Ryan Garcia is one very sharp fighter in the ring, but he’s having a serious problem making his mind up about who he wants to fight next. Devin Haney, or not Devin Haney? That is the question.
After halting Oscar Duarte in Houston in early December, Garcia threw down the gauntlet to WBA super lightweight titleholder Rolando “Rolly” Romero.
“If Rollies wants that, bring it on, Rollies,” said Garcia during his post-fight interview with DAZN. “Let’s keep building, and then we can go after Devin Haney and all the other dudes… Teofimo [Lopez]. But you know, we gotta take our steps.”
However, one week later, Haney outclassed Regis Prograis to win the WBC super lightweight title and duly called out Garcia. And “KingRy” was quick to answer.
“This was Devin at his finest, but his finest is something that can put people to sleep that is watching,” said the young Californian on Twitter (X). “I know what he’s missing. He can have it one day but he don’t have it right now. Make your assumptions, I can’t wait to get it active with him!”
It turns out that he could wait. Just after New Year, Garcia jumped back onto social media to announce that Romero was the correct choice after all.
However, he has now admitted to FightHype that Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather, who promotes Romero, got in his ear around the time the pair were spotted running together on the Las Vegas Strip.
“I’m not going to lie, Floyd’s pretty influential,” said Garcia. “He’s like, ‘Why would you [fight Haney]? Why don’t you fight Rolly for the belt and then fight Haney?’
“I said, ‘That makes sense, but I told the people already I’m going to fight Devin.’ He said, ‘Some things change.’ I’m paraphrasing, but I made the quick decision, ‘Alright, Floyd, that makes sense.'”
Well, Garcia has now decided to take another U-turn and it appears will be looking to make a fight against old amateur rival Haney sooner rather than later.
“I don’t wanna say anything before it’s signed, but we are back in talks,” Garcia told FightHype on Tuesday. “Devin will be destroyed and his daddy’s gonna help him up.”
Here, The Sporting News looks into the fascinating evolution of the Haney-Garcia rivalry.
Did Devin Haney lose to Ryan Garcia as an amateur?
Haney and Garcia have known each other for more than a decade and it’s been reported that they locked horns on six occasions in the amateurs.
In his second outing in the unpaid ranks, Haney allegedly dropped a decision to Garcia. However, “The Dream” would avenge that loss at the U.S. National Junior Championships in 2014, also by decision.
In 2020, Haney told Chris Mannix that Garcia didn’t score any victories over him. “I beat him every time,” he said. “Don’t believe anything he says.”
Did Ryan Garcia knock Devin Haney down?
Garcia’s father told Blue Blood Sports TV that his son hurt Haney.
“Ryan did give him his first eight-count, so Ryan rocked him,” said Henry Garcia.
It should be noted that a referee can administer an eight-count in an amateur fight without a knockdown having been scored.
Haney insists that he’s never been down amateur, pro, or in the gym.
Will Devin Haney fight Ryan Garcia?
Haney is currently a free agent. His 12-round decision win over Vasiliy Lomachenko took place on ESPN+ PPV and the Prograis showdown went down on DAZN PPV.
Garcia, who is signed to Golden Boy Promotions, fights on DAZN, therefore this looks like a very easy fight to make politically. And given that promoter and network vitriol is one of the main reasons why fights fall through, that’s very good news.
In terms of the backstory and the quality of both fighters, any promoter in the world would have a vested interest in putting this one together.
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