Ryan Garcia: Troubled boxing star’s controversial life and career so far – including Canelo’s ‘wasted talent’ claims, love scandals, warring with his own promoters… and divorcing his ex-wife days after she gave birth

At just 25 years of age, American boxing star Ryan Garcia has already endured a turbulent life both inside and outside of the ring.

Despite not yet getting his hands on a world title, and coming up short in his only true mega-fight to date against arch-rival Gervonta Davis, Garcia’s good looks, flashy bravado and outspoken nature – plus the freakish one-punch knockout power he possesses in both hands – has made him a household name in US boxing.

Yet to add to his colorful fighting persona, the boy from California has also experienced enough highs and lows away from the sport to thrust himself even further into the spotlight.

The latest of those lows is a nadir which threatens to derail his career to the point of no return, and comes almost six weeks before he is set to compete for the WBC super-lightweight championship.

On Sunday, a disturbing video claiming Garcia was dead after having his ‘throat slit’ was shared to his social-media accounts, which marked the first of a series of troubling posts by the boxer over the next 72 hours.

Ryan Garcia has already endured a turbulent life both inside and outside of the ring at 25

Ryan Garcia has already endured a turbulent life both inside and outside of the ring at 25

Garcia has raised concerns of late with a number of disturbing online posts in the leadup to his showdown with Devin Haney on April 20

Garcia has raised concerns of late with a number of disturbing online posts in the leadup to his showdown with Devin Haney on April 20

The world-title challenger has embarked on a series of bizarre tirades on social media

The world-title challenger has embarked on a series of bizarre tirades on social media

Garcia posted a disturbing video to his social-media accounts claiming he was dead and that his 'throat had been slit' on Sunday

Garcia posted a disturbing video to his social-media accounts claiming he was dead and that his ‘throat had been slit’ on Sunday

After taking to social media himself the following day to suggest his phone was hacked, 24 hours later Garcia embarked on a troubling tirade on X; in which he alleged he was raped by a family member at the age of two, has photographic proof of aliens existing and has witnessed children being raped after being tied up in woodland by ‘the elites’.

He then continued his bizarre rant a day later, claiming an earthquake is set to ‘destroy’ Hollywood and Las Vegas while labelling X chief Elon Musk the ‘Antichrist’.

Many have been left deeply concerned by his erratic online activity, so much so that a large number of fans, ex-fighters and coaches are even calling for his bout against world super-lightweight champion Devin Haney on April 20 to be scrapped. Garcia, they fear, is in no fit state mentally to climb through the ropes.

At last week’s press conference in LA, an agitated and flustered Garcia admitted it often feels like the ‘weight of the world’ is on his shoulders after being forced to bat away accusations of cocaine use from rival Haney. ‘I don’t know how many people have been 25 years old and made $100million in their life and can do what they want,’ he told the champion. ‘I want to see what you would do in my shoes.’

This statement alone perfectly encapsulates the whirlwind journey Garcia, a millionaire in his early 20s, has already been on in the sport, and it has led to a string of controversies both in and out of the sport over the past eight years.

After a successful 230-fight amateur career, which saw him scoop 15 national titles, Garcia signed professional terms with boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in November 2016 and quickly made a name for himself; winning eight straight contests by knockout while amassing a huge online by posting clips of his unique hand speed and punch power.

Two-and-a-half years and 18 fights into his pro career, and having linked up with esteemed Mexican trainer Eddy Reynoso, the fresh-faced boxing hopeful’s life changed dramatically when he became a father at just 20 years of age, with then-partner Catherine Gamez welcoming their first and only child together in March 2019.

The 15-time national amateur champion has enjoyed a rollercoaster ride in the sport, quickly making a name for himself after turning pro in 2016

The 15-time national amateur champion has enjoyed a rollercoaster ride in the sport, quickly making a name for himself after turning pro in 2016

He produced a series of blistering knockouts while amassing a huge following on social media

He produced a series of blistering knockouts while amassing a huge following on social media

He welcomed his first child with former partner Catherine Gamez at just 20 years of age

He welcomed his first child with former partner Catherine Gamez at just 20 years of age

But shortly after the birth of their daughter Garcia split with Gamez (pictured) on good terms

But shortly after the birth of their daughter Garcia split with Gamez (pictured) on good terms

No longer was he merely striving for personal glory when shedding blood sweat and tears in the gym. Now he had to put food on the table for a young daughter while carving out his professional journey, giving him an added incentive to reach the sport’s summit.

