Promoter Oscar De La Hoya hopes Ryan Garcia’s bromance with Floyd Mayweather Jr. results in some improvements to Garcia’s defense.
The head of Golden Boy Promotions was recently asked to respond to a video on social media showing his ace client going on a late night run with Mayweather, and De La Hoya, a longtime rival of Mayweather, in and out of the ring, offered a charitable answer.
“That’s awesome,” De La Hoya told ESNews. “Look, I always praise a fighter, a young fighter who wants to soak up all that information from a legend, from an icon. So when I saw Ryan running with Floyd, I was like yeah, ask him questions about defense, about you know.
“In the meantime I’m gonna promote Vergil Ortiz who’s gonna knock everyone out … so I’m glad that Vergil comes to me and gets information and soaks it in,” De La Hoya said. “If Ryan wants to go with Floyd, and not to me, so be it, it’s great. Because that’s another legend. Different styles but another legend. So it’s all information that these young fighters are soaking in, which is great.”
De La Hoya and Garcia, of course, have been involved in a protracted feud since last spring, after De La Hoya failed to show up in the press conference after Garcia’s loss to Gervonta Davis. De La Hoya then sued Garcia over his contract; that lawsuit is believed to be ongoing.
Despite their rift, Garcia fought under the Golden Boy banner in December, stopping Oscar Duarte in eight rounds at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Garcia has long maintained friendly relations with Mayweather, although their relationship has prompted the occasional snide comment from De La Hoya.
On social media, Garcia made it clear that Mayweather was “mentoring” him, but he also pushed back against those who interpreted his run with Mayweather as being disloyal to his coach, Derrick James.
“Floyd is mentoring me, And I love and respect him, he is so authentic so stop judging him,” Garcia wrote. Judging a book by its cover will stop you from reading but Derrick James is my coach, and I love him too.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.