By Chris Williams: Devin Haney and Ryan Gacia went at it on social media on Thursday in keeping their war of words alive during the shutdown. The WBC lightweight ‘Champion in Recess’ Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) says he can’t wait for the sport to restart so that he doesn’t have to keep receiving the text messaging from Ryan (20-0, 17 KOs).
Haney seems to be annoyed by Ryan’s incessant text messages and trash talk, and he just wants to get him out of his hair by fighting him. The two have fought a number of times in the amateur ranks. Haney says Ryan beat him when they were both 9-years-old, but he beat him when he started maturing. However, the last time Haney and Ryan fought was when they were 15-years-old. Both are now 21.
Haney and Garcia will face each other in the future, but the world isn’t expected to see it happen soon. Ryan states that his next two fights will be against Jorge Linares and Gervonta’ Tank’ Davis.
If Golden Boy Promotions are able to put both of those bouts together, then we could be looking at a Garcia vs. Haney fight in 2021. That’s IF Ryan beats Linares and Tank, and that won’t be easy to do. Tank is seen as the more advanced fighter than ‘Kingry’ Garcia right now.
Ryan Garcia: “What Devin Haney texted me right now, Please God Heal the world…so we can start fighting again. I can’t take many more of these texts.”
You can see that Haney is looking forward to facing Ryan, as it’s frustrating for him to have to wait for the match to take place.
Ryan Garcia: “I’m going to f*** you up. Just letting you know.”
Devin Haney: “Good luck.”
Ryan Garcia has surpassed Devin Haney in popularity
“Devin Haney is viewed as maybe the most talented young fighter in all of boxing, a pound-for-pound prospect,” said Chris Mannix on DAZN. “Over the last year, he’s been surpassed in popularity by the likes of Ryan Garcia, by Gervonta Davis and by Teofimo Lopez. As Devin Haney prepares to come back from an injury, how does he get his groove back?”
“Get his [Haney] groove back? How did he lose it? He hasn’t lost anything,” said Sergio Mora on Haney. “In his last fight, it was for the WBC title. He went the distance with an undefeated fighter in Alfredo Santiago. He lost his groove there? Come on. Before that, he knocked out Zaur Abdullaev, another undefeated fighter. And he had a knockout ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate fight against Antonio Moran.
“So he hasn’t lost his groove. Stop watching these movies from the 90s because this guy is the man, and his star is rising and getting brighter. He’s not getting out-shined by Ryan Garcia or anyone else. Devin Haney is the real deal. He shines bright, and anytime he does anything, you see him outside.
“Unlike Billy Joe Saunders, he’s doing something right with social media. He’s donating money, he’s feeding the poor. He’s doing the right thing, and he’s not following those footsteps. Maybe he’s not as arrogant and cocky [as Ryan Garcia], but he has everything going for him to be the next great thing,” said Mora of Haney.
The combination of early knockouts and the way that Ryan Garcia has been busy on social media has arguably put him past Haney in terms of his popularity. In Garcia’s last three fights, he’s destroyed Francisco Fonseca, Romero Duno, and Jose Lopez in early knockouts.
Haney needs spectacular knockout wins
“Of course, he does. He has all the talent in the world, but if you think he hasn’t lost some of his shine, I don’t know what you’re watching,” Mannix said of Haney. “You don’t believe style matters when building a superstar. Ryan Garcia wins his fights with incredible style, 1st round spectacular knockouts. Teofimo Lopez knockin out Richard Commey spectacularly. That set his star through the roof.
“Devin Haney is winning his fights. Technically, he is winning some of them by knockout, but you don’t look at the Abdullaev fight as potentially a star-rising performance. His last fight was great [against Santiago] against an undefeated fighter, but even Haney would admit that wasn’t an excellent performance. He needs more matches like the Antonio Moran fight.
“You need a spectacular knockout, a knockout of the year contender to catch up to those types of fighters. That’s what puts you into the mainstream. I don’t understand you. I think you put all these fighters like Haney and Demetrius Andrade, that they can keep winning but don’t need spectacular knockouts. Of course, they need spectacular knockouts. That’s what makes superstars,” said Mannix on what Haney needs.
