Ryan Garcia described himself as a “little mental” as he finalized his preparations for what could prove to be a career-defining fight.

On Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, he will challenge his long-term rival Devin Haney for Haney’s junior lightweight title.

At Wednesday’s media workouts there were again concerns surrounding Garcia’s weight – he appears on course to fight at 147 pounds – and since Saturday’s fight was announced, there have been wider concerns about his mental health.

Garcia, 25, has contributed to the speculation with his erratic behavior and ill-advised use of social media. At Tuesday’s face-to-face with Haney, he appeared agitated, and at Wednesday’s media workouts, he appeared hyperactive – both appearances were in contrast with the significantly calmer individual seen in the days before his fight with Gervonta “Tank” Davis in April 2023.

“I’m fast,” Garcia said. “I’m quick. I’m strong. You saw how fast that was. I can do this all day. This type of motivation – all the shit that I’ve been through. I’m a little mental, yeah, but I’m ready to destroy the motherfucker.

“Y’all weren’t talking about Mike Tyson when he was like this. You all respect him now. So you gotta respect me. I seen some shit I should have never seen, but I’m a killer now.

“I haven’t tested positive for one drug. That’s all I’ve got to say. This is me.

“No consequences [if I miss making weight]. I’ll miss that shit if I want. It’s my event. I’m kidding. Bro, I’m gonna make the weight. It’s easy.

“I know I’m gonna win, bro. You guys can’t even play ping-pong dehydrated, let alone fight in front of millions of people. Fact.”

Garcia’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who has previously spoken of his own struggles with mental health, has insisted that he isn’t concerned about Garcia, his highest-profile fighter. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Garcia’s respected trainer Derrick James was by his fighter’s side, and appeared similarly unconcerned.

“You guys will see an event like you’ve never seen before,” said Garcia, who has previously spoken about battling anxiety. “I have something super planned – you’ve got no clue.

“I’m talking about the entrance, to the performance, to the theatrics, and then in the ring, it’s going to be a good first round. Maybe I’ll feel him out, see what he got going on, then start hitting him, touching him a little bit – and then, all of a sudden, 30 seconds, I’m gonna drop him, let his ass get up.

“Second round, I’m gonna knock him the fuck out. Then we gonna go party. We’re gonna go crazy.

“I heard this – when Devin Haney gets touched in sparring, he lets the sparring partners go. That’s what I heard. I don’t ever let them go.”

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