‘I walked through the fire.’ Ryan Garcia was three pounds overweight for major fight. It went ahead and he shocked the world

by Admin
‘I walked through the fire.’ Ryan Garcia was three pounds overweight for major fight. It went ahead and he shocked the world

He came, he saw, he jabbed and then his life outside of the ring appeared to unravel.

Ryan Garcia was seen as poster boy for boxing, training alongside the likes of Canelo Álvarez and Óscar Valdez. The boxer would also frequently reference the importance of his religious faith.

“Thank you, the Lord Jesus Christ. The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, thank you,” Garcia said at a pre-fight media conference.

Then in January 2024, Garcia and his wife Andrea Celina, who have two children, announced their divorce.

Boxing redemption

Garcia has a big smile on his face. He does a little dance and shakes his shoulders in a relaxed manner.

His joyous, carefree attitude belies what’s at stake. Garcia is within seconds of beating undefeated WBC super lightweight champion Haney in a performance which has got the boxing world talking – and then some.

Ahead of the fight, Garcia missed the weight limit for the bout, which ended his chances of competing for a world title on April 20. To miss the weight limit for a world title fight isn’t unheard of, but it’s rare.

Nonetheless, the 25-year-old Garcia knocked down Haney three times in a majority decision victory last Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

It’s a result which not only reestablishes Garcia atop the boxing food chain, but also caps off a surreal week in his life.

“I don’t give a f**k what people say about me,” Garcia said after the fight. “I walked through the fire and still held it down and still beat f**king Devin Haney and still drink every day.”

“Not necessarily proud of that, but I’m just saying it was a statement to show you, you guys can’t really f**k with me.”

Garcia celebrates after knocking down Haney. – Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy/Getty Images


From Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson to Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, boxing has had plenty of maverick fighters.

However, the behavior of Garcia, who had previously had the reputation of a clean-cut boxing talent with the world at his feet, was so erratic on social media in the weeks preceding Saturday’s bout that some people thought the 25-year-old shouldn’t have been allowed to fight Haney.

“In the ring, I’m gonna beat your a**,” Garcia posted on Instagram ahead of the fight. “You thought I wasn’t gonna make it to the fight. I bet you hoped I would’ve got pulled out. I bet you hoped it was some kind of mental health issues.”

Many speculated that Ryan was going through a mental health crisis, including boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.

“It’s like the Truman Show, watching Ryan Garcia implode,” Hearn said in an interview with Boxing Social.

Garcia hasn’t shied away from talking about his struggles with mental health. After a knockout win over Luke Campbell in 2021, he stepped away from the sport of boxing to deal with his psychological struggles.

“I had no choice. It was so intense. Usually, I can get past things because I’m mentally strong,” Garcia told The Breakfast Club.

“This one was different. It was like nope, you’re not getting up today. It was everything. I thought I was losing my mind.”

Garcia returned to the sport in April 2022 to secure a unanimous decision win over Emmanuel Tagoe in San Antonio, Texas.

‘I’m perfect’

Fast forward to April 2024 and Garcia ramps up the braggadocio levels ahead of his fight with Haney, taking to Instagram to say he’s been cleared to fight after a mandatory drug test and mental health evaluation.

“I proved to everybody that I don’t do drugs. I’m perfect,” Garcia said in a video. “I’m perfectly fine. I’ve been evaluated. I had a meeting with the state commission. I don’t understand why people continue to judge me so hard. I’m just having fun.”

CNN asked the New York State Athletic Commission for details as to how it evaluated Garcia’s fitness to fight.

“The commission works to protect the health and safety of all participants in combative sports, and to preserve the integrity of combative sport competition in New York State,” said the Commission in a statement.

“The Commission has broad authority to assess the medical fitness of professional athletes (mental and physical health included), and engages in a thorough case-by-case diligence process with every professional athlete based on their personal medical history and circumstances prior to their participation in competition.

“No match is held until the professional athletes are found medically fit for competition. The Commission will not comment on the specific medical testing and evaluations of any particular person.”

CNN has also reached out to Garcia’s representatives to offer the boxer the opportunity to comment.


However, at the weigh-in, Garcia takes to the stage and chugs what appeared to be a beer. He later told Youtuber and fighter Jake Paul in a recorded call that it was apple juice and sparkling water.

The weight for the fight had been set at 140 pounds, but, to the surprise of many, Garcia came in at just over 143 pounds.

One who wasn’t surprised was Haney, who throughout the pre-fight press conference, predicted Garcia would miss weight.

During the press conference for the fight, Haney asked Garcia to pay him $500,000 per pound if he missed weight. Haney later said that Garcia honored the agreement by paying him the $1.5 million.

According to sources who spoke to ESPN, Garcia forfeited upward of $600,000 of his purse to step into the ring with Haney.

As a result, Garcia’s shot at winning the WBC super lightweight was lost but he still fought Haney, despite coming into the bout as a huge underdog.

In the first round, Garcia pounced on Haney with constant pressure. Haney felt his power when he connected flush with a left hook. In the second, third and fourth rounds, Haney made adjustments and won by utilizing his jab.

Garcia throws a punch at Haney. – Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy/Getty Images

But Garcia’s speed and power proved to be too much as the fight entered the later rounds. For the first time in Haney’s professional career, Garcia was able to knock him to the canvas in the seventh, 10th and 11th rounds.

In the end, Garcia’s hand was raised, winning by the judges’ scores of 115-109, 114-110 and 112-112.

Although he missed a shot at claiming a championship belt, Garcia exited Saturday’s fight with his reputation greatly enhanced after handing Haney his first professional defeat.

And if Garcia’s reputation as one of the most exciting boxing talents took a hit last year when he suffered his first professional defeat to Gervonta Davis, Saturday’s victory is a giant step in rebuilding his boxing pedigree.

“Come on, guys, you really thought I was crazy? You all lost your own minds.” Garcia said in his post-fight interview. “You guys overegg everything.”

Garcia and Haney fought six times in the amateurs, each winning three fights. After Saturday night’s fight, both boxers agreed to a rematch.

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com

Source Link

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.