Shakur Swoops In: Will Haney Duck the Real Challenge?

By Robbie Bannatyne - 03/16/2024 - Comments

Shakur Stevenson revealed that he reached out to Bill Haney to begin discussions to step in as the replacement to face WBC light welterweight champion Devin Haney if Ryan Garcia needs to be removed from the April 20th card due to his mental meltdown.

Ryan has unraveled recently, making it critical that he be replaced as soon as possible before he wrecks the DAZN PPV event.

Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) says he reached out but didn’t receive a replay from Bill, which isn’t surprising given that many feel that the slick, old, streetwise Oakland, California native knows better than to allow his son, Devin (31-0, 15 KOs), to take this fight.

“Damn, I reached out to Bill [Haney] and didn’t get a reply,” Stevenson revealed on X. “But we would love to step in, especially in NY. We would sell out, and it’s a big fight.”

A PPV-Worthy Fight (Unlike Some We Could Name)

Shakur will be an excellent substitute if Ryan Garcia needs to be pulled from the headliner card on DAZN PPV because they’ll need someone who can sell tickets and bring in the buys.

Golden Boy Promotions’ backup, Arnold Barboza Jr., lacks the name recognition and popularity to be a realistic replacement, at least for PPV.

The 32-year-old Barboza Jr. is a southern California native, and he’s not a household name for New Yorkers. With Haney being a Nevada resident, it will be difficult for these two to sell out the 19,000-seat Barclays Center.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the venue was only a quarter full on the night, which is a good reason for the event organizers to use Shakur Stevenson, a New Jersey native, as Ryan’s placement.

Haney-Garcia has lost its luster due to Ryan’s strange behavior in the last three weeks, and most fans feel that Kingry has no chance of winning due to his mental problems.

They feel that he needs to be institutionalized to get the mental help he needs from professionals and, if needed, medicated to help him cope in society. The way things look now, even if Ryan stays in the fight, it won’t sell because fans view him as mentally unsound.

The Moment of Truth for Haney

Bill and Devin Haney need to accept Shakur’s offer to replace Ryan. They may think it’s better to use Barboza, given that he’s a beatable foe, but in the long run, they’ll be sorry they did because the fight will bomb on PPV.

At this point, Devin can’t afford another PPV disaster like the 30K that his last fight brought in against Regis Prograis.