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Devin Haney wants Mikey Garcia at 140

Image: Devin Haney wants Mikey Garcia at 140

By Matt Lieberman: Former WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney is using the shotgun approach to getting a big name fighter to face him by calling out Mikey Garcia, Adrien Broner and Ryan Garcia for fights that he wants to take place in 2020.

(Photo credit: MikeyGarca)

Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) realizes now that holding a world title doesn’t translate into popularity. He feels that what’s important is to make the biggest fights possible against the best names, and the popularity will follow.

Devin to return to the ring in July

Haney, 21, is still out of commission due to recent shoulder surgery. But he plans on returning to the ring in July, and he’d like to face the likes of Mikey, Broner or Ryan Garcia when he does return. The World Boxing Council took Haney’s WBC 135-lb title away from him and gave him the ‘Emeritus Champion’ tag.

He’s got the option of challenging the winner of the Luke Campbell vs. Javier Fortuna to try and win back his WBC lightweight title. It’s unclear whether Haney will do that though, because he’s more interested in going after fights against the top guys. He wasn’t getting fights against them when he held the WBC title.

On Friday, Haney had a face off with former four division world champion Mikey. Moments after the face off, Haney said he would like to fight Mikey.

Mikey Garcia is a fight I want at 140 – Haney

“2020 is the time to make the biggest match-ups, and I think we will,” said Haney to Fighthype. “July, I should be back. A big fight,” said Haney when asked what kind of fight he wants when he returns. That’s the only fight I would possibly go up to 140 for [Mikey Garcia].

“There are so many big fights at 135,” said Haney. “There would really be no reason to go up to 140 unless it were a fight against Mikey Garcia. We got to see,” said Haney when asked what he thinks of Mikey at this point in his career. “He takes a lot of time off. He’s not as active as he should be. He still has a lot of experience and ring IQ.

“So we’ll have to see when he goes in with Jessie Vargas how he looks,” Haney said on Mikey. “That’ll definitely be a fight that I’ll be looking at very closely. That’s a fight I do want at 140, and we can possibly make at 140. If these top fighters don’t keep running, maybe it’ll happen sooner or later,” said Haney when asked when it’ll take for him to be the top guy,” said Haney.

Mikey, 32, has a fight against Jessie Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KOs) on February 29 on DAZN. The two will be fighting in Frisco, Texas. If Garcia wins that fight, he could be facing Manny Pacquiao next. If not him, Mikey will still stay at 147, and likely look to face Danny Garcia or someone like that.

Being world champion less important than fighting the best

“You got to beat the top guys to put you at the top, and I understand that,” Haney said. “And that’s why I want to make these fights happen. I’m happy at being a world champion, but it’s about making the biggest fights. You can be world champion, and no one knows you, and you can be a world champion and it doesn’t mean anything.

“Of course, you want to be a world champion,” said Haney. “It’s an accomplishment, but you still go nowhere. It’s about making the biggest fights happen. Me and Ryan Garcia can fight today, belt or not, and it would still be a massive fight. At this point, it’s not about a belt. It’s about making big fights happen.

“Recovery is coming good,” Haney said. “I sometimes forget that I had surgery, because my shoulder feels so much better. I don’t feel any pain at this point. I’m still taking it slow. I’m getting closer to getting back into the ring soon,” said Haney.

Devin certainly wasn’t doing much after he won the WBC lightweight title last September. Before being shelved with a shoulder injury, Haney defended the WBC title successfully once in beating Alfredo Santiago. Although Haney wanted a fight against Vasiliy Lomachenko, the Ukrainian hasn’t shown interest in wanting to fight him.

Haney wants Ryan Garcia in his next fight or two

“Adrien Broner is a huge fight,” said Haney. “He says he’s willing to come down to 135 to fight me. I’m willing to fight him at 135. Whenever, let’s do it. First what he said was what me and Broner had was a fake beef, and then he said he would like to fight with Broner,” said Haney about Ryan Garcia.

“I don’t know what he’s doing. Let’s make the fight between me and him, Haney said on Garcia. “That’s an easy fight that can happen. Eddie Hearn and Golden Boy work together all the time. We’re both on the same network. He says everybody’s name but mine, but my name.

“He says realistic fights that probably won’t happen anytime soon, but he doesn’t say me because that’s an easy fight to make,” said Haney. “I think the fight is really, really close. Maybe in my next fight or my next fight after that, maybe Ryan Garcia if he isn’t running scared. Hopefully we can make it happen,” said Haney.

Ryan Garcia has been badgering Vasiliy Lomachenko and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis for a fight. Haney is someone that isn’t high on Ryan’s list for some reason. It’s a risky fight for Garcia with little to gain.

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