Ryan Garcia offered a note of concern for his upcoming adversary.
Late Thursday night, the boxing world was greeted to reports that Garcia and Devin Haney, the WBC 140-pound titlist, agreed to a showdown to take place April 20th on DAZN Pay-Per-View at a venue to be determined.
The rivalry between Victorville, California’s Garcia, 25, and Henderson, Nevada’s Haney, 25, stems from their amateur days, when they split six fights, three wins apiece.
“I can’t wait for you guys to see (being better than Haney,” Garcia told FightHype.com. “April 20th, buy your ticket. We’ll get into more of this when I got time to really digest the questions. But as of right now just know, start praying for Devin.”
Asked to comment on how negotiations crossed the finish line for what will be another high-profile fight for Garcia, the former lightweight contender pointed to his team. Garcia is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and advised by Lupe Valencia.
“I’ve got a great team,” Garcia said. “I don’t mess around with trying to make the biggest fights happen. There’s a lot of things. It’s here, what does it matter?”
Of Bill Haney, Devin’s father-trainer-manager, Garcia was far less charitable.
“Bill Haney needs to stop the pimping game,” Haney said, referring to comments the elder Haney made recently. “He’s pimping his own son. Tell him to f— off.”
The matchup marks Garcia’s first attempt at a world title.
Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) suffered the first loss of his career last year when he took on Gervonta Davis, arguably the most bankable American prizefighter at the moment, and lost by knockout in the seventh round.
Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) has emerged as one of the top fighters in the sport in the last couple of years. He became undisputed lightweight champion in June of 2022 with a comprehensive unanimous decision over George Kambosos, a result he would replicate in the contractually-mandated rematch four months later. Haney followed that up last year with a title defense against three-division titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko, winning a somewhat controversial unanimous decision.
Immediately thereafter, Haney moved up to 140 for the first time in December to take on then WBC junior welterweight titlist Regis Prograis. Haney dominated the highly regarded Prograis over 12 rounds to collect a unanimous decision.
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.