Mikey Garcia: Who cares about Gary Russell Jr?
By Chris Williams: Mikey Garcia is giving WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney the edge in a potential fight against Gary Russell Jr in the fall. The two fighters are in talks for a match-up that will be shown on DAZN if it can get made.
What was interesting was the annoyance and bitterness of Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) in saying, “who cares about Gary Russell?” The way that Mikey made a comment gave the impression that he’s a tad bit envious of all the attention that Gary is getting from the media over his possible fight against Haney (24-0, 15 KOs).
A lot of boxing fans care about Russell, as they want to see how he does against Haney. A fight between those two will be exciting, and it could be one of the best match-ups in 2020.
Mikey’s own career has stalled since his one-sided 12 round decision loss to Errol Spence Jr last year.
Although Mikey bounced back with a victory over the past his prime Jessie Vargas last February, he didn’t look right. Vargas gave Mikey a lot of problems and came close to beating him.
It looks like Mikey won’t be fighting for the remainder of the year, as he still doesn’t have an opponent.
Mikey Garcia favors Haney over Russell
“Who cares about Gary Russell? Has he done anything?” said a bitter sounding Mikey Garcia. “Has he been fighting? Then I don’t even need to say anything.
“I don’t care about him, and I have nothing to say. I don’t care about him, and I don’t have any fighters in the same weight class. So it makes no sense to talk about someone Russell to fight Haney?
“I know he’s a featherweight, and all these guys are 135 pounds, and Crawford is 147. I don’t know why he’s trying. Logic would tell you the bigger man, Haney, should come out victorious [over Russell Jr].
“The size, but you never know. Maybe Russell is a bad-a** mother-f**** that I don’t know about that I haven’t seen, and he has that Pernell Whitaker type of s****.
“He can box and move and be so slick, who can make the bigger man look so dumb. I don’t know, maybe. I don’t know and haven’t seen him,” said Mikey.
If the Haney vs. Russell Jr fight gets made, there’s going to be a lot of interest from people. This is a fight that could help Haney’s career if he wins. It could also hurt his career if he struggles to win or if he loses.
Hopefully, Mikey isn’t still bitter about his loss to Spence Jr because he was exposed in that fight.
Speed no problem for Devin
“They’re going to say something about anyone I fight. You can’t please everyone,” said Devin to Fighthype about how fans may discredit him if he beats Russell.
“I want to make the biggest fights happen, but if Gary steps up to the plate, he’s going to be the only guy that has stepped up to the plate, and is somewhat credible to the fans as we can see.
“I’m not a fighter that talks about speed. Timing is everything. You can have the fastest hands, but if you don’t have timing. I see you throw a lot of fast combinations, but if you don’t have timing,
“I’m not there. If you don’t have timing, then what? I’ve got a 71” inch reach. We’ll see how fast your hands are because mine is going to get there before yours do, trust me. He’s 5’4″,” said Haney.
“What we don’t want to do is discourage the people and the fans from a misunderstanding that this will be one of the biggest extravaganzas in boxing of the year,” said Haney’s dad, Bill.
Speed could be a big problem for Haney if Russell jr can get in punching range against him. He’s going to land some shots, and he might even score a lockout. Haney’s chin hasn’t been tested as a pro, and he may fall apart once Russell puts hands on him.
Russell Jr = longest reigning WBC champ
“Not only is a champion [Gary Russell Jr] moving up to fight a champion, but it’s the longest-reigning champion in the WBC boxing against the youngest champion in boxing,” said Bill.
“If this is not a passing of the guard, passing of the torch, but all it means is Devin beating the s*** out of that man. Whatever body he comes in the day before the fight.
“He’s got a chance to grow if he wants to hang from the ceiling and get taller. Take his arms and tie them to the car to drag them to get longer. You heard from the champ.
“You heard how he feels about him, and you’re hearing from me. I have all the optimism in the world for the Russell family and for everyone that has done so much,” said Bill.
It can’t be the passing of a torch when Russell Jr doesn’t fight in the same division as Devin. That doesn’t make any sense what Bill is saying.
It’s only a passing of the touch when both fighters are in the same division, and they’re clearly not in this case. Russell fights at featherweight , whereas Haney is at lightweight .
Team Haney has done their homework
“Whether that guy [Russell] shows up or not, it’s the Devin Haney show. No one wanted to fight Gary Russell at 31, but Gary Russell never wanted to fight nobody at 21.
