No winners as Ryan Garcia, Oscar De La Hoya go head-to-head in ugly spat on Twitter

INDIO, CA - MARCH 30: Ryan Garcia celebrating with Oscar De La Hoya inside the ring after his win against Jose Lopez on March 30, 2019 at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA (Photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy/Getty Images)
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya got into an unseemly Twitter feud with Ryan Garcia on Thursday that's not likely to end well for their long-term future together. (Tom Hogan/Getty Images)

Rumors have floated for the last several weeks that Ryan Garcia was planning to sue Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. This is boxing, though, and the business is rife with gossip.

On Thursday, though, De La Hoya may have guaranteed that Garcia files suit against him even if Garcia hadn’t been planning to do so in the first place.

The two got into a ugly public back-and-forth on Twitter, and while De La Hoya made some good points, he failed to learn the lesson from his own fighting career when he was upset with his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank.

De La Hoya sued Arum to be released from his contract. Though they later reconciled, their reunion wasn’t nearly as lucrative and successful as it had been during their first go-round.

Arum learned then that when you lose the heart and mind of a boxer, a contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

And that’s what De La Hoya is about to learn with Garcia.

It started when De La Hoya put out a tweet suggesting a fight between Garcia and Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s career was made in 2008 when he battered a faded De La Hoya, and so De La Hoya likely hoped that Garcia could likewise build his career by battering a 44-year-old Pacquiao.

Garcia quickly responded by saying no. He then responded to a photo De La Hoya posted in which the Hall of Famer was yukking it up with Rolando Romero.

Garcia had tweeted Tuesday that he wants to fight Romero, Isaac Cruz and Teofimo Lopez. He was clearly annoyed that De La Hoya, his promoter, was posing with Romero, who is promoted by Premier Boxing Champions. PBC promoted Garcia’s big April 22 fight with Tank Davis, along with Golden Boy.

De La Hoya tweeted to Garcia at one point, “not going to argue over social media. When you have time to sit down, man to man we can get you another huge payday.”

That was the smartest thing he said in the entire dispute. And if he’d stuck to it, he’d clearly have been the winner in this and wouldn’t be on shaky ground with his fighter again.

Instead, though, he kept going at Garcia. While it may have felt good, and he may believe he was “winning” the argument, he was simply burying himself.

Take, for example, when he ripped Garcia for accepting a rehydration clause prior to the fight with Davis.

Garcia suffered his first defeat, and it’s only been six weeks, and that’s a sore spot for a young fighter. But De La Hoya tweeting about the rehydration clause was not a wise move, even if he was correct that Garcia should not have agreed to it.

But when De La Hoya wrote directly to Garcia as part of a tweet about the rehydration clause, “The blame for your loss is on YOU and your ‘advisor’ Lupe,” he couldn’t have believed that was a wise choice.

Imagine a 23-year-old De La Hoya seeing such a tweet from Arum. Do you not believe that De La Hoya would have gone ballistic?

Both men made their points. It’s Garcia’s career, and he should be able to fight who he wants. De La Hoya has a long history in the fight game and has a staff of qualified people who can advise him as well, but if Garcia doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao, then he should get to work putting together the fights Garcia is interested in taking.

It's a bad look for both of them, but Garcia can be excused because he’s a young man not experienced in either losing or boxing business matters. He’s still clearly emotional after his loss and De La Hoya needs to better read the room. Sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing, but De La Hoya simply couldn’t do that Thursday.

In response to a fan, De La Hoya said his contract with Garcia is “binding,” but even if we agree it’s true, it doesn’t mean much. He can’t force Garcia to get into the ring, and each month that passes without Garcia fighting is a net loss for Golden Boy.

De La Hoya needs to be saved from himself sometimes, and this was one of those cases. He should know the mind of a fighter better than just about any other promoter, yet he couldn’t find it in himself to walk away from his phone.

If Garcia files suit to get out of his contract, regardless of whether he’s successful or not, you can come back to the Twitter “conversation” between Garcia and De La Hoya on June 1 as the reason for the fallout.