Eddie Hearn is champing at the bit to get negotiations started for the WBC ordered fight between lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney and mandatory Ryan Garcia.
The unbeaten ‘King’ Ryan (21-0, 18 KOs) made it official that he’s the mandatory WBC lightweight champion Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) last Saturday with his victory over Luke Campbell.
Should Ryan Garcia take the fight with Haney?
Ryan says he wants to fight Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis next, but it’s unclear if that’s going to happen. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Ryan, said he doesn’t need the champions.
That could be a signal that De La Hoya will match Ryan against someone else, but it probably won’t be Haney.
Garcia still hasn’t committed to taking the fight with Haney, even though he agreed to fight Campbell in a WBC ordered lightweight title eliminator.
As of now, we’re going to have to wait and see which direction Ryan wants to go in for his next fight.
With Haney basically a paper champion, there’s little upside in Ryan facing him now.
If Haney had a title meant something, and if he were a popular guy like Teofimo Lopez or Tank Davis, it would make sense for Ryan to invest time and energy in taking his belt from him.
Hearn eager to negotiate Haney vs. Garcia fight
“You’ve got to give Ryan Garcia a lot of credit because if you’re going not to give him any credit and say he’s an Instagram fighter when he produces a great performance and an exciting performance,” said Eddie Hearn to IFL TV.
“You can’t just say, ‘He went down, and he’s vulnerable. Yeah, he squares his feet up.’ He won, so give him the respect.
“For Luke, the second round, he jumped up, and I just wanted him to stick it on him there and try and get him out of there,” said Hearn about Luke dropping Ryan Garcia in the second round.
“That was his big chance in the fight to get him out of there. Ryan recovered, and [trainer] Eddy Reynoso did a great job in the corner, calmed him down, and he got back into the fight.
“In the end, it was a great body shot. I said, ‘Luke is gutted, but there’s not a lot you do about a shot like that.’ He couldn’t get up.
“He wanted to get up, but he couldn’t get up. You’ve got to give Ryan Garcia credit. As I said, it was a great performance, and now the path is for him against Devin Haney. We look forward to trying to make that fight,” said Hearn.
Haney isn’t in a position where the guys like Ryan, Teofimo Lopez, Vasily Lomachenko, and Gervonta Davis want to fight him. He’s not popular, he didn’t win his WBC title by beating anyone, and he’s not viewed as the champion.
Hearn might need to start thinking of finding a good plan-B option for Haney’s next fight, be it Javier Fortuna, Jorge Lines, Lee Selby, or maybe even Campbell.
Devin Haney – Ryan Garcia must happen
“Absolutely, next, that’s the fight,” said Hearn when asked if he realistically sees the Devin Haney vs. Ryan Garcia fight happening in the next six months.
“It baffles me a little bit because that fight was a final eliminator for Devin Haney. So now the WBC is going to order the fight.
“We have the same broadcasters [DAZN]; we have the same network. So often in boxing, great fights between champions and young stars in divisions don’t happen because of politics, or he’s with this network or that platform.
“Now you’ve got a situation where you’ve got Ryan Garcia, who is a massive star in the sport, Devin Haney, he’s a star, he’s a world champion.
“That fight is going to be ordered. We’re all on the same network and all on the same platform. I’ve spoken to DAZN. They want that fight; of course, they do.
“That’s the fight to make next. So there were a few discussions before that fight with DAZN, Golden Boy, and Matchroom, and there hasn’t been any since,” said Hearn.
The fact that there haven’t been any discussions from Golden Boy and Matchroom about a fight between Ryan Garcia and Haney should be a big hint to Hearn that there’s no interest in that fight.
Haney’s defensive style of fighting makes him an undesirable guy for the top guys to fight. He’s not making many mistakes in the fight, and it’s going to be potentially difficult to beat him.
Haney is one of those fighters that can make his opponents look bad. On top of those drawbacks, Haney isn’t the type of person that will attract a lot of attention to a fight due to his non-charismatic personality. So if Ryan were to fight Haney, he would be the only one attracting interest.
Ryan just finished fighting a guy that brought very little to the table in the promotional side in Luke Campbell. The last thing Ryan needs is another fighter with a blah-type of personality.
Hearn sees Devin vs. Ryan filling Staples Center
“We just want to make that fight [between Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney],” continued Hearn. “I think it fills up the Staples Center in April, both kids can make a load of money, and it’s a brilliant fight.
“We talk about these four kings of the lightweight division, Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, and we can’t just forget about Lomachenko just because he’s been beaten once.
“I saw a Tweet from ESPN, which didn’t go down well with the fans. ‘Is the new Hagler, Leonard, Hearns, and Duran?’
“That era was only great because all those guys fought each other time and time again. So the only way we can make an era like that truly great is to let those guys fight each other.
“It’s challenging to make fights like that, but it’s not difficult to make Haney-Garcia. For me, that should be the next fight, and we’ll be doing everything we can to try and make that fight.
“If Ryan Garcia pulls out of negotiations as the mandatory, he doesn’t have to be mandatory for that fight.
“He can make that fight anytime he wants because he’s a star, but he did fight a final eliminator to fight Devin Haney. So we hope he can now fight for that WBC world title,” said Hearn.
Filling the Staples Center in Los Angeles isn’t a big deal than Ryan vs. Tank Davis filling a stadium in Texas.
If Hearn wants to talk Ryan into taking the fight with Haney, he’s got to do better than just talk about selling out the Staples Center.
Eddie not happy with pro-Ryan Garcia commentary from DAZN
“I think they are very pro-Garcia,” said Hearn about the DAZN commentators during the Campbell fight. “I think Chris Mannix is a fantastic broadcaster, but he said Ryan Garcia is the most important fighter of the century.
“I went back to the Devin Haney situation; this is a final [WBC] eliminator.
“We should be pushing this fight. DAZN wants this fight, and it’s a tremendous fight. But I think they fell in close with Ryan Garcia so much that I think when you do that sometimes, everything else gets clouded.
“The guys, Todd Grisham, Sergio Mora, Chris Mannix, Kate Abdo, it’s a great team, but they are very high on Ryan Garcia. Sometimes, nothing else matters.
“I spoke to the DAZN guys the other day, and one thing is for sure, us Brits, we are 100% more vocal in terms of what we like, and we don’t like,” said Hearn.
You got to understand it from DAZN’s perspective why their commentators would want to push the Ryan Garcia narrative in building him up to be the best thing since sliced bread. Ryan is one of the few fighters that move the needle on DAZN. There’s Anthony Joshua, Canelo Alvarez, Gennadiy Golovkin, and Ryan Garcia. Of all those fighters, Ryan can be the #1 guy soon.
While he might not be as talented as Canelo Alvarez, his fights are more exciting to watch; he can speak English and has charisma. We don’t know if Canelo has charisma because he uses an interpretation when he speaks, and he rarely shows emotions the way Ryan does.
Joshua is an excellent fighter, but his new Wladimir Klitschko style of fighting won’t win him any fans in the U.S.