By Dan Ambrose: Amir Khan thinks the popular lightweight contender Ryan Garcia is robotic compared to Devin Haney, and he views him as having a similar fighting style as Wladimir Klitschko. Khan says Ryan and Haney aren’t world-class fighters yet, and both are a level below WBA lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.
Khan thinks it would be a good idea for both to stop calling out Tank Davis and focus instead on fighting the guys in front of them. He says that they’re not going to get the Tank fight, and they’re just going to look like they’re scared of him.
Worst of all, if Tank calls their bluff, they’ll look silly if they back down after they realize what they’re in for, says Khan. The former IBF/WBA 140-lb champion Khan is more impressed with Haney’s skills than he does Ryan, who he feels is trying to be something that he’s not.
Amir has observed how King Garcia tries to throw punches as fast as possible instead of naturally throwing them, and he feels he’s going to get caught one of these days.
Ryan Garcia is trying to be something he’s not – Khan
“I don’t think it’s good at this stage of their careers. And I think it’s good for creating hype for themselves to get a name for themselves as well to show they’re not scared of anyone,” said Khan to Fighthype in responding to Ryan Garcia calling out Tank Davis. “I sparred with Devin Haney.
“He’s a very good fighter. We had some really competitive sparring sessions. The kid is a little bit lighter than me, but obviously I had to hold back a little. But I tell you he’s a good little fighter, and I’ve got a lot of respect for me. I think he will go a long way. He’s fought three times since, and he looked wicked.
“His power, speed [looked good]. Being a little bit flashy is good because that’s what sells. With Ryan Garcia, I think with him, he’s trying hard to be something he’s not. Devin Haney is more of a chiller and more of an open book,” said Khan.
Devin Haney has mostly been calling out Vasily Lomachenko and Ryan Garcia. He hasn’t been name-dropping Tank Davis’ name. The one that has been doing that is Ryan, and he’s put a great deal of effort into that. Most boxing fans believe that Ryan isn’t ready and that he would be knocked out if Tank Davis ever took him up on his offer.
We don’t know what the precise reason behind Ryan calling out Tank Davis night and day. It’s quite possible the 21-year-old Ryan Garcia is only calling Davis out to name-drop, which is a tactic people use to be lumped at the level of a famous person without earning the position.
Ryan Garcia has a Klitschko style – Khan
“Ryan Garcia is the Oscar De La Hoya type of good guy, you know what I mean? But now I see a different side where he’s coming out a little bit different. No disrespect to him. He’s a good fighter, man,” said De La Hoya on Ryan Garcia. “When it comes to a fight, he’s a little bit robotic to me compared to Devin Haney. Devin Haney is more flashy.
“He switched a little bit, hands slow, hits and moves and he’s got speed on his side. Ryan Garcia is more like the Klitschko style, you know what I mean? The stand-up, straight one-two, boom-boom. He is quick. I think he tries to be quicker than he is.
“I think he needs to stick with his natural style. Don’t try to be something that you’re not. Look, knockouts are going to come. When you hit someone with a clean shot, they’re going to go down. If you’re going to rely on speed all the time, just be yourself. Box them. Try to put the shots together,” said Khan in talking about Ryan.
The 5’10” Garcia is kind of straight-up with his fighting style, but he has to do that. Ryan’s legs are too thin for him to bend at the knees to not fight in a straight-up position. His body is like the actor from the movie ‘Karate Kid.’ Ryan has no choice but to stand straight up, which is something that could haunt him at some point in the future.
Ryan has fast hands, and that’s enabled him to get away with fighting the way he with his stork-like stance. When Ryan eventually faces someone that has the talent to take or avoid his left hook shots, he could be in trouble.
Khan: Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney aren’t world-class
“If you try to put your shots too quickly, you’re going to have your hands down,” said Khan in criticizing Ryan. “Go with your natural style. That’s what got you to this position. With all the media around, you think you’re this, you’re that, you’re the most powerful. It’s going to get you in trouble. One day you’re going to be trying to show people how fast you are and you’re going to get caught with a shot.
“They’re [Ryan and Haney] at the level where they’re not world-class level,” said Khan. “They’re a level below. They need to keep it down. People are talking about them, and they love the hype. They’re putting pressure on themselves because then people are going to want to see them in a hard fight against Lomachenko.
