Ryan Garcia makes allegiances clear to Mike Tyson ahead of Jake Paul showdown | Boxing | Sport

Ryan Garcia makes allegiances clear to Mike Tyson ahead of Jake Paul showdown | Boxing | Sport

Ryan Garcia made it clear that he will be supporting Mike Tyson against Jake Paul before his victory over Devin Haney in New York. Garcia, who came in three pounds overweight, floored Haney three times before finding himself on the right side of a majority decision in a huge upset.

Before the fight, Garcia was visited in his dressing room by Tyson as the heavyweight legend issued a message of good luck. There was plenty of respect on display, with Garcia declaring his support for Iron Mike ahead of his upcoming bout with YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul.

“I love you, Mike,” said Garcia. “You look good. I’m going to your fight, I’ll be there. I’m with you in everything, remember that, always in spirit. I got you. Love you, Mike.”

Tyson, who has not fought professionally for almost two decades, will come out of retirement to face Paul in July. His last appearance in a ring saw him labour to a draw against Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition bout four years ago.

His upcoming fight against Paul has not been without controversy, due to the age gap between the pair and some questionable training videos posted on social media. Former world champion Oscar De La Hoya recently criticised Paul’s decision to face Tyson amid concerns over the latter’s age and health.

“I actually like Jake Paul for what he’s doing and the attention he’s bringing to the sport and what he wants to do with his promotional company and help the fighters,” De La Hoya told Ariel Helwani. “I love that, but he also talks about being a world champion and taking it seriously.

“Well, this is not serious, fighting Mike Tyson. Yes, I can understand it’s a lot of money, it’s going to attract a lot of eyeballs. The only critique I have for Jake Paul is that if you want to take the sport seriously then take the route world champions take.

“Fighting top 20, top 10, top five [opponents] and eventually becoming the mandatory to the world champion. That’s how you do it. That’s how you gain the respect from the fight fans, not fighting Tyson. I worry about Tyson because we all love him and he’s 57. He’s no spring chicken, that’s for sure.”

UFC icon Conor McGregor has also raised concerns over the motives behind the fight, saying earlier this year: “It’s a bit strange. The interest is low. I don’t know, I don’t understand it. I wish well for Mike.”

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