“Hey, Rob, this is Leonard. What’s going on boss man?” asked Ellerbe. “We’re going to finish our conversation from last night, OK? We’re going to finish our conversation and get everything into motion.”
Ellerbe told several reporters on Wednesday “not to be surprised” if Garcia and WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios, whom he trains, wind up alongside Floyd Mayweather Jr. during his ring walk for Saturday night’s clash with WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz at the MGM Grand.
“I told Brandon that Mayweather invited us. And he said ‘yes, okay, let’s go. It’s a great fight and I want to go,’” said Robert Garcia, whose brother, Danny Garcia, trains Ortiz.
“I’ve never felt this way or said this about any other fighter, but I do want to see Victor Ortiz get his a– kicked by Floyd Mayweather. I just want to see him get his f–king a– kicked. I just want to see that.”
It is no secret to the boxing world that 38-year-old Robert Garcia has a strained relationship with his 44-year-old brother Danny Garcia, who shares a back yard with Robert in their Oxnard, Calif., neighborhood, yet have not spoken for years.
“We live right next to each other. Our cars cross paths a lot of the times, yet we don’t talk. We don’t even say hi,” said Danny Garcia. “But I have faith that someday we’re going to end up having a good relationship like we used to have.”
The brothers are involved in an ongoing, jealousy-laced blood feud that has caused deep wounds within their immediate family and beyond, a reality that boiled over when they confronted one another last month over separate online videos in which they were critical of one another and their fighters.
The feud began over Ortiz, who worked with Robert Garcia from the time he was a promising 16-year-old amateur through the first four years of his pro career.
Robert Garcia trained now-WBC lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios at the same time until Rios and Ortiz developed an adversarial relationship, prompting Ortiz to leave Robert Garcia for Danny Garcia.
Ortiz also left Top Rank, Inc., which still promotes Rios, and signed with current promoter Golden Boy Promotions. Beyond the move by Ortiz, neither brother would explain the rift.
“I don’t want my brother to keep saying that he doesn’t know why my dad, my mom, my sisters and my brother and basically my whole family stopped talking to him,” said Robert Garcia.
“I think that Danny has to say that, ‘This is what happened,’ and ‘This is why my family is mad at me.’ The way that it happened and how it happened, he should say it. I’m not telling him to tell the world.”
Still, Robert Garcia desires to quell the feud for the sake of their families.
“My dad loves both of us, so I know that we’ll resolve this. My dad knows that this is so stupid for us to be going through this and to have this feud between us,” said Robert Garcia.
“So my dad said that after this fight, we should resolve it, and it can be resolved, Maybe after the fight, it will be resolved.”
A recent incident between the siblings had to be calmed by police when Danny Garcia appeared on the doorstep of Robert Garcia on Aug. 22.
The situation developed after Danny insulted Rios, Robert did the same to Ortiz and Danny ended up on Robert’s doorstep. Police had to be called to calm things down.
Danny Garcia once trained Robert Garcia when the younger sibling was 13. Danny also assisted their father, Eduardo Garcia, in Robert’s corner during the latter’s professional career.
Robert Garcia (35-3, 25 knockouts) won the IBF junior lightweight title.
“I used to help him a lot, and that started with his professional career in boxing,” Danny Garcia. “I used to give him money. I used to help him because I love him. He is still my brother.”
Now, Robert and Eduardo Garcia train younger brother Mikey Garcia, an unbeaten featherweight contender.
During Wednesday’s press conference at the MGM, Danny Garcia implied that Saturday night might offer a chance at reconciliation.
“I want to thank Floyd for inviting my brother, Robert,” Danny Garcia said at the podium on the dais.
“I think good it’s a good opportunity for me and him to start talking again. I want to thank you for inviting him. I’m happy for that.”
But Mayweather quipped, “You don’t have to thank me for that,” adding, “your bother thanked me already.”
Later, a pensive Garcia spoke to RingTV.com alone.
“I know that Floyd probably did invite him to aggravate us, but I think that it’s a good thing, because he will be with us for the celebration and celebrating the victory,” said Danny Garcia.
“You know, if it doesn’t happen on Saturday night, then, sometime or another, we will get together. I know that he wants to see us lose, but that’s life.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org