Devin Haney: Was the Ryan Garcia Fight a Career Killer?

By Boxing News - 05/09/2024 - Comments

Fans question whether Devin Haney will ever be the same again after the sustained 12-round beating he took from Ryan Garcia on April 20th.

Haney’s confidence is likely gone now, and everyone he faces from this point on will be loading up on left hooks, looking to duplicate the success that Ryan had with that punch.

How Can Haney Salvage His Career?

  • Avoid punchers: If anyone can punch, Haney must filter them out as potential foes for the remainder of his career. He doesn’t have the mandible to handle power punchers and never will.
  • Hug-And-Run: This was what Haney was doing after his close call against Jorge Linares, but he veered away from it against Ryan and paid the price.
  • Stay at 140: It’s not going to be easy for the 160+ lb Haney to stay at 140 but he’s to try.
  • Cherry pick opponents: Selecting easy marks will build Haney’s confidence back up to where maybe he might be able to handle one of the killers at 140 at some point. It would be a mistake for Haney to fight anyone good for a year or two because he could be finished off if his promoter, Eddie Hearn, throws him in against an A-level opponent.

A Matchmaking Master Plan That Went South

The match-making for Haney worked well for the first nine years of his career until the Ryan Garcia fight. That obviously was a cherry pick gone wrong, as Haney was supposed to win by a landslide.

Ryan hadn’t looked good in his two previous fights against Oscar Duarte and Gervonta Davis. He wasn’t expected to beat Haney, who had looked impressive in his recent victory against WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis last December.

Whoever fights Haney now will undoubtedly be following the blueprint that Ryan created, and they won’t back off if they get him hurt.

It’s going to be hard for Haney to come back from this loss for a variety of reasons. His punch resistance, which has been shaky since his fight with Jorge Linares in 2021, could be worse after what Ryan did to him.

The good news for Haney is he’s an excellent mover and clincher. So if he has to depend on those things to keep his career afloat, he’ll be able to do that. His dad, Bill, is good at selecting opponents, and will make sure Devin doesn’t face anyone talented enough to do what Ryan did.