Devin Haney wants nothing more than to fight Ryan Garcia next, yet he understands why the feeling isn’t mutual.
Garcia has told anyone who will listen since he knocked out Luke Campbell that he wants to fight Gervonta Davis next, not Haney. The 22-year-old Garcia won the WBC interim 135-pound championship and earned a shot at Haney’s WBC world lightweight title by beating Campbell.
Haney figures Garcia is moving in a different direction because he considers a fight versus Davis much more winnable than a bout with him. Las Vegas’ Haney discussed Garcia-Davis during a recent appearance on “The Ak & Barak Show,” which streams from Monday through Friday on DAZN and SiriusXM.
“I just feel like that he thinks that ‘Tank’ is the easier fight than fighting me,” Haney explained to co-hosts Barak Bess and Akin Reyes. “And he said this before. I’m only going off of what he said. I’m not making this up. He thinks that ‘Tank’ is an easier fight, so he’s willing to fight, you know, ‘Tank’ because he just feels like it’s high-reward and it’s an easy fight. Why not fight him?”
Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) moved back down from the lightweight division to junior lightweight for his last fight. The knockout artist from Baltimore scored a spectacular sixth-round knockout of Leo Santa Cruz in that 12-round, 130-pound title bout October 31 at Alamodome in San Antonio.
The powerful southpaw is willing to fight at 130 pounds or 135 pounds moving forward, but he would give away about five inches in height if he moved back up to lightweight to square off against Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs).
“I think that it’s a good fight,” Haney said. “I think it’s a much better fight than what a lot of people think that it will be. I think that Ryan is much bigger than Tank. We saw Tank at 130. But have we saw him at 135? Has he really showed up at 135?”
The 26-year-old Davis defeated Yuriorkis Gamboa by 12th-round technical knockout in his only fight at the lightweight limit in recent years. Davis dropped Gamboa three times – once apiece in the second, eighth and 12th rounds – in their December 2019 bout at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
The 22-year-old Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) went the distance with Gamboa (30-4, 18 KOs) in his most recent appearance – a 12-round, unanimous-decision win November 7 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Garcia, of Victorville, California, knocked out England’s Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) with a body shot in the seventh round January 2 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.