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Ryan Garcia claims pre-fight antics were all a ruse; Oscar De La Hoya says ‘King Ry’ won’t fight at 140 again

Ryan Garcia’s upset win over Devin Haney this past Saturday shook the boxing world. It wasn’t just that Garcia beat a fighter who entered the ring as a pound-for-pound elite, but that Garcia had spent months exhibiting bizarre behavior, seemingly more concerned with drinking, partying and using his massive social media reach to promote a litany of conspiracy theories.

Garcia’s behavior caused most hardcore fans and boxing media to further write off his chances of being competitive against a technical master like Haney. Still, there was a lingering question: What if it was all a troll job by a kid raised on the internet?

After Garcia knocked Haney down three times en route to a majority decision, Garcia claimed he had, in fact, been trolling the world all along … kind of.

“Come on, guys, you really thought I was crazy?” Garcia said in the ring after his win, before circling back to supporting his conspiracy theories about the Illuminati harming children.

Garcia then confirmed he had been drinking alcohol throughout his entire training camp while also claiming it is “impossible” for him to fight at 140 pounds going forward. Garcia had missed the 140-pound weight limit for the Haney fight, costing him his opportunity to become WBC champion in the process. He also repeatedly said he had remained overweight to give himself an advantage in the fight.

Garcia has since doubled down on his statements that his pre-fight antics were just an act.

“We have it pre-recorded, months ago,” Garcia said during an appearance on the PBD Podcast. “What did I say was gonna happen? I said, ‘I’m about to make sure everybody thinks I’m gonna go crazy. I’mma do this, I’mma do that.’ Watch, it’s gonna be called the ‘great escape.’ Like, I have it all documented. I was already planning it weeks and months behind.

“I don’t know what made me come up with the idea, honestly. One day I just decided to just go all in, and just commit to the plan that I had, and I was not gonna budge for nobody. I was acting like, sporadic. Like just crazy. Faces, I would do this with my nose (scrunch), and then I’d be like, ‘It’s just a tick.’ I had everything.”

Garcia did say again that he had been drinking during camp, saying he did so because he likes to.

Garcia’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, confirmed Garcia’s claim that he would not be fighting at 140 pounds going forward, but also seemed to suggest that Garcia also was not fully moving up to the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.

“Whoever wants to fight Ryan, yeah, he feels comfortable at 144,” De La Hoya told Fight Hub TV. “Obviously eventually he wants to go for a title at 147, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. But, yeah, whoever wants any smoke come talk to me and we’ll make it happen, 144.”

Despite being one of the biggest stars in boxing, Garcia has still not fought for a world championship. Had he not been drinking through camp, he may not have found making weight “impossible” for the Haney fight. But cutting those extra three pounds also may have changed how the fight played out.

Ultimately, we’ll never know, and if Haney wants the rematch, Garcia and De La Hoya both say Haney would need to come up in weight to do so. Same with a potential rematch with Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who dropped Garcia twice and finished him with a body shot in Round 7.

Garcia has even been on social media suggesting fights with former unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., WBC and WBO 154-pound champion Sebastian Fundora, former WBA 140-pound champion Rolando Romero, and the man who defeated Romero for the title, Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz.

So, what is next for Garcia? He and De La Hoya both suggested a previously teased, though likely unrealistic, fight with UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley would be interesting.

“I haven’t even studied what the next step is,” De La Hoya said. “Normally I’m prepared or this and that, but I think there’s so many opportunities out there. I even heard Ryan saying maybe a crossover fight with Sean O’Malley. I think we have to maybe work things out with Dana but I have no problem with that.”

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