Friday April 19

BoxingScene was interviewing Matchroom’s exciting new signing Jarron “Boots” Ennis when the entirely unsurprising news broke that Ryan Garcia was overweight.

Friday afternoon’s “weigh-in” at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, where on Saturday Garcia will fight Devin Haney, was another that was “ceremonial.” Both fighters had weighed in behind closed doors earlier in the day.

At Thursday’s final press conference, BoxingScene – for the very first time – asked permission to attend the private weigh-in, because Garcia not making weight seemed an inevitability. Unsurprisingly, the representative of Golden Boy Promotions – the promoters of Garcia and Saturday’s fight – said no, and proceeded to suggest that the one unlikely to make weight was in fact Haney, the WBC super-lightweight champion whose title Garcia is no longer eligible to win.

Garcia had appeared on course to fight at welterweight on both Tuesday and Wednesday, when he was consistently topless and apparently making little or no effort to make 140lbs. The contrast from his fight in April 2023 with Gervonta “Tank” Davis – when 24 hours before weighing in at a catchweight of 136lbs his cheeks looked hollow, he was walking slowly and he was licking his lips – suggests he actively sought to be overweight.

BoxingScene was told on Friday morning that Garcia had lost 11lbs on Thursday evening. But that was hours after he agreed to a bet with Haney to pay him $500,000 per pound he was overweight. Both fighters claim that the $1,500,000 bet has been honored, but it is instead understood that Garcia – who was 143.2lbs – paid $600,000.

All of which provided the latest uncomfortable insight into Garcia’s psyche. His irrational, racing mind and, no doubt, pride contributed to him agreeing to a bet he knew would cost him heavily. He, apparently, was making no effort to make 140lbs, and on the eve of weighing in decided to work his way down to just over 143lbs. At Friday’s weigh-in, he was frantic to the point of being beyond the hyperactive state he has been in all week – if he was close to being in a healthier place, the nervous energy he is no doubt burning up would leave him exhausted before he even makes his way to the ring.

Derrick James, Garcia’s respected trainer, has declined each of BoxingScene’s requests for an interview. Oscar De La Hoya, the figurehead of Golden Boy Promotions, continues to plaster on his Hollywood smile – not unlike Garcia’s when he has been in a healthier place – and maintain that there is nothing to see. Officials from the New York State Athletic Commission have also been out of reach.

Haney, like Garcia aged 25, also appeared to have struggled to make 140lbs, but to compare him to his long-term rival and opponent is to see a picture of near-complete serenity. James has had weeks to intervene, and for reasons known only to him, he hasn’t done so. However, Golden Boy – the context of Garcia being not only the promoter’s highest-profile and most marketable fighter, but one it has long been in conflict with and who appears almost certain to leave it as soon as his promotional agreement allows, is relevant – appears guilty of sacrificing his health for its own financial gain.

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