Ryan Garcia Arrives On Horseback But Leaves Under A Cloud

Boxing Scene

Ryan Garcia, wearing all white, rode up to The Avalon nightclub in Hollywood on Thursday on a white horse and, when he climbed off, was carried on the shoulders of a support crew the rest of the way.

Both he and Devin Haney arrived late for the second stop of their media tour, which started in New York on Tuesday. By the end, following a largely uncomfortable press conference, Garcia completed the obligatory face-to-face and then “King Ry” stormed from the stage.

Garcia had started off confidently, but the challenger for Haney’s super lightweight title on April 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, was soon under fire. After last night posting on social media images of him smoking, Garcia had an audibly hoarse voice at the press conference  – and he heard about it from Team Haney.

“What the f*** happened to your voice?” asked one unidentified member of Haney’s group. “Stop the coke, it’s f***ing up your voice,” said another.

Garcia steadied himself and replied: “I wanted to clarify some things. I don’t do cocaine. I would do a live drug test. I drink and I smoke weed – and so has the majority of this room.”

“What kind of example are you?” Haney replied. “The younger generation should look up to us.”

“You’ve finally got someone raising your hand, saying, ‘I do drink, I do smoke.’ Now what? It’s OK,” Garcia said. “Guess what. We all have our flaws and we all have flaws as people. I’m 25 years old, you’ve got to remember. Sometimes the weight of the world feels like it’s on my shoulders. I don’t know how many people have been 25 years old and made $100 million in their life and can do what they want. I want to see what you would do in my shoes – probably a lot more than some weed.”

Garcia spoke about how his family had lost everything when he was younger, how they slept in cars and, with several kids, in a one-bedroom house.

“Nobody gave me a handout, I never had money,” Garcia said. “I’m really a small-town boy. Then you grow as a man, you start evolving, being a leader, then I’ve got to clean some stuff up.

“Maybe I didn’t post the right picture the other day of me lighting it up, bad move. My bad, but you keep it moving. If I’m not the man I’m supposed to be, it means God’s not done yet.” 

Garcia was up and down in the press conference. At one point, he seemed to show aggression towards someone in the audience and then, when Haney asked if he would definitely show up to fight on April 20, Garcia only played on his phone.

At other times, he was able to field the usual pre-fight questions, asked by Mario Lopez, by replying: “I’m really confident, I’m confident no matter what. I feel great at this weight, I feel healthy. You can see it in my energy levels and how strong I am.”

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