture of a new chapter is harder to paint while his future with Golden Boy remains unclear. 

In June Golden Boy filed a lawsuit against Garcia and his lawyer and adviser Guadalupe Valencia to enforce its contract with him a week after Garcia’s legal team sent Golden Boy a demand letter alleging violations of their promotional agreement. 

Two months later Garcia filed a motion to dismiss Golden Boy Promotions’ complaint against him, and ahead of such an important fight for him he said: “I really haven’t even been spending any time thinking about that. I’ve just been focused on this fight and training and all that. That’s for lawyers and everybody else to think about. I don’t need to think about any of that.

“No, not at all [we haven’t tried to mend our relationship]. I seen him at the fight press conference, but other than that, no. I just let the lawyers handle that.

“I’m aware, of course [of my importance to Golden Boy]. I’m the one that’s made them money; I’m the only one that’s really made them money. 

“I understand that; it’s not me for me to understand; it’s for them to understand. They should be treating me like that. I’m aware, of course.”

On Saturday against Mexico’s Duarte, 27, Garcia will be fighting for the first time since losing and separating from his previous trainer Joe Goossen, and he said: “It’s very important. It’s all about setting the tone; letting people know that, ‘Whatever you thought you see – that’s not me, and this is who’s coming at 140’. It’s making an example. 

“Don’t get me wrong – anything can happen in boxing. But at this level and focus and commitment, I don’t see anyone around, and I’m ready. I’m ready for this fight, and yeah, like I said, it’s about setting the tone for the 140 division. I want to be champion, and I want to take over from 140 to 147, so that’s my goal. This is where it starts, and that’s my intention. 

“He has power. He’s knocking people out. It’s not the easiest thing to do; I gotta watch out for his punches. Anything can happen. He’s tough, but I’ve a lot of experience with these types of fighters. I grew up in California – Indio; Coachella; Los Angeles; a lot of Mexican-style fighters – so I’ve seen this before, so my experience and what I know with that is going to take over.”