“Why put yourself in that position when you don’t need to? Do your thing. Fight who you got in front of you. Stop calling this guy [out], ‘I’m waiting for him, him, him.’ You know the fights not going to happen. You’re making yourself look like you’re scared,” said Khan.
Haney and Garcia are obviously world-class. I think what Khan means by saying that Haney and Ryan aren’t world-class is that they’re not elite level guys at this time. In other words, Haney and Ryan aren’t at the level of Lomachenko or Tank Davis. They might not be at Teofimo Lopez’s level either, as he’s up there with Tank in terms of his size, power, and maturity. Teofimo is only 22, but he looks like he’s 28.
Tank Davis is a level above Ryan Garcia and Haney
“Gervonta Davis, I think he’s on the next level,” said Khan. “He’s at the world-class level. You can’t disrespect him. He’s an amazing fighter. For Haney and the other kid [Ryan Garcia] to get to that level, they have to prove themselves to get to that level. I just feel like he’s [Tank Davis] one notch above them.
“If Haney was to jump in with Davis, and Ryan Garcia was to jump in Davis, I think it’s a little bit too soon right now. See, that’s the pressure they’re putting on themselves where they’re saying, ‘I’m ready for this guy, that guy, and that guy,'” said Khan about it being too soon for Ryan and Haney to fight Tank Davis.
Few boxing fans would argue that the 25-year-old Tank Davis isn’t a level above Haney and Kingry Garcia right now. Those guys are both 21 and still maturing. In 4 years, we’ll see where they’re at with their development. By that time, Garcia and Haney will have fought a handful of high-level fighters, and boxing fans will be able to identify if they’re the real thing.
Ryan Garcia and Haney should leave Tank alone – Khan
“Before you know it, Davis will say, ‘I’m ready to fight. Let’s do it in the summer.’ And you’ll be like, ‘Oh, wait a minute. I don’t think I’m ready.’ They’ll then look stupid,” said Khan on Ryan and Haney.” So I think it would be best to keep their voice down a little bit. Devin is a beast, bro. Don’t get me wrong. I sparred the kid.
“He’s a very good fighter. But with that said, why does he need it? He’s young, man. He’s just a young pup. Why does he need it? If I’m his promoter, I’m like, ‘Chill out, man. Make your money and get to that top-level where you’re at that level where you’re the A-side. At the moment, he’s the B-side. Why be the B-side?’ Wait a little bit.
“Why jump in?” said Khan about Haney and Ryan Garcia. “You’ll get knocked out, get hurt and get beat. Not that he will. Maybe he will or maybe he won’t. You’re going to kill your own career then. People will go, ‘Oh, he got beat.’ Then they’ll stop speaking about you,” said Khan.
Ryan should back off and leave Tank alone, but it’s paying dividends for him to name drop. He’s getting a career boost with the casual boxing fans without having to risk his neck fighting someone good to earn the spot. Ideally, what Ryan should do is fighting some of these fighters to earn the right to call Tank Davis out:
- Devin Haney
- Luke Campbell
- Javier Fortuna
- Jorge Linares
- Richard Commey
- Teofimo Lopez
- Francesco Patera
Khan fought Crawford with elbow injury
“When I fought Canelo, there was so much money on the table that it was hard for me to turn down,” said Khan. “It was life-changing money. It was from one fight the equivalent of what I was making for 10 fights. I took that fight knowing it was a big risk, but at the same time, there was a big reward for it. Even with Crawford, I had an elbow injury.
“I couldn’t even straighten my arm,” said Khan of being injured. “I was going to pull out of the fight, but then I said, ‘Look, that’s a big fight. I’m on ESPN, and I’m probably the second biggest payday of my career. Why not take the fight? I’m going to go in and give it my best.’ It’s business, bro. That’s what it’s all about. Even though I was told by doctors not to fight because of my elbow and because of my right hand.
“I thought if I don’t fight him, they might pull the fight away from me. It might not be there for me again. And it was hard because it happened in training camp when I hyperextended my arm, and I chipped a bone in my elbow. It was one of those things in my career. I just said ‘I’m a warrior. I don’t care,'” said Khan about him fighting Crawford while injured.
I’m sure the many boxing fans that bet on the Terence Crawford vs. Khan fight won’t be too pleased to hear Khan say that he took the fight with an injured elbow. That’s not why he lost the fought though. Khan could have been healthy and he still would have got beaten on the night.