Shortly after sharing that special moment together, Garcia and Gamez went their separate ways on terms which were believed to be amicable, before the boxer found love again with Mexican fitness influencer Andrea Celina.

It was roughly a year into his relationship with Celina that Garcia encountered his first taste of scandal, when he was caught cheating on her with TikTok star Malu Trevejo.

While training for a bout against British star Luke Campbell, the lightweight sensation was captured kissing Trevejo after having dinner together, with Celina taking to social media to blast her boyfriend as a ‘horrible evil human’. It soon transpired that she was pregnant with their first child when Garcia was unfaithful.

‘Meanwhile, I go visit my family. He tells me he’s training hard for the fight. But IG shows me this,’ she said alongside photos of Garcia and Trevejo together. ‘7 weeks left till I give birth and this piece of sh** stay being disgusting.

‘While he barely even sees Rylie, his daughter with @catherinegamez… @kingryang is a horrible evil human.’

Garcia then took to social media himself to announce he and Celina were working through their differences, while playing down his night with Trevejo.

‘Just clearing some things I seen regarding Malu and Drea,’ he wrote. ‘Andrea and I aren’t engaged but we were still trying to fix our relationship. Malu and I went there as friends and we got caught up in the moment but there isn’t anything there, I didn’t intend to hurt anyone.

He then entered a relationship with Mexican fitness influencer Andrea Celina (pictured)

He then entered a relationship with Mexican fitness influencer Andrea Celina (pictured)

Only for the boxer to be caught cheating on her with TikTok personality Malu Trevejo (pictured)

Only for the boxer to be caught cheating on her with TikTok personality Malu Trevejo (pictured)

Celina branded Garcia a 'horrible evil human' after discovering he was unfaithful in 2020

Celina branded Garcia a ‘horrible evil human’ after discovering he was unfaithful in 2020

But the pair were able to work through their differences before welcoming their first child together, daughter Bela (top left), in December 2020

But the pair were able to work through their differences before welcoming their first child together, daughter Bela (top left), in December 2020

‘This is my personal life and I’m not going to speak on this ever again.’

As has been the case throughout Garcia’s eight-year career so far, a devastating low was shortly followed by euphoric highs – and vice-versa – as two months later Celina gave birth to their daughter Bela, a moment which allowed the pair to repair their relationship.

And one month later, the 135-pound hopeful claimed the toughest and most emphatic victory of his career to date when he knocked out Campbell to move to 21-0.

After being forced to climb off the canvas for the very first time, Garcia brutally winded the former Olympic gold medalist with a crippling body shot in round seven, which ended the contest and earned him the vacant WBC interim lightweight strap.

It was a breakout evening for ‘King Ry’, who walked out to ring on a throne and justified such an entrance with a regal display on the night.

All roads led to a shot at world honors in the lightweight division, with the WBC subsequently ordering him to face the Dominican Republic’s Javier Fortuna in a final eliminator for Haney’s 135-pound title.

Yet just months on from his statement win over Campbell, Garcia soon announced that he would be withdrawing from that final eliminator and taking a hiatus from boxing to focus on his mental health.

‘I hope to be back soon and am looking forward to stepping back into the ring when I am my healthiest self,’ he wrote.

During his time away from boxing Garcia found himself in the headlines again when pound-for-pound superstar Canelo Alvarez – also training out of Eddy Reynoso’s gym – publicly criticized his young stablemate for ‘wasting his talent’.

‘Look, Ryan has a lot of talent. But to me in my eyes, he’s wasting a lot of time and wasting his talent,’ Alvarez said.

‘I look at him and don’t see him 100 percent dedicated and, to us, that’s a bad signal.’

The lightweight sensation then claimed his most impressive win to date against Luke Campbell

The lightweight sensation then claimed his most impressive win to date against Luke Campbell

Garcia had to climb off the canvas himself before going on to stop Campbell in round seven

Garcia had to climb off the canvas himself before going on to stop Campbell in round seven

But shortly after he was forced to take a hiatus from boxing to focus on his mental health

But shortly after he was forced to take a hiatus from boxing to focus on his mental health

In his time away from the sport he received scathing criticism from stablemate Canelo Alvarez

In his time away from the sport he received scathing criticism from stablemate Canelo Alvarez

Canelo’s scathing remarks were followed by the end of Garcia working relationship with Reynoso after five fights and as many wins together. On his way out, he took aim at the trainer and his star pupil for not having enough time for him in the gym and scolding him publicly.

