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Ryan Garcia talks Devin Haney fight; says it’s possible in 2021

Image: Ryan Garcia talks Devin Haney fight; says it's possible in 2021

By Dan Ambrose: Fans will need to wait until 2021 at the earliest before Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney face each other. That’s what the unbeaten lightweight contender Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs) said last Saturday night following his shocking 1st round knockout win over Romero Duno (21-2, 16 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

Ryan says that fight with Haney won’t happen anytime soon, and he’s not going to pretend that it will. They need to build it up, and he’s got to develop more. Right now, most boxing fans would agree that Haney is far more advanced than Garcia.

Haney much more advanced than Ryan Garcia

Although Garcia is said to have beaten Haney twice in the amateurs, but a lot has changed since then. Haney has improved to the point where he’s on the path to become the next superstar in boxing. We don’t know about Ryan. He can beat limited guys like Duno, but there are a lot of question marks about whether Garcia has the talent to much more than that.

What we do know is Golden Boy isn’t going to let Ryan anywhere near Haney for a long, long time. By the time they are ready to let Garcia fight Haney, it’ll be too late, because Devin will have moved up to 140 and 147. With Ryan’s stork-like build, he doesn’t possess the frame to fight at welterweight.

Garcia, 21, wasn’t expected to end the fight so quickly, but he took advantage of the openings by Duno, and knocked him out. Duno made it easy by bum rushing Garcia, and leaving himself wide open for him to land his power shots.

The outcome was surprising, but Garcia was always going to win the fight. After all, this was another building fight for him by his promoters at Golden Boy. They’re not matching the 21-year-old against any of the top level guys at lightweight, because it would likely end badly for him.

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Haney fight won’t happen until 2021 says Ryan Garcia

“It’s not about maximizing the money or the pay,” said Garcia when asked at the post-fight news conference about a fight between him and Devin Haney in 2020 “I’m moving at my pace. The reality is it’s not going to happen by 2020. It’s more likely to happen in 2021. I’m going to keep it real. I’m not to paint a picture for you guys; ‘Oh, we’re going to fight next year,’ and then it doesn’t happen. That’s why I stopped calling out names, because it’s not realistic,” said Garcia.

For Haney and Garcia to fight in 2021, it’s going to require that Devin stays at 135, and he’s not going to do that. Haney is like a shooting star. He’s not going to wait up for slow pokes like Ryan to develop at his glacial pace. Haney is on the express train to the top of the sport.

Ryan wants Linares and Campbell

“I had my own plan, and I want to fight [Jorge] Linares next, and then I want to fight Luke Campbell,” said Garcia when asked who he wants to fight next. “I haven’t changed anything. You’ll never get ahead if you’re always looking at the next racer beside you. You’ve got to worry about yourself. You’re going to slow down if you if you keep looking to the left and to the right. You’ve got to worry about yourself. Don’t hate, and just work hard. That’s it,” said Garcia.

Ryan is saying he wants to fight Jorge Linares and/or Luke Campbell, but that’s unrealistic. Those guys would likely be a step too far for Garcia right now. Before Ryan stopped Duno last night, he was getting hit, and he looked troubled. Garcia didn’t look like a polished professional. He had a flustered look to him.

This wasn’t the confident look that one sees when watching Haney fight or any talented fighter. Garcia’s face showed that of a fighter who wasn’t certain he was going to be able to handle Duno. Ryan resorted to bending the rules in sticking his lead hand straight out and holding it against the head of Duno. That’s a HUGE no-no in boxing, and the referee Tony Weeks failed to do his job by warning Garcia to put his hand down.

Duno couldn’t take my punches said Ryan Garcia

“I knew he was going to come out like Marvin Hagler,” said Garcia about Duno. “He came right at me from the jump, and rushed me. I was trying to box. And I was trying to keep my distance, and was keeping my hand out there. But he kept rushing me. I was like, ‘Alright, I’m going to throw my punches,’ and I was like, ‘boom.’ I felt like every time I hit him, his skin started ripping, and I was thinking, he’s done. He can’t take my punches, and my punches are having an effect on him. I hit him with one right, and I saw his knees buckle a little bit. Then he turned his head over, and I was like, ‘Oh God,’ and then ‘Boom’ and it was over,” said Garcia.

What does Garcia expect from Duno? The guy sparred with Devin Haney during training camp, and he likely was pummeled by him. Training with Haney must have been a horrible experience for Duno, and it might have done something to his self-confidence. You can imagine Duno coming into the fight with Garcia still half-stunned from the likely grueling experience of sparring with Haney.

Ryan Garcia says he won’t rush his career to face big names

“They’re going to tell me to fight all the big names right now,” said Garcia. “I’m going to stick to my path. I think I’m doing good. I feel great, and I’m listening to my team. We’re going to keep improving and getting better. When those fights happen, they’re going to happen. Well, I’m going to f— up,” said Ryan in response to Devin Haney saying he wants to mess him up in 2020 if he can get a fight against him. “That’s how I am. If you talk s–, then I’m going to take s— back. And that’s my guy.

“We’ve known each other since we were eight-years-old, and I could never hate on him. I know for a fact he can’t hate on me. We went on the same type of journey, but when that fight happens, it’s going to be one for the books. I didn’t even get a chance to showcase what I’ve been learning. He came at me like a mad man. I wasn’t going to just stay there, and try and dodge all those punches. And I knew I could counter him, because he was right there in front of me. I told my dad, ‘if he starts coming at me, I’m going to start punching him,'” said Garcia.

It would be wise for Oscar De La Hoya to continue to match Ryan against Duno-esque opposition for the next two or three years for him to develop more. He’s not ready for the top level guys, and it may take him a while before he is.

Ryan discusses Canelo’s reaction to his win over Duno

“He was all crazy and screaming real loud,” said Garcia about Saul Canelo Alvarez’s reaction to his victory over Duno when he returned to the locker room and saw him. “It was crazy though because we were waiting so long for his fight [against Sergey Kovalev]. I was so tired, and I felt for him. Damn, that sucks. But you seen when he warmed up. That dude.

“I’ve seen it in the gym so many times, and I already knew it was coming,” said Ryan when asked about his thoughts at seeing Canelo knockout Kovalev. I was telling everybody, ‘This guy’s done,’ because I’ve seen him spar, and he knows when a guy is finished. He starts to throw the big ones. I was like, ‘Here it goes,’ and bang, it was over,” said Garcia about Canelo’s victory over Kovalev.

Saul Canelo Alvarez and Garcia both share the same trainer Eddy Reynoso. That let’s Garcia train alongside Canelo, and learn from him. Last night, Garcia looked like the same fighter he’d always been. He stood straight up, and was just focusing on using his hand speed advantage to beat a slow guy that his promoters had dug up for him. This wasn’t the first time that Duno had lost a fight. He was beaten in 2016 by Mikhail Alexeev by a one-sided eight round unanimous decision. That fight showed that Duno is a limited guy. That’s why it’s a smart move by Ryan to be pumping the brakes right now, because he’s NOT ready any of the elite lightweights in the division.

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