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Ryan Garcia says he drank every day in training camp for Devin Haney, insists he is not crazy

Ryan Garcia and Bernard Hopkins. Photo credit: Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy Promotions

For two months the boxing world has marvelled at Ryan Garcia 25-1 (20), watching his apparent mental unravelling in real time live and direct on social media platform X as he prepared to face WBC junior welterweight champion Devin Haney 31-1 (15) at Barlcays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night.

The 25-year-old Garcia of Los Angeles presented himself as a conspiracy theorist online, with some of the recurring themes in his posts including alien life, the murder of Tupac Shakur, child trafficking and sex abuse rings, and of course liberal sprinklings of praise for our lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

A typically random post on April 15 offered free advice on self-medicating with alcohol, marijuana and caffeine to battle dementia, that included the suggestion to “smoke weed and do it to the point of exhaustion”.

Garcia’s media appearances alongside Haney have been no less bizarre. During one episode he snapped his fingers and sang for a bemused Haney, who spoke directly to the camera when he was finished to say: “I don’t know if Ryan Garcia is taking the fight serious or not.”

At the weigh-in Garcia missed weight by a whopping 3.2-pounds before appearing to skol a beer. Haney could have refused to face Garcia but he agreed to push ahead with the bout after reaching a deal that would see him financially compensated for boxing a bigger man.

The hot topic among fans and pundits alike leading in to the bout was not how their respective styles would match up once the first bell rang, but whether Garcia was mentally competent to compete at all.

As famed author Hunter S Thompson once wrote, “when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

Fast forward to the fight. Garcia stung Haney early in the first round with a left hook, did very little for the next five rounds, decked Haney with the left hook in the seventh and repeated the treatment with the same punch in the 10th and 11th rounds.

Despite fighting is spurts and losing a point in the seventh for hitting on the break, Garcia did enough to get the win by majority decision with scores of 112-112, 114-110 and 115-109.

In his post-fight interview, Garcia insisted his online persona was all an act.

“This is why people need to stop believing everything on the internet and stop living in a false reality,” he said in the ring after the fight.

“At the end of the day there’s a lot of real shit going on. The last thing you should worry about is a kid acting crazy on the internet. Real shit is going on in the world. Open your eyes. Kids being hurt; nobody caring.

“I had everybody thinking I was crazy, but at the end of the day who’s the crazy one now?

“I didn’t really wanna say this, but it’s the truth. Everybody needs to acknowledge y’all was tripping, not me. I wasn’t. I was the one who was sanity. I don’t give a fuck what people say about me.

“I walked through the fire and still held it down and still beat Devin Haney and still drink every day and still beat him. I did everything. What happened? False reality, right? Drank every single night. What happened? I won.

“Not necessarily am I proud of that, but I’m just saying. It was a statement to show you – you guys can’t really fuck with me. I do whatever I want and still win.

“I was just having fun, man. I’m going through a lot. I went through a divorce. Just a lot of shit’s been happening to me outside my life that kinda broke me.

“I did what I needed to do to feel okay. So I drank every day and did whatever I wanted and I’m not proud of it at all. Don’t necessarily look at me like an example, ’cause I’m far from perfect.”

So is Garcia really a very stable genius with an A-class trolling game?

The jury is still out on that one.