Oscar De La Hoya disputes Devin Haney’s version of why Ryan Garcia didn’t agree to fight him after defeating Luke Campbell.
Haney, the WBC world lightweight champion, feels it’s obvious that Garcia ducked him. De La Hoya, whose company promotes Garcia, contends that Haney needs to strengthen his resume before Garcia will consider challenging him, even though Haney holds a 135-pound championship.
De La Hoya discussed the Garcia-Haney situation during an appearance Tuesday on the new “DAZN Boxing Show.”
“With Haney, look, I respect Haney,” De La Hoya told co-hosts Barak Bess and Akin Reyes. “I love Haney. He’s an amazing fighter. I respect every man that steps into the ring – and women. But Haney has to build up his profile. He has to build up his resume. You know, he has to fight somebody that has a chance to beat him. You know?
“Just like Ryan Garcia facing [Luke] Campbell and facing [Javier] Fortuna now, in his next fight, so that’s the way you can build and make big fights. I mean, Ryan right now, because of his popularity and because of who he’s fought, he’s actually on a different level than Haney – believe it or not, without a world title.”
Las Vegas’ Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) is scheduled to defend his WBC belt against Venezuela’s Jorge Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) on May 29 at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs), of Victorville, California, will defend his WBC interim lightweight title against the Dominican Republic’s Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs, 2 NC) on July 9 at a venue to be determined.
Haney doesn’t understand why Garcia embraced a risky elimination match with Campbell, only to turn down the shot at his title that Garcia earned by stopping England’s Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) in the seventh round January 2 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The 22-year-old Haney also questioned whether Garcia genuinely wanted to fight Manny Pacquiao or Gervonta Davis, the two potential opponents Garcia and his representatives explored after he conquered Campbell.
“Look, there’s no stance,” De La Hoya said. “There’s just the truth. I mean, look, yes, Ryan wants to fight Pacquiao. Yes, he wants to fight ‘Tank.’ Yes, we were going for Pacquiao and ‘Tank,’ but they have their plans. Pacquiao is not fighting in the [United] States anytime soon. I believe he’s gonna fight in the [United Arab Emirates] or somewhere out there. You know, ‘Tank,’ I mean, we all saw what happened to ‘Tank.’ So, it’s unfortunate. ‘Tank’ is an amazing fighter. But he has his issues that he has to take care of. And Ryan has to fight.”
According to De La Hoya, Garcia and his team will revisit possible bouts with Pacquiao, Davis and Haney if he defeats Fortuna.
“So, look, we have this Fortuna, number one in the world, and it’s gonna be a great fight,” De La Hoya said. “And then, after that, we can talk and revisit the issue with Pacquiao, with the ‘Tank’ and with a possible Haney fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.