Keith Thurman: Ryan Garcia Needs to Prioritize Health

Keith Thurman feels that this isn’t the ideal time for Ryan Garcia to be taking a fight against Devin Haney. The former unified welterweight champion Thurman says that Ryan (24-1, 20 KOs) should focus on his health first and return to the sport later.

Thurman says that if Ryan isn’t “desperate for a paycheck,” he should pull out of his April 20th title fight against WBC light welterweight champion Haney at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Keith would like for Ryan to step back for his own good.

Some believe Ryan is showing worrisome signs of rapid cognitive impairment, which will make it difficult for him to perform if he makes it to the April 20th date.

Ryan’s Behavior Raises Alarms

Ryan’s behavior has become increasingly bizarre in the last week, with him saying strange things and coming across like he needs a mental wellness checkup. Thus far, Ryan is steadfast in his decision to go ahead with his fight, but he could spoil the promotion if he continues to act erratically.

“I just hope that he gets the help that he needs. Of course, nobody wants him to pull out of the fight, but I would have to say that right now it’s not the time,” said Keith Thurman to Fight Hub TV, reacting to Ryan Garcia’s issues since last Sunday.

There are several fighters that have volunteered to step in as a replacement for Ryan, with one of them being former four-division world champion Adrien Broner. The April 20th event will be fine without Ryan, but it’s important that he be replaced sooner rather than later.

Broner or Shakur Stevenson are ready to step in now, but it won’t work if Ryan has a full mental breakdown the week of the fight. At that point, it would be difficult to replace him and save the event. Using Arnold Barboza Jr. as a last-minute replacement won’t work, as fans won’t be interested in purchasing the event on PPV.

Support Remains, But a Break is Necessary

“Right now, if he’s not desperate for the paycheck, you might want to think about your own health and wellness and come back to the sport at another time,” said Thurman. “If this is just a small hiccup, then get it together, kid, and get ready to put on a world-class performance for the fans to see.”

Ryan is quite well off, with a net worth of over $20 million, so he can afford to pull out of the fight without it impacting his life. If he pulls out due to his mental health problems, this would be the second time he’s done so, and it could make top fighters reluctant to fight him.

“You have a tremendous fanbase,” Thurman said. “You are a bright light in the sport of boxing. A lot of people support you. A lot of people love you. That’s not going to go away with a few antics. It’s more than just pop culture. You’re more than a superstar.

“I know what it means to be at this level. We’re not perfect people. We’re just people, and that goes for all celebrities. I just hope the kid [Ryan] gets the right advice in the here and now. If he can pull himself together and have a great camp and a great fight, then God bless him. I wish him the best of luck,” said Thurman on his thoughts on Ryan Garcia.