Lightweight champion Devin Haney isn’t writing off Danny Garcia ahead of his title challenge against IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr on November 21 on PPV.
Given the car accident that Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) was involved with ten months ago in October 2019, Haney isn’t sure that he’s ready to perform at the same level that fans were accustomed to seeing from him.
The former two-division world champion Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) has only lost twice in his career in close defeats against Keith Thurman and Shawn porter. Both of those matches could have gone either way.
For Spence to beat Danny, he’s going to need to raise his game to above what we saw from him last September in his narrow 12 round split decision win over Shawn Porter.
Most fans would agree that Spence, 30, didn’t perform well, and he made an error in fighting Porter’s fight by slugging it out with him at close range. Spence had picked up the bad habit of fighting down to the level of his opponents rather than sticking to his own game.
We saw the same thing from Spence against Mikey Garcia when he chose to box him for 12 rounds rather than taking advantage of his size to blast him out the way fans expected him to do.
Spence lost credibility with boxing fans from those two lackluster performances, and he now has to prove himself again despite being still undefeated.
Danny Garcia being written off too soon
“I like that fight a lot,” said Haney to Fighthype on the news of the Errol Spence Jr vs. Danny Garcia match. “I like Spence, and I like Danny. I think it’s going to be a competitive fight.
“I’m excited to see how Spence will be after the car accident. Everybody is wondering how is he going to come back? Some people are going to be betting on Danny, of course, because he had a couple of good performances [against Ivan Redkach and Adrian Granaods], and he hasn’t had anything crazy happen like a car accident.”
Garcia has stayed healthy, and he’s not coming off of a car crash the way Spence has. Additionally, what Danny has going for him is he hasn’t been in any real wars lately, unlike Spence, who took massive punishment against Porter.
Even in Danny’s losses to Keith Thurman and Porter, he didn’t take a lot of punishment because those fighters weren’t slugging with him. Porter was cautious and not willing to put himself in a position where he could get caught with a punch.
“We got to see how Spence comes back. I’m excited to see it. Yeah, I do think that,” said Haney when asked if he believes that people are writing Danny Garcia off early.
“I do think they’re writing him off too early. Both of these guys are at the top level, and at the top level, those fights are 50-50. Who went in there to boot Danny out of the water? Nobody.
“So Spence is coming off of a car accident and a lot going on. We got to see how he comes back. Nobody just blew him out of the water,” said Haney.
The boxing fans and media that are assuming Spence wins quickly aren’t taking into account his car crash and the way he sounds since his accident.
People are counting on the same Spence as they’ve always known him to how up against Garcia. Unfortunately, they could in for a rude awakening when they see a lesser version of ‘The Truth.’
Haney: Gamboa is no slouch
“We’re still in the works,” said Haney when asked about the progress for his fight with Gamboa. “Some people like it, and some people hate it. If I fight Ryan Garcia today, they’ll say ‘He’s not a real fighter.
“He’s not this and not that.’ If I fight Tank, they’ll come with some other stuff. I fight for the fans and the people that support me, but it’s always going to be something. Gamboa is no slouch.”
Haney doesn’t realize that it makes him look bad to be fighting Gamboa due to his age, recent loss, and his lousy injury he suffered in his last contest. If Haney were fighting Tank Davis or Ryan Garcia, he wouldn’t be criticized nearly as much.
“He went in there [against Tank Davis] with one leg, and one round was competitive. Who knows if he’d had both of his feet? Gamboa fought Tank, and it took him 11 rounds to knock him out.
“It went to the 12th round, but it didn’t go the whole 12 rounds. It took him 11 rounds to knock him out, and he was in a dog fight. I can’t get these guys [Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia, Vasiliy Lomachenko, and Tank Davis], so the next available guy,” said Haney.
Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) is planning on defending his WBC lightweight title against Yuriorkis Gamboa in late September to early October. It’s an OK fight. Fans either love the match-up or hate it with a passion. Three reasons people don’t like the Haney vs. Gamboa fight are as follows:
- Age – Gamboa is 38-years-old and not the guy that was compared to Mike Tyson earlier in his career
- Injury – Yuriorkis suffered a torn Achilles tendon in his last fight in December
- Gamboa is coming off a knockout loss to Gervonta Davis. He was stopped in the 12th round by Tank Davis last December.
Is this a must-win for Danny Garcia?
“The massive fight that was announced for later this year; Errol Spence will face off with Danny Garcia on November 21 in a PBC on Fox pay-per-view,” said Chris Mannix of DAZN.
