Eddie Hearn hopes Mauricio Sulaiman orders a Devin Haney-Ryan Garcia fight for the WBC’s world lightweight title.
If the WBC president at least mandated a Haney-Garcia fight, Garcia would be backed into a position where he’d have to fight Haney or give up the WBC interim lightweight title that he won by knocking out Luke Campbell in the seventh round of their January 2 fight at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Of course, Garcia could simply vacate the WBC interim championship and still fight someone other than Haney next if Sulaiman were to order that 135-pound title bout.
Whatever transpires, Haney’s promoter can’t understand why Garcia would pay a sizable sanctioning fee for a difficult fight against Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs), only to pass on the legitimate championship match he secured by beating the British southpaw.
“I think [the WBC] may order Garcia-[Javier] Fortuna because Garcia is supposed to fight Devin Haney,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com. “So, it’s so f---ing bizarre. There’s loads of money for that fight [Haney-Garcia]. DAZN would f---ing love it. But he wants money, Garcia, so why not fight Haney?”
Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) wants a bigger fight next than facing Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs, 1 NC), the Dominican southpaw who is the opponent proposed to him by Golden Boy Promotions. The Victorville, California, native apparently is unwilling to challenge Haney (25-0, 15 KOs), however, even though they split four fights when they were amateurs.
Hearn noted that Haney would “love” to box Garcia because Haney also needs a high-profile fight against a top opponent. Hearn senses the feeling isn’t mutual because Garcia and/or his team see something in Haney that makes them think fighting the 22-year-old Las Vegas native wouldn’t be a smart move at this stage.
“Obviously, they know something,” Hearn said, “whether it’s the past, whether it’s fighting in the amateurs or they just don’t think they beat him. Because let’s be honest, if they thought they’d beat him, they’d fight him. But it’s not hard to come to that conclusion, is it?”
BoxingScene.com reported late Saturday night, that a deal was reached for Haney to defend his title against former champion Jorge Linares in the month of May.
The 22-year-old Garcia got involved in negotiations for a fight against Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao after beating Campbell, but their talks ended when it became clear there wasn’t enough money available to satisfy both sides. Garcia has repeatedly called out Baltimore-based knockout artist Gervonta Davis (24-0, 23 KOs), but that fight won’t be next for Garcia, either.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.