Eddie Hearn says Joseph Diaz Jr. thinks Ryan Garcia is easier fight than Devin Haney
By Allan Fox: Promoter Eddie Hearn is furious at seeing another popular mandatory challenger in Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz Jr. choosing NOT to challenge WBC lightweight champion, Devin Haney.
Hearn is upset at learning that Diaz Jr. (32-1-1, 15 KOs) is leaning toward facing Ryan Garcia next rather than using his recently earned WBC mandatory spot to challenge Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) for his title.
Diaz Jr is the second consecutive fighter that has decided not to challenge Haney for his WBC 135-lb strap after winning a world title eliminator match.
On July 9th, Diaz Jr beat Javier Fortuna by a 12 round unanimous decision in a World Boxing Council-ordered title eliminator.
Immediately after the fight, Diaz Jr stunned fans by calling out Ryan Garcia, which seemed odd. Why did he bother participating in the WBC title eliminator against Fortuna if he didn’t want to take on Haney for his lightweight crown?
Hearn says he sees Diaz Jr’s reason for going in Ryan’s direction because he thinks it’s an easier fight than challenging Haney for his WBC belt.
It might be something else that has caused Diaz Jr to go in the direction of a fight against the highly popular Ryan Garcia. There’s more money potentially for Diaz Jr to fight Ryan than there is Haney.
Ryan Garcia chose not to fight Haney after earning the WBC mandatory position last January with a win over Luke Campbell. After the victory, Ryan concluded that Haney is a “boring fighter” and wanted to face Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Manny Pacquiao instead.
The fans quietly agreed with Ryan, preferring to see him battle Tank than the light-hitting technical fighter Haney.
“I think Devin [has] got every right to be annoyed and frustrated,” said Hearn to DAZN Boxing Show.
“You’ve got two guys now, one in Ryan Garcia who won a final eliminator to fight Devin Haney and ducked him, and then one in JoJo Diaz, who won the final eliminator to fight Devin Haney. And he’s now talking about Ryan Garcia.”
“I also think he [Diaz Jr] thinks the Ryan Garcia fight is an easier fight,” said Hearn.
It’s more of a case of Jo Jo Diaz Jr viewing the fight with Ryan, earning him more money and fame. With Ryan’s 8 million followers on social media, Diaz Jr will get a lot more attention fighting him than he would Haney.
Also, if Diaz Jr beats Ryan, he can always come back and challenge Haney for his WBC title because he’s not going anywhere. The top guys at 135, Vasily Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, and Gervonta Davis, aren’t interested in fighting Haney. They don’t view him as being a super popular fighter.
“We’re not going to wait for Jojo Diaz, but we’ve got plenty of other options for Devin Haney,” said Hearn.
“We’ll speak to the WBC, and we’ll see how that lies. We’ve just got to make sure that we get the right opponent for Devin Haney.”
The names that have been mentioned as Haney’s Plan-B option for his next fight are as follows:
- Richard Commey
- Gary Russell Jr
With how Haney was hurt by Jorge Linares multiple times in his last fight, Commey would be a rotten idea. He hits harder than Linares, and he would be capable of doing damage to Haney.
If Hearn isn’t sure whether Haney has recovered from his last fight against Linares, he should match him against a lighter puncher. Commey would be dangerous for Haney.
If the World Boxing Council chooses to elevate a contender into the mandatory spot to challenge Haney for his WBC 135-lb title, it could be one of these fighters that he faces next:
- Richard Commey
- Yvan Mendy
- Zaur Abdullaev
- Luke Campbell
- Masayoshi Nakatani
- Devin Haney calls out Oscar De La Hoya for catchweight fight
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