Ryan Garcia’s dominant win against Devin Haney has been covered with a cloud of controversy. 

Garcia dropped Haney three times with his trademark left hook in April to score a majority decision. 

After a tumultuous promotion, Garcia came into the fight a little more than three pounds overweight and it was revealed after the event that he tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing substance Ostarine in VADA tests on the day of and the day before the fight.

Garcia has insisted that he’s innocent, even after his B-sample results also returned positive on Thursday.  

“I feel hurt and damaged by the accusations that are put on me. I know for a fact that I am not a cheater,” Garcia told DAZN reporter Emily Austin in an interview earlier this week.

“I’ve never been a cheater. I’ve put in so much work my whole life, and one of my greatest victories has a little bit of an asterisk because of a lie. I’m genuinely hurt. I cry at night sometimes just knowing that they are trying to taint my victory … We’re letting literal cheaters like steroids poster boy Victor Conte convict me of cheating. And he’s the one who shaped VADA. Why are we listening to this guy? That smells like funny business to me … I know Devin Haney was the poster child for being the next Floyd Mayweather but I debunked that. How about you just give me my credit?” 

On Wednesday, Hall of Fame coach Joe Goossen, Garcia’s trainer for three fights from 2022 to 2023, told BoxingScene he supports his former charge amidst the failed drug test. 

“I’ve known Ryan ever since he was a teenager, and I have nothing but great things to say about him because he has a great heart,” said Goossen. “He’s one of the best fighters I’ve ever trained. He’s got so much talent that it’s not even funny. He’s got everything.

“I trained Ryan for two years straight and never saw anything remotely close to the same galaxy of what is being talked about now. It wasn’t even talked about. Ryan would never knowingly do something like that. When he trained with me, he was dedicated. He always worked hard. Nothing about Ryan would lead me even to speculate anything in that direction. No way. Something isn’t right. I can not point the finger at Ryan. None of it makes sense to me. In my wildest dreams, I cannot conceive of Ryan Garcia purposely doing anything that would endanger his career in such a way.” 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.

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