By: Sean Crose
“This will actually be the 7th fight between us,” Ryan Garcia stated on social media Thursday. “It’s only right it’s on the professional stage. Thank you Lord Jesus. It’s time to RUMBLE.” These words were accompanied by what appeared to be a poster for a fight between Garcia and WBC junior welterweight king Devin Haney. “See u soon pal,” Haney responded to the post. Neither of these posts emerged from nowhere. Earlier in the day, Garcia posted the following: “I’m sorry Rollies you and your team work way to slow and you were way to indecisive i didn’t know if you wanted to box or vacation. Devin Haney and I are in negotiations respect that. I’m not entertaining anything. Thanks” [sic].
Sure enough, it had been indicated that Garcia, one of the most popular fighters in the world in spite of his loss last year to Gervonta Davis, might be fighting the exciting, if limited, WBA junior welterweight titlist Rollie Romero. That idea now appears to be something from the past. Indeed, Garcia has addressed the possibility of facing Haney at least since Haney defeated Regis Prograis in impression fashion back on December 9th. “Haney is Good no doubt,” Garcia posted at the time, “but I know him all to well and I will beat him. Good stuff tonight congrats but this year we are going to run it!!!”
In truth, few will likely favor Garcia if he and Haney are able to come to terms for a fight. Haney is incredibly precise and smooth. Plus, against Prograis, he showed he had some power at a higher weight (he had previously dominated the lightweight division). Garcia, on the other hand, was knocked out by Davis last spring and, though hard hitting, has never looked as impressive than Haney has in the professional ranks. With that being said, Garcia beat Haney three times in the amateurs. And while it’s true Haney beat Garcia three times in the amateurs, as well, their split pre-professional record against each other shows that Garcia at the very least knows what it’s like to best the talented San Francisco native.
There’s also the fact that Garcia is an enormously popular fighter. Haney might enter the ring the heavy favorite, should he and Garcia end up signing a contract, but Garcia, a modern fighter if ever there was one, has a huge social media presence. Such things matter for fighters who realistically aim to earn huge pay days. In short: Haney could earn a boatload of money and attention if he and Garcia square off. Another good reason for a Haney-Garcia fight to me made? Garcia has that knockout power, the kind that makes him a must-see attraction. No one knows what will happen if and when the young Californian lands clean.
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