Ryan Garcia given a free pass from fans for not fighting Haney says promoter
By Charles Brun: Ryan Garcia’s decision to pass up on a fight against WBC lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney still annoys promoter Eddie Hearn to this day. Hearn feels that the boxing fans have given Ryan, 22, a free ride by not blasting him for failing to face Haney.
Hearn counted on the highly popular King Ryan (21-0, 18 KOs) facing Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) next after he belted out Matchroom fighter Luke Campbell by a seventh-round knockout on January 2nd in their WBC 135lb title eliminator.
Even though it was an official WBC lightweight title eliminator, Ryan turned up his nose about the idea of using his mandatory status to face Haney.
Ryan has taken a business approach to his career, focusing on the fights that will make him more money against Manny Pacquiao and Gevonta ‘Tank Davis.
There’s not much dough that Ryan can make fighting Haney because he doesn’t have a large following. As a result, Ryan wouldn’t be able to count on making massive money fighting Haney on pay-per-view like he would if he were to face Tank Davis or Pacquiao.
Ryan Garcia should have fought Haney
“Nobody wants to be gifted a world heavyweight title. Sometimes that can work against you when you’re gifted a title because you never really get the credit until you start fighting the big fights, ” said Hearn to Behind The Gloves.
“It’s not his fault, but Devin is only going to get the credit he deserves when he fights the top names, and it’s not that he won’t fight them. ‘
“They won’t fight him. I had an exchange with Bill Haney the other day. He said, ‘You said Devin needs a breakout fight.’ He does need a breakout fight.
“It’s not because he won’t take these fights. They won’t fight him. In my opinion, Devin Haney is the best lightweight in the world.
“I can’t believe the fans gave Ryan Garcia a pass for not fighting Devin Haney.”
Hearn is still having a difficult time coming to terms because Ryan Garcia passed up his option to challenge Devin for his WBC 135-lb title.
Ryan made up his mind before his WBC lightweight title eliminator last January that he wasn’t going to fight Haney if he won the fight to become his mandatory.
What made King Ryan change his mind about fighting Haney was the lack of attention the fight would receive compared to other fights.
Also, Ryan would gain little by beating Haney, considering he’s viewed as the WBC secondary champion/email belt-holder at 135.
Ryan is mandatory for Haney
“By the way, I love Ryan Garcia,” continued Hearn. “I think he’s brilliant for the sport, but he’s mandatory to Devin Haney.
“The whole reason for the Luke Campbell fight was a final eliminator to fight Devin Haney. These broadcasters, DAZN, want him to fight Devin Haney.
“There’s a lot of money for him to fight Devin Haney, but he won’t fight him. No one is even talking about it because he’s deflecting it with Tank and Pacquiao,” said Hearn.
Ryan, 22, doesn’t want to fight Haney because he brings precious little to the table for popularity.
Hearn should know perfectly well by now that Haney doesn’t have the experience or the thrilling fighting style for him to get the fights he wants against Ryan Garcia.
What Haney has going against him:
- Email champion status
- Viewed as the secondary WBC belt-holder below Teofimo Lopez
- Not popular
- Spoiling style of fighting
- No power and average hand speed
Jorge Linares next in line for Devin
“Okay, they’re massive fights. If they don’t happen, why doesn’t he fight Devin Haney?” said Hearn still banging on about Ryan choosing not to fight Devin.
“Teofimo Lopez against Devin Haney. I said to Bob Arum, ‘We’ll do it on ESPN, we’ll do it on pay-per-view.’ ‘It’s not a pay-per-view fight yet.’ I disagree.
“So Devin will fight anybody, but if he can’t get Ryan Garcia, and if he can’t get Teofimo Lopez, I’d love the Jorge Linares fight.
“He’s a big name, he’s a great fighter. Style-wise, it’s a banging fight, and that’s the kind of right that Devin needs.
“The others have taken that step up, and that’s because they’ve found dance partners. When you’re really, really good, it’s hard to find a dance partner.
“Demetrius Andrade is another example of that. He has a good fight against Liam Williams. In the U.S, everyone says, ‘Liam Williams, who’s he?’
“We’re looking to get Devin out in the end of April. We could be in Florida for Devin Haney and Linares,” said Hearn.
It would be a good idea for Hearn to think carefully about whether he really wants Haney to fight the 35-year-old Linares in April because this is a fight that he could lose.
Haney getting beaten by Teofimo, Ryan Garcia or Gervonta Davis wouldn’t destroy his career necessarily. But a loss to Linares, that’s one that would do major damage to Haney, and it’s hard to see him coming from that kind of defeat.
We already know that Linares has faster hands, more power, experience, and superior boxing skills than Haney.
If Linares beats Haney, it could be the end of the line for Devin in terms of him being taken seriously by fans.
Linares has always done well against non-punchers, and Haney is perfect for him. He can’t punch, and he’s not much of a threat like the other top lightweights.
Devin has missed out
“It’s a shame. I think Devin Haney is a good example as well. Devin Haney chased the WBC because he wanted Lomachenko,” said Hearn.
That’s the only reason, and when he was made mandatory to Lomachenko, Top Rank petitioned with the WBC to make Lomachenko Franchise champion. Lomachenko would never ask for it because he’s a fighter.
“He would have fought Devin Haney, but then they elevated Haney to world champion. Then people say, ‘Well, you’re a paper champion’ or an ’email champion,'” said Hearn.
It’s too bad that Haney has been getting passed over by the big names t 135 during his short career, but he can change that. If Haney can lure someone like Vasily Lomachenko to face him, that would an excellent start for him.
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