Later, Canelo would double down on his criticism after Garcia backed his nemesis Gennady Golovkin to prevail in their 2022 trilogy bout.

‘He’s just mad for something – he’s no longer in the team. He’s always going to be versus us no matter what,’ the four-weight world champion said. ‘But he’s a little kid. You need to understand him. He needs to learn a lot of things.

‘My advice for him is to do your job, focus on your career, win a world championship first, then talk about other people because you’ve accomplished nothing and you start talking about fighters who’ve accomplished a lot. When I was 20-year-old I was a world champion.’

Canelo even accused Garcia of owing Reynoso money. ‘You can call out everybody and say and talk and everything but at the end of the day, you are doing nothing,’ he continued. ‘It is what is. We need to understand him now that he’s no longer with the Canelo team.

‘He’s going to talk mad s**t about us. It’s fine. But he needs to remember how much Eddy did for him. A lot of things. He and his father still owe money to Eddy and Eddy doesn’t say anything because he doesn’t need it. It’s not fair that he’s talking s**t about everything in the camp.’

Prior to Canelo’s second onslaught, Garcia ended his one-year break from the sport and returned in a comfortable points win over Emmanuel Tagoe.

Canelo accused the youngster of 'wasting his talent' by not applying himself properly

Canelo accused the youngster of ‘wasting his talent’ by not applying himself properly

Garcia then left Canelo's stable after announcing his split from trainer Eddy Reynoso (second from right)

Garcia then left Canelo’s stable after announcing his split from trainer Eddy Reynoso (second from right)

He later ended his break from boxing and claimed wins over Emmanuel Tagboe and Javier Fortuna (pictured), stopping the latter in six rounds

He later ended his break from boxing and claimed wins over Emmanuel Tagboe and Javier Fortuna (pictured), stopping the latter in six rounds

There was no highlight-reel knockout, but the cobwebs had been dusted off and his quest to become world champion was back up and running. And three months later he produced the type of explosive performance many had come to expect from him in a rescheduled scrap with Fortuna.

Garcia dropped the former world champion three times on his way to a straightforward sixth-round stoppage, which teed up a true mega-fight against three-weight world champion Davis in April 2023.

After exchanging insults for years, the bitter foes finally agreed to trade punches instead in a money-spinning pay-per-view blockbuster at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, where the winner would arguably become the new face of modern boxing.

Before this seismic evening, Garcia spoke candidly about his mental-health struggles while out of the ring, admitting to having suicidal thoughts during his hiatus.

‘When that was happening to me and I couldn’t find a way out of my mind, it frustrated me,’ he revealed. ‘I just had a lot of different thoughts, suicidal thoughts, I went through a tough time but I battled through it.”

‘[But] I started having little glimpses of hope, and little by little, my mind started clearing up.

‘Just knowing what keeps my body in tune, my mind stays in better shape to keep my body in tune, so I have to run in the morning whether I’m training or not. I know I have to run, some other type of work. Just to keep my body in tune so my mind will be better suited to take on the day.’

Despite completing an admirable turnaround by battling through those problems to work his way back to the top of the sport, Garcia was left to taste his first professional defeat on the grandest of stages in his 136-pound catchweight showdown with Davis.

Then came the one true mega-fight Garcia has been involved in against Gervonta Davis

Then came the one true mega-fight Garcia has been involved in against Gervonta Davis

But it ended in his first professional defeat thanks to a vicious body shot in round seven

But it ended in his first professional defeat thanks to a vicious body shot in round seven

Garcia was unable to beat the count after being stung to the body over in Las Vegas

Garcia was unable to beat the count after being stung to the body over in Las Vegas

It represented the first loss of his career after seven years and 24 professional contests

It represented the first loss of his career after seven years and 24 professional contests

Like he had done to Campbell on his biggest night in the ring, this time it was Garcia’s turn to feel the sickening effects of a vicious body shot, which forced him to take a knee and wave the white flag after seven rounds with ‘Tank’.

In with one of the top pound-for-pound stars in the sport – who boasted three more years of experience at four years his senior – there was no shame in losing to a fighter as skilled, ferocious and seasoned as Davis. Garcia could still come again and map out a new path to the top of the mountain, and almost a year to the day later he will have the chance to finally clinch world honors against Haney in Brooklyn.

Nevertheless, despite having a super-lightweight title shot on the cards, the past 12 months have been marred by more lows than highs for the 25-year-old. More controversies than victories.

