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Oscar De La Hoya: Fighters, including Ryan Garica, get bad advice

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RingTV’s Cynthia Conte spoke exclusively with the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions about the troubled negotiations with lightweight contender Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs), which scrapped a proposed July 4 show (that Garcia was to headline), forcing the company to move on with a July 24 show that will feature welterweight standout Vergil Ortiz Jr. in the main event.

Oscar De La Hoya spoke candidly about his company’s relationship with Garcia.

“I’ve always said that relationships with fighters and promoters is like a family. We’re a family. Family always gets into fights, there are discussions, differences, but ultimately, we’re family.

“We signed the richest deal for any type of prospect ever in boxing and his lawyer, Lupe (Valencia), made this deal happen. And now Lupe’s not satisfied with what they negotiated? It just doesn’t make sense to me, so we just had to go with Vergil Ortiz on July 24. I would have loved it to be on July 4th, it would have been huge, but July 24 will be just as big.”

Conte asked if De La Hoya has talked to Garcia face to face.

“Yeah, we sat down with them for eight hours when negotiating the contract. I drove to Orange County, I think I stayed the night at the resort because we finished around 2 or 3 in the morning. Unfortunately, fighters in this game get a lot of bad advice. And that’s the bottom line. Or maybe they just have a different agenda.”

De La Hoya hinted that some of his company’s troubles with Garcia could be due to the “agendas” of rival promotional/broadcast entities.

“Rumors are starting to circulate about certain people trying to take fighters away from us, which is fine because ultimately we’re protected with contracts, so there’s no issue there, but when you have a top, top prospect like Ryan Garcia everyone and their mother is going to try to take him away because he does move the needle, and therefore, we pay him accordingly.”

Conte brought up the possibility of a pay-per-view platform providing Garcia with compensation he wants (noting that the PPV route might not be the smartest choice given the economic impact of COVID-19).

“I love Ryan dearly because he has the potential to be a great fighter, and he’s got the social media following, but how does that translate into PPV buys or DAZN (subscriptions), we just don’t know yet. It hasn’t really impacted his star power in boxing. It’s just not there yet. He’s not a world champion yet. He has the potential to become a several weight classes champion but he’s not there yet.”

The hall of famer also talked about the potential showdown between Garcia and three-division titleholder Jorge Linares (who De La Hoya claims Garcia wanted a crazy amount of money to face), clapped back at Jermell Charlo’s recent Tweet to Garcia, gave an update on middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez (who is still planning to fight in September), and discussed the various challenges of putting on live fights during the pandemic.

Golden Boy Promotions first post-pandemic show will take place July 24 at Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino in Indio, California with 2019 Prospect of the Year Ortiz Jr. (15-0, 15 KOs) in the welterweight main event. Ortiz will face battle-tested veteran Samuel Vargas (31-5-2, 14 KOs) live on DAZN. Their fight was previously scheduled to take place in March at the The Forum in Inglewood, California, before it was cancelled due to COVID-19.