“Do not mistake this for what it is. I watch him. The champ [Haney] doesn’t watch him. I don’t want anybody to think that we’re stepping into something we didn’t. And I watched him, and I don’t see s*** special. I don’t see anything special.
“We’ve been in every gym in America, and I don’t see him doing nothing special. I don’t care how tough he is, and I don’t care how short he is. When you get home, watch his fights, and play it back.
“Then watch Dev and tell me you don’t see something special. It makes no difference,” Haney said about Rusell jr being a southpaw. “I like that he’s getting in the ring.”
“We don’t know that,” Devin said about his doubts on Russell Jr. taking the fight.
Just because Bill Haney has studied Russell’s past fights, it doesn’t mean that Devin will be able to beat him.
Billy and Devin need to be patient and not push Russell Jr to hurry up in looking over the contract.
Bill waiting on Gary
“Do not let me down, Mr. Gary Russell,” said Bill Haney. “Me and my family have met your demands.”
“He does a lot of talking,” Devin said about Russell. “I see his interviews. He talks a whole lot. There’s a lot of bark, but not enough bite there.
“He does a lot talking. ‘Shorty this, Shorty that.’ I don’t want to hear that s***. That s*** is small stuff to me. I want to see you get in the ring. I don’t know if he’s trying to talk me out of it.
“You can’t do that with me. I’ve been doing this since I was seven-years-old. I’ve been in there with the best of them. You can’t talk me out of it. That’s what he tries to do. Talk you out of it, Say this, say that, and say this. My man, sign the contract, that’s it,” said Devin.
“Ask Dev the last time someone told him that they had $1.5 million to pick up,” said Bill. “How fast did you get over there?”
“Quick,” Devin said.
“We don’t play about them millions, man,” Bill said.
“When was the last time he fought,” said Devin about Russell. “I know he’s f**** up. He needs this 1.5. He better take it. Quit playing. We don’t got time. I’m moving on. I don’t have time to wait,” said an impatient Devin.
“No, we’re not moving on,” said Bill in cutting Devin off.
“If he ain’t going to take the fight, then I’m moving on,” said Devin in continuing with his nervous Nelly rant. “If you’re going to take it, there’s not much time,” Haney said.
Russell Jr will likely let Team Haney soon whether he accepts the contract terms for the fight.
Gary wanted a lot of money
“Listen, Mr. Gary Russell; you have everything that you asked for,” Bill said. “We’re in this gym, and we want to know what’s happening. We’re not underestimating you, but we’re not overestimating you either.
“Get us some more money,” said Bill Haney when asked what a victory for Devin over Russell Jr would do for his career. “That’s the thing to get them to make the event happen, and then to be safe.
“He’s [Devin] saying, ‘He’s capping.’ I think the thing can still get done because it’s the biggest extravaganza in boxing. It’s the longest-reigning champion [Russell] against the youngest world champion.
“When have you known a world champion at 21 because Gary Russell wasn’t the challenger. It was Devin Haney. When he [Russell Jr] started talking about the Bud Crawford stuff, Devin said to me, ‘Pop, he’s talking about 1.5. Can we make that happen?'”
“You don’t even want to hear what he asked for first,” said Haney about Russell. “He doesn’t even want this to get out. If I told you what he asked for first, you would know this man is crazy. It was a lot.”
“We got a deal done that Gary is comfortable with because Devin wants a lot too,” said Bill. “Everybody wants a lot.”
“That man wanted a lot,” Devin continued.
Haney doesn’t say how much Russell jr wants, but even if he did, so what? All fighters try and get as much as they can for each fight.
Devin might end Russell’s career
“Devin, the way that you’re going to beat the s*** out of him, this might be the end,” said Bill. “What we said to Gary was, ‘You can ask Al [Haymon] what he wants to pay.
“Out of respect, because he’s a champ, And then Gary came back and said Al said respectfully, ‘You guys go ahead and work, and if you come up to an agreement, then you come up to an agreement.’
“That’s why I say solute to the great Al Haymon for even giving this young kid an opportunity in the States, even with our partnership with Eddie Hearn and the Matchroom team.
“For Al to give him the opportunity, it means the world to us,” said Bill.
Devin isn’t a big puncher, so it’s not realistic to assume that he has a chance to end Russell’s career. If Haney, 21, wins, it’ll be because of his boxing rather than his slugging.
Bill sounds like he doesn’t understand what kind of fighter his son Devin is. You would think that by now, Bill would know that Haney isn’t a big puncher and never will be.
If he tries to get Devin to slug with Russell, he might be sorry later.
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