Ryan Garcia’s ‘no’ limits or the lost fight against himself
Patricio Díaz
June 24, 2024

The tweets don’t stop: “Cheated”, “I hate everyone” or “boxing is dead“. This is part of the initial reaction of boxer Ryan Garcia when he was suspended for a year, as a result of the consumption of banned substances, a decision that also annulled his celebrated win over Davin Haney. “I’m retired,” he wrote on X setting off alarms, later qualifying with “yes, I’m retired, I’ll be back in a year.” But this is just one more chapter in a long saga with the usual heroes and villains, embodied by the same protagonist: Ryan Garcia.

We go back a few weeks to contemplate the eloquent images of a room in a Beverly Hills hotel, where destruction could be seen in every corner. A few hours earlier, police apprehended Garcia, the alleged vandal who caused $15,000 worth of damage, according to the initial estimate.

Afterwards, the fighter claimed a medical problem and was later transferred to a medical center. “The BHPD took him to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment and, as far as we know, he can be charged with public intoxication,” said Garcia’s attorney, Darin Chavez.

The Californian with Mexican ancestry, born in 1998, alternates triumphs and scandals, which has quickly led him to capture the interest of the media and the fans. The boxer has an enviable record (25-1, 20 KOs) and, aside from the recent suspension, has had several mental health problems that he himself has revealed in recent months. His erratic behavior, both in public appearances as well as in publications issued on his social networks, has flooded the specialized media and the American show business.

The divorce, almost in parallel with the birth of his second child last December, rivaled in press attention with the preview of his expected fight with Haney. The confession of having been raped in his youth, accusing a family member and having witnessed similar events with other minors, was another moment that earned him the front pages. In March he denounced that he was kidnapped by “the elites”, accusing them of forcing him to watch such acts. A few days ago he shared his experiences of being jailed for the aforementioned vandalism at a Los Angeles hotel: “I was hit with drugs, but I kept my mind intact,” adding that he will always “be myself and go after evil, but I will become a better example. Praise the Lord Jesus.”

“Everyone trashes a hotel from time to time”

He crowned his messages by comparing himself to the DC Comic villain, the Joker. Days later he was less solemn: “Everyone wrecks a hotel from time to time”, sentence, which defense of the pugilist, he made in a joking tone. We are in the presence of a victim, a mythomaniac, a person with mental problems or simply a clever publicist who, regardless of how, wants to be news. Or all of the above together. This is what the media in the United States is debating, even more so after suffering in April an unprecedented knockout against Gervonta Davis that ended in the seventh round with “fight of the year” in Las Vegas and accusing his own sparring partner of being a “spy” of Gervonta: “Sad, I had a mole in my camp. What the hell? That’s crazy, but thank God it came out,” he fired after his first loss as a pro.

Those who rule out intentionality in the boxer’s sayings and deeds, but rather attribute them to “evident mental alterations,” base their opinion on Garcia’s long list of successes in the super feather, lightweight and super lightweight categories, so he would not need anything extra to be a protagonist in the boxing world. But positions differ because of repeated controversies, such as the one that arose after beating Devin Haney (brief joy after a suspension for banned substance abuse), when he posted a provocative photograph with a drink in his hand and the message: “I don’t give a shit what people say about me. I walked through fire, and I still beat Devin Haney, and I still drink every day, and I beat him. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s a demonstration that you guys can’t destroy me.”

It’s the story of a great fighter who keeps losing the fight against his own nature, the one that gives him no respite and forces him to always be the center of attention. It will be a year out of the ring, but probably not out of the headlines. That’s the only predictable thing about the unpredictable Ryan Garcia.

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