Eddie Hearn critical of Ryan Garcia’s decision to fight Fortuna instead of Haney

By Boxing News - 04/07/2021 - Comments

By Matt Lieberman: Eddie Hearn says Ryan Garcia’s decision to fight Javier Fortuna next rather than Devin Haney means he’ll end up making “one-fourth” the money against him than he would have.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn believes the media is giving King Ryan (21-0, 18 KOs) a free pass by overlooking the way that he’s refused to fight WBC lightweight champion Haney (25-0, 15 KOs).

Even after Ryan defeated Hearn fighter Luke Campbell last January in a WBC 135-lb title eliminator, he decided against using his mandatory status to challenge Haney.

Hearn was flabbergasted by Ryan’s decision NOT to take the fight with Haney, considering it defeated the whole purpose of his fight against Campbell.

Ryan has his reasons for not wanting to fight Haney, chief of which was he’s a “boring” fighter, and that he wouldn’t be given credit from the boxing public.

The other reason why Ryan didn’t fight Haney is that he was trying to set up a fight with Manny Pacquiao. That fight, unfortunately, didn’t happen.

Image: Eddie Hearn critical of Ryan Garcia's decision to fight Fortuna instead of Haney

Rather than fight Haney, the Golden Boy fighter Ryan Garcia is expected to fight former WBA super featherweight champion Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs) in July on DAZN.

Ryan Garcia fighting on De La Hoya’s undercard?

According to ESPN, there’s a possibility that Ryan vs. Fortuna may go to a purse bid. If so, if Triller wins that bid, we could see Ryan fighting with them.

Interestingly, Ryan’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy said he would like to have him fighting on his undercard in the co-feature.

“It attracts more eyeballs to the sport,” said De La Hoya to ESPN about Ryan Garcia potentially fighting on his undercard on July 3rd on Triller. “Imagine Ryan fighting a title fight in the co-main?”

“Now I’m thinking like a fighter and a promoter,” said De La Hoya.

Adding Ryan to the Triller card on July 3 would result in both young and older boxing fans tuning in to watch the card. De La Hoya would bring in his older fans, whereas Ryan would attract the younger social media crowd.

De La Hoya is fighting an exhibition match on July 3rd against a still-to-be-determined opponent on Triller pay-per-view.

With De La Hoya fighting on Triller, the only way Ryan Garcia would be his chief support is if his fight with Fortuna goes to a purse bid and it’s won by Triller rather than DAZN.

It probably won’t make DAZN too pleased to see Ryan fighting on Triller in July, but it’s possible. De La Hoya and Ryan Garcia teaming up on Triller on July 3 would make for a huge event, which would surely bring in a lot of pay-per-view buys.

It doesn’t matter that Ryan’s opponent Fortuna isn’t a big name. Being teamed with De La Hoya will bring in the buys, and it could be really big if it goes down.

King Ryan “refused to fight Haney,” says Hearn

Ryan said over the weekend that his next fight was agreed on and that it would be announced on Tuesday. Here are on Wednesday and there’s still not fight announced for Ryan.

Image: Eddie Hearn critical of Ryan Garcia's decision to fight Fortuna instead of Haney

“It’s not true because we’ve got 70,000 people watching Billy Joe Saunders vs Canelo [Alvarez] in Dallas,” said Hearn to the AK & Barak show about the belief that Ryan Garcia chose not to fight Haney now because he’s waiting for crowds to be allowed back in for California event.

“We’ve got 15,000 in Miami. In July there will be fans back in California, unquestionably. That’s a cop-out as far as I’m concerned. Ryan refused to fight Devin Haney,” a frustrated-sounding Hearn. “No problem, two great fights, as long as we get the fight we want at the end. He was his mandatory.

“It’s a tough fight. He’s going to get a quarter of the money to fight Fortuna than he would to fight Haney,” said Hearn.

In Ryan’s case, he figures that he’s going to make so much money in his career, that he doesn’t need to nickel & dime, trying to squeeze every last penny out of each of his fights.

The 22-year-old Ryan obviously won’t make the same kind of money fighting Fortuna that he will against Fortuna, but it probably won’t matter in the long run.

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If De La Hoya’s prediction of Ryan winding up making $700 million during his career turns out to be true, it’s irrelevant that he chose to take a smaller payday this time around.

With that said, if Ryan’s fight with Fortuna goes to a purse bid and it’s won by Triller, he could make more money fighting on De La Hoya’s undercard on July 3.