Haney, 21, didn’t look great in his last fight in beating Alfredo Santiago (12-1, 4 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on November 9 in Los Angeles. The size of the 5’11 Santiago gave Haney trouble in battle, and it proved to be a tougher match than expected. What made it more difficult for Haney to shine was he suffered a shoulder injury early in the bout, and that made it hard for him to put a lot of power on his shots.
Knocking out top-level fighters not easy
“Not on the championship level,” said Mora in responding to the assertion that Haney needs knockouts to become a superstar. “It becomes harder and harder to knockout fighters that know how to fight. On the way up, yes, you’re knocking out everyone that they put in front of you because they’re not elite.
“Once you start fighting the fighters that are just as hungry as you, perfect and unbeaten, they don’t know what it is to lose. So they’re out there fighting for a world title. Abdullaev and Santiago, these guys never lost. And to get a world championship fight in front of them and in front of the television, they’re going to rise to the occasion. It’s not easy to get knockouts once you start fighting the better opposition. That’s just the way,” said Mora.
“Being undefeated, who cares,” said Mannix. “I understand that it means that you haven’t lost before. What matters is who you face. Give me the guy that has lost to three high-level opponents and has three losses on his resume versus the undefeated fighter who has never fought that type of opponent all day long. That’s the bigger test and the tougher test than some of the guys that these young fighters are facing,” said Mannix.
It’s going to be a lot more difficult for Ryan Garcia to continue to knock out his opponents the way he’s been doing once he begins facing the better fighters. Right now, Ryan is looking destructive with his KO wins over fringe level fighters, but things will change once he takes on the better guys.
Haney still putting on impressive performances
“Look, if you’re a matchmaker or a promoter or a fan, I agree with you, yes. Those are the tougher fighters, the Orlando Salidos in the world,” said Mora. “These are the guys that are going to shock the world and beat the young up and comers. But if you’re the fighter, the coach or the trainer, if you’re part of that team, that family, that triangle that’s been rising to the top together, you know that’s what’s going to give you problems.
“You’re not going to put them in front of that because matchmaking is a science, and this is the sweet science to get to the top, get there and market yourself and make the most money you can. You don’t do it just to please guys; you do it to please yourself. Right now, Devin Haney, even though he didn’t get a stoppage in his last fight, he got an impressive stoppage against Antonio Moran two matches ago.
“He was able to stop Abdullaev. So you’re not going to be able to get a knockout streak like that. I mean, he’s not Julian Jackson, for God’s sake. Not everyone has that Earnie Shavers’ type power. Right now, Devin Haney is maybe one knockout away from making it a salivating type fight. Ryan Garcia is doing everything he needs to do, yes,” said Mora.
Haney is more of a Mayweather-type of fighter than a knockout guy, and it’s not realistic to expect him to go looking for early knockouts. His style isn’t likely to change as he gets older because that’s not the type of guy he is.
Ryan Garcia trailing Haney in the skills department
“Devin Haney needs an impressive performance, and the more he knocks out guys, the more zeroes he’s going to get on his check,” said Mora. “But as far as skills-wise here, Devin Haney is a little bit above Ryan Garcia. Even though Ryan Garcia is getting those knockouts, Devin Haney, pound-for-pound skill-wise, has an edge and a belt over Ryan Garcia, a WBC green beautiful belt at that,” said Mora.
“I don’t care about belts, and I don’t care about skills in this conversation, though I am going to look at some spectacular performances right now.”
There’s no comparison between Ryan and Haney in terms of their boxing skills. In looking at the two, Ryan is utterly predictable with the way he fights. He’s someone that is ALWAY loading up with his left hook, and he lacks variety with his offense. Compared to Haney, Ryan’s skills are rudimentary at best. That’s a knock on Ryan. He’s a good fighter, but he’s more of a Joe Frazier-like fighter, who is ALWAYS loading up with his left hook.