Months on from his first loss, Garcia became embroiled in a bitter dispute with Golden Boy, his own promotional team, after claiming his contract had been breached when both De La Hoya and co-promoter Bernard Hopkins failed to attend the post-fight press conference with him.

After receiving a letter from his legal team alleging as much and demanding a split, Golden Boy responded by filing a lawsuit to enforce their promotional agreement with the fighter. And everything came to a head when Garcia publicly berated Hopkins and a bemused De La Hoya on stage prior to his December return against Oscar Duarte.

As De La Hoya and Hopkins watched on, Garcia stunned reporters by saying: ‘One thing that’s been on my heart is the statements that Bernard made, where he’ll decide if I’m going to finish or if I should continue boxing after this fight.

‘He don’t decide that. My coach does, my team does. Everybody that grinds with me, day in and day out, that’s who decides.

‘Nobody was telling him when to stop boxing. He stopped boxing at what, 45 [actually 51] so kudos to him.

The defeat to Davis was followed by a legal dispute with promoter Oscar De La Hoya (right)

The defeat to Davis was followed by a legal dispute with promoter Oscar De La Hoya (right)

Garcia famously took aim at De La Hoya (blue suit) while on stage together before his return to the ring against Oscar Duarte in December

Garcia famously took aim at De La Hoya (blue suit) while on stage together before his return to the ring against Oscar Duarte in December

But the pair have since patched things up and are now singing from the same hymn sheet

But the pair have since patched things up and are now singing from the same hymn sheet

‘Another thing I want to touch on is Oscar saying that we misinterpret what they say. It’s plain English. I didn’t hear anybody speaking any language I don’t know.

‘[Hopkins] also said that he calls out all the bulls**t, the lies. The last time I checked, he said he’d never lose to a white boy, and then Joe Smith Jr. knocked him out of the ring [in Hopkins’ final fight]. The last time I checked, Joe Smith Jr. was white. So, they be lying.’

Amid his fractured relationship with Golden Boy, Garcia prevailed on his return against Duarte back in December, despite looking slightly labored prior to his powerful eighth-round knockout in Texas.

In recent months, he has been able to smooth things over with the likes of De La Hoya and Hopkins, with the former recently admitting that more frequent ‘communication’ was needed between all parties going forward.

A shot at newly-crowned super-lightweight champion Haney is now in the offing, yet he now heads into that clash with his personal life spiraling out of control.

Early into the New Year, Garcia made headlines again with an astonishing double revelation after announcing his split from Celina at the same time as the birth of their second child together.

Reports soon emerged claiming he had filed for divorce due to ‘irreconcilable differences’, before he paid tribute to his now-ex-wife in a heartfelt statement on social media.

‘As I step into a new chapter in my life, it’s with a heavy heart to share that Drea and I have decided to divorce,’ he said in the now-deleted post on social media.

The controversy continued for Garcia when he announced his split from Celina just days after the birth of their second child in January

The controversy continued for Garcia when he announced his split from Celina just days after the birth of their second child in January

Now he is heading into a fight with Haney on the back of a disturbing series of posts online

Now he is heading into a fight with Haney on the back of a disturbing series of posts online

‘While this decision marks the end of our marriage, it’s important to emphasize that our relationship as co-parents remains our top priority.

‘Throughout our years together, Dea has been an incredible partner and an even more extraordinary mother to our two children. I’m deeply grateful for the years we shared and for her unwavering commitment to our family.’

Prior to his disturbing series of online outbursts this week, Garcia announced he has already found another partner following his split from Celina, gushing over new girlfriend Mikaela Testa – who boasts more than 400,000 followers on Instagram.

His Instagram posts dedicated to Testa have since been deleted, while the Australian influencer has not confirmed the romance herself. And roughly a week on, Garcia has raised concerns over his mental wellbeing by making several outlandish and alarming allegations online.

The world-title challenger is adamant that his clash with Haney is still going ahead, vowing on Wednesday to end his social-media tirade and ‘lock in’ on the fight – before returning to X to answer boxing-related questions from fans just hours later.

Golden Boy Promotions, the WBC and representatives of Haney have not responded to requests for comment from Dailymail.com on whether the April 20 contest is still going ahead.

If he does clean up his act and prove himself mentally fit to fight next month, Garcia’s rollercoaster ride promises to take another drastic turn in Brooklyn; where he will either capture world glory or be left to pick up the pieces from another humbling.

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