By Dan Ambrose: Luke Campbell is disappointed with Ryan Garcia’s decision to face Javier Fortuna next rather than WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney.
It’s unknown if Ryan is dealing with self-confidence issues for him not to take on Haney because this is a fight that he could have had.
Haney and his promoter Eddie Hearn feel that Ryan ducked the fight with him after stopping Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) in the seventh round last January in Dallas, Texas.
That was a WBC-ordered title eliminator, and Ryan should have gone straight to the Haney fight after that, but he didn’t.
He spoke about wanting to fight Manny Pacquiao and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis but ended up fighting neither of those guys.
Now, many boxing fans don’t trust Ryan, viewing him as unstable and unable to stay on course without being distracted and drifting off in another direction, chasing dreams.
Ryan is already the WBC mandatory and interim 135-lb champion, so he clearly doesn’t need to fight another title eliminator to get a title shot against Haney.
Campbell doesn’t understand why Ryan isn’t fighting Haney
Like many, Campbell believes that King Ryan (21-0, 18 KOs) would beat the undefeated Haney (25-0, 15 KOs), which is why he’s confused about his plans on fighting the 31-year-old #2 WBC Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs) on July 9th.
It’s truly a bizarre move but somehow keeping with the erratic way Ryan has steered his career. At times, Ryan’s decision-making seems purposeless.
“I’m not sure why he went for that fight when he could have gone straight for the world title,” said Campbell to Sky Sports about Ryan Garcia choosing to face Fortuna rather than Haney.
“He would beat Haney. Haney would try to make it a boring fight, but Garcia would beat him.”
Well, Ryan may have doubts whether he’d beaten Haney, so he’s been avoiding him.
It’s common knowledge that Haney got the better of Ryan in their many fights in the amateur ranks.
Is Ryan Garcia afraid of Haney?
With all the fights that they’ve had against each other, Ryan must know by now how he measures up against Haney.
It seems logical to deduce from Ryan’s avoidant behavior towards Haney that he doesn’t believe he can win. It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that if Ryan thought he could beat Haney, he’d have fought him a long time ago.
There is a potential positive that comes from Ryan’s avoidance of Haney. He might have saved Ryan from losing to him and not being the popular fighter he is today.
But on the other hand, if Ryan had faced his fear of Haney head-on and beaten him, he’d be a world champion by now and would be making more money. Ryan’s decision not to fight Haney years ago has likely cost him millions.
Devin has pushed for the Ryan Garcia fight
Haney and his dad Bill have been pushing for the fight with Ryan night and day for years now, but he’s not pulled the trigger on the fight.
It’s similar to how Amir Khan had chosen not to fight Kell Brook for years, even though it would have made him a fortune and potentially boosted his career to the next level if he’d have beaten him.
As a result, it’s fair to say that Ryan Garcia is this era’s version of Amir Khan.
“I still want to fight the best – I’ve already fought two three-weight world champions and a potential pound-for-pound top fighter,” said Campbell.
“I never shy away from the best fighters like a lot of other people do.”
If Campbell will continue to fight the best, he needs to get on the phone and encourage Eddie Hearn to find him an opponent. It’s been three months since Campbell last fought, and he still doesn’t have an opponent for his next fight.