Oscar De La Hoya, head of Golden Boy Promotions, sent the online boxing world into a tizzy early Sunday morning when he blasted his way into a quiet boxing news night with this Twitter post:
“I have no contract, deadline for me is Monday or I’m moving on. #DavisGarcia”
Gervonta “Tank” Davis vs. Ryan “King Ry” Garcia, the fight everyone’s been assured is a “done deal” and definitely going to happen April 15, is definitely NOT a done deal? There’s still not even a contract in play?
We knew back in November, when financial and broadcast arrangements had reportedly been hammered out, that there was no contract yet. We knew that the date was not etched in stone and that no venue had been selected. But it was very early in the process and things were to be worked out after January 7, once Davis beat his interim opponent Hector Luis Garcia.
And now we find out that De La Hoya is ready to move on before the rest of the boxing world even knew there was a hold up?
To make matters even more nebulous, Ryan Garcia says that he’s seen that contract that supposedly doesn’t exist.
“I’ve seen the contract,” Garcia told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour just a few days ago when asked if the Tank Davis was 100% going to happen. “Everything’s been set. I think they’re just working on the undercard and, other than that, we’ve both agreed to the fight. I’m ready.”
Hmmmmm. What can we make out of this?
De La Hoya is not usually the most stable of human beings and isn’t exactly a reliable purveyor of rock-solid information. And any Tweet he issues after midnight– like the one mentioned above– has to be seen with a cynical eye (and maybe a drinky-drinky hand gesture).
This, of course, isn’t the first time De La Hoya has raised eyebrows with contradictory statements on the progress of the fight between his fighter, Garcia, and Davis.
Back in August, at the Vergil Ortiz-Michael McKinson weigh-in, a semi-lucid Golden Boy had this to say about supposed Davis-Garcia talks to FightHubTV: “Look, we’re talking. We’re talking, so, yeah, it’s a great start. To get to talk to the other side is a great start. We want the fight. That’s the bottom line.”
The next day, though, after Ortiz obliterated McKinson in nine rounds, a significantly less lucid De La Hoya told ESNEWS: “Hey, we’re trying to get a hold of Tank’s side. We don’t know who to talk to. Nobody picks up their phone, nobody calls back…”
Signed formal contracts are not the be-all, end-all indicator of whether a fight is going to be made. As a matter of fact, fighters often don’t sign contracts until very late into the talks process, closer to fight night than the start of negotiations.
De La Hoya’s behavior, however, doesn’t appear to be that of someone truly pushing for this fight to happen. The public lip service given to wanting the bout for his guy when cameras are on has been offset on several occasions by little fits of self-sabotage, like the one on Twitter early Sunday morning.
Head of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza commented on a previous Oscar De La Hoya shadow cast on the making of the bout with a response that could be cut and pasted as a reply to this recent one.
“Is there a formal signed contract? No,” Espinoza told FightHub TV. “Is there a very detailed exchange of terms which everyone said, ‘I’m in agreement, I’m in agreement, I’m in agreement?’ Yes, there’s that. And did everyone review the announcement that a deal is made and agree before it went out? Absolutely. No deal would’ve been announced by the fighters had everyone not signed off. So, the reality is that it’s a little bit puzzling…it’s a little bit mysterious why you would say, ‘Sure, Ryan, go ahead and tell everybody you have a deal’ and then two days later come out and say ‘Well, there’s not really a deal.’ So, I’m not sure what the agenda is. I don’t know if it’s cold feet or maybe you’re getting buyer’s remorse over the deal you made, but on the day the fighters announced that they had a deal, everyone was in agreement– DAZN, Golden Boy, Showtime, PBC– everybody was comfortable with the fighters saying ‘We have a deal.’”
Who knows what’s going on over at Golden Boy? Who knows what’s going on with Ryan Garcia? Maybe THE Golden Boy doesn’t really have much of an idea about whats going on with Golden Boy or with Garcia, either.
All of this drama will play out soon enough as April 15 nears and Tank Davis-Ryan Garcia either happens or doesn’t happen.