“Spence has not returned to the ring since his one-car accident last October, while the last time we saw Garcia, he defeated Ivan Redkach last in January. Is this fight a must-win for Danny Garcia?”
“No, it’s not a must-win. First of all, every fight is a must-win for a champion,” said Sergio Mora on whether this is a must-win situation for the 32-year-old Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia against Spence. “But no, it’s not a must-win. Danny Garcia is already an established two-weight world champion.
It may not be a “must-in” for Danny Garcia, but it’s one that he needs if he wants to be viewed as one of the elite fighters at 147. If Danny does lose to Spence, it’s crucial that he performs well, and makes it a thrilling fight.
In other words, Garcia must be competitive against Spence above all for him to emerge from the fight without losing status with the boxing fans.
“He’s only lost to the best in competitive fights against Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. This is just another big test for ‘Swift’ Garcia. No, it’s not a must-win, but it is an opportune time for him to get the big upset against Spence, considering Spence is coming off this car accident, and we don’t know how he’s going to respond. It’s an excellent fight.
“I love the fact that Spence took this big challenge, testing his body. He’s not going to take a tune-up fight. He’s going to go straight into a big fight. Big props on the heart of Spence and yes, Danny Garcia, I think it’s going to be an even fight.”
You couldn’t pick a better time for Danny to challenge Spence because of his car accident on October 10 last year, as well as his punishing match against Shawn Porter last September.
Those two things might have worn Spence down physically, leaving vulnerable for a big puncher like Danny to take advantage of him.
Garcia still has big fights ahead of him
“I do think it’s a must-win for Garcia because it might be his last real chance to establish himself as the top guy at 147,” said Mannix. “Even if he loses, there are makable marketable fights for him in 2021.
“He could have a rematch with Shawn Porter. He could have a rematch with Keith Thurman. In both fights, he lost by the narrowest of margins. Those fights are certainly compelling, but he lost those fights, they weren’t exactly controversial.”
Danny Garcia can still get fights against Porter and Thurman, even if he loses to Spence on November 21, as boxing fans won’t hold him against him for failing to the best. But as I said, it’s essential that Danny look good against Errol, make it competitive, and be ready to go out on his shield if need be.
“They were close, but they weren’ t controversial,” Mannix continued in talking about Danny’s losses to Thurman and Porter. “So he has two losses in his toughest tests to date. If he goes in against Spence and he loses once again, that would be the third time for him to lose that caliber of a fight.
“So I look at this as not being the end of Danny Garcia’s career, but he is now in his early 30s. If he’s to establish himself as the #1 guy at 147, this is the opportunity.
“Errol Spence is coming off of a horrific car accident. He’s been more inactive than Danny Garcia, This is a prime chance for Danny Garcia to walk out with a win against arguably the top man at 147, and if he doesn’t, it might take him a while if at all to get back to the top.”
It’s pretty clear at this point that Danny Garcia will never be #1 at welterweight. He’s not shown that kind of ability since moving up from 140, and at 32, it’s ridiculous even to consider Danny taking the top spot at 147 because he lost to Porter and Thurman.
Even if Spence loses to Danny, that doesn’t mean that Garcia would beat Porter, Thurman, Yordenis Ugas, and Terence Crawford. Those fighters are the other top guys are 147. Jaron Ennis is coming up, and he would be a real problem for Danny Garcia.
We don’t know how Spence will react
“He’s in his early 30s, and that’s fine,” said Mora on Danny Garcia. “He hasn’t had a real beating on his body, and he hasn’t had that wear and tear. He hasn’t had those wars.
“His two losses were to two champions, and they were close decisions. So I think he has a lot of fight left. And the thing about Danny Garcia is that he not only doesn’t take a physical beating, but he’s also not a real active fighter.”
Garcia is a young 32-year-old, and he still looks as good as he ever did during his career. His problems at 147 stem from his flat-footing fighting style, and inability to throw combinations. Danny is more of a counter-puncher, who looks to take out his opponents with single shots. Sometimes it works, but when it doesn’t, he loses.
“He’s a one-punch fighter, a combination puncher,” continued Mora. “So it’s not like he’s engaging in a lot of wars against these fighters. I think it’s the right match-up, and like I said, it’s the right time.
“We don’t know how Spence is going to react. It’s the right time for Garcia, and we’re going to see about Errol Spence.”
We don’t know how Spence is going to react in his next fight, and that’s why there’s so much interest from boxing fans in seeing him defend against Garcia. For all we know, Spence might be physically shot from the car crash and his hard fight against Porter.
If Garcia beats Spence, the two will likely have an immediate rematch because this is a voluntary defense for Errol.