Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions filed a lawsuit Friday against superstar boxer Ryan Garcia in the wake of Garcia attempting to terminate his contract with Golden Boy.
According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, Garcia and his legal team sent a demand letter to Golden Boy Promotions last week, alleging that the company made decisions that invalidated its contract with Garcia.
Specifically, Garcia alleged that Golden Boy contradicted itself by having an exclusive pay-per-view agreement with DAZN, while also putting in Garcia’s contract that he could choose the pay-per-view network for his own fights.
For his fight against Gervonta Davis in April, Garcia alleged that he had to pay $120,000 of his own money toward a $1.25 million step-aside fee to DAZN, which allowed the fight to air on both Showtime and DAZN.
In reference to the retaliatory lawsuit against Garcia and his attorney, Guadalupe Valencia, Golden Boy issued the following statement to ESPN:
“Golden Boy has been proud to have worked with Ryan Garcia for the last several years and to help catapult him to the kind of stardom that led to the biggest boxing pay-per-view event in years just two months ago. With this filing, we are seeking to ensure that Ryan and his team will honor the remainder of his contract, a contract that Ryan himself called ‘one of the most lucrative boxing deals for a prospect in the history of the sport.’
“Since then, Ryan has moved on to becoming a legitimate contender, and we will continue to present Ryan with the best possible opponents that can eventually lead the way to a world championship and a historic legacy.”
Another of Garcia’s lawyers, Bo Pearl, responded with a statement of his own, insisting that Golden Boy is guilty of breaching its contract with Garcia:
“Golden Boy is obligated to promote and enhance Ryan Garcia, not malign him on Twitter and file a public, baseless lawsuit against him. Ironically, the lawsuit itself constitutes a breach of the very agreement Golden Boy is seeking to enforce. It is obvious retaliation to a letter detailing multiple asserted breaches of contract by Golden Boy.
“Rather than address these serious issues in mediation [as is required under the contract], Golden Boy rushed to court to sue its fighter. To be sure, we will respond to this gamesmanship and fully enforce all of Ryan’s contractual rights against Golden Boy as well as his rights under state and federal law.”
Canelo Álvarez had a similar issue with Golden Boy Promotions in 2020, resulting in Golden Boy releasing Álvarez from his contract.
Garcia made several other allegations related to breach of contract against Golden Boy, including that Golden Boy is withholding bonus money from him due to his loss to Davis even though his contract said a loss to Davis, Vasily Lomachenko or Devin Haney would still result in him receiving his bonus.
The 24-year-old Garcia entered his fight against the undefeated Davis with a perfect 23-0 record, but he fell by seventh-round knockout in what was the biggest bout of his career.