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Oscar De La Hoya insists relationship with Ryan Garcia is fine ahead of Devin Haney bout

Oscar De La Hoya and Ryan Garcia. Photo credit: Golden Boy Promotions

The fractured relationship between promoter Oscar De La Hoya and boxer Ryan Garcia seems to be on the mend – for now, at least.

Mercurial contender Garcia 24-1 (20) has often slagged off the Golden Boy Promotions boss in the press, but De La Hoya seems to be on a good footing with the 25-year-old Los Angelan after securing him a world title shot against WBC junior welterweight champion Devin Haney 31-0 (15) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 20.

Garcia’s most recent gripe has been his belief that the bout should be taking place in Las Vegas. De La Hoya says there are many parallels between his boxing career and Garcia’s.

“We had dinner and we were talking just about how he started, where he’s at, where he can finish,” De La Hoya said. “I told him, ‘If you want any advice, whether it’s the good or the bad, I have the answers. Come to me whenever you want, I’m here for you guys.’ And he appreciated that.

“I’ve been through the lows and I’ve been through the highs and everything in between. It’s important that these fighters understand that I’m here for them and that’s the difference with any other promoter.

“Me and [Bernard] Hopkins have been through this many, many times. We’ve been through the whole family drama, the pressure from the fans, the pressure from the fighters calling you out.

“There’s something different that me and Ryan have experienced. Ryan’s in that elite level, where he’s a good-looking fighter. Not too many of us are around, believe me. Maybe just two – me and Ryan. So it’s an added pressure, it’s an elite level.

“Yes, you’re a good fighter. Yes, you can train hard. Yes, you can win world titles and a lot of money. ‘Wait, but he’s good looking. Let me throw rocks at him because he’s good looking.’ It’s a whole different mentality. I used it to train harder. I used it to kick your ass inside the ring.

“That’s exactly what I told him at our dinner meeting: ‘You have to perform. At the end of the day, you have to win fights and you have to win titles.’

“He’s a pressure fighter. He’s a guy who understands, who knows how to put on a show. If Haney brings it and Ryan brings it, we’re going to have a war. We’re going to have an exciting fight.”

De La Hoya’s business partner Hopkins was at pains to impress that any beef with the young boxer was in the past.

“To me, he buried something that wasn’t with me,” Hopkins said. “As I said, ‘We have no beef.’ That’s [Garcia’s] way of laying out the frustration he laid out and we can say whispers and other influences and things [were involved].

“And I tell the young fighters with Golden Boy today, what goes on outside the boxing ring is you have to understand the growth and development of being a superstar. When you get to that level, there’s a lot of pressure.”