Devin Haney still has faith that Ryan Garcia can do big things
Once thought of as one of the leading up-and-coming talents of the lightweight division, boxer Ryan “King Ry” Garcia (21-0, 18 KO’s) has done himself little favors. After claiming the biggest win of his professional career, over Luke Campbell, he followed it up with a string of bizarre actions. For example, the win over Campbell made Garcia the mandatory to face WBC lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney (26-0, 15 KO’s).
The two had shared the ring together as amateurs and held a mutual respect for one another. Quizzically though, King Ry instead set out to fight with regular WBA lightweight champion Gervonta Davis. This ambition did not last long. He would abandon his Tank plans to chase a fight with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. Regrettably, neither bout took place. Instead the only thing getting beat up was Garcia’s public reputation.
After failing to get any of the three fights with Haney, Davis or Pacquiao, King Ry then loudly proclaimed that he would go to war with Javier Fortuna. This was beyond bizarre as the Fortuna fight would have been a second title eliminator to face Haney, who he could have already fought. Nevertheless, like the three other would-be fights, Garcia would never face Fortuna either. Well before they could hop in the ring, King Ry withdrew from their scheduled July 9 bout citing a mental health calamity as his reason to bow out. At this point, his credibility is at an all-time low.
KEEP THE FAITH
Since all these would-be prizefights have crumbled to dust, Garcia has largely faded from the public eye. He would go on to briefly look to fight Joseph Diaz but, like the previous bouts, the fight would never happen. Once again Garcia withdrew, this time claiming an injury as the reason for his unavailability. When he backed out of the Diaz fight, even boxing poster boy and stablemate Saul Alvarez chimed in stating that King Ry was wasting his potential.
Now that he is largely regarded as a reluctant fighter who is little more than a boy crying wolf, divisional rival Devin Haney has stepped in to his defense. When questioned about how he thought about the frequently fleeing fighter, Haney still gave Garcia a great deal of respect.
“Of course, Ryan Garcia is a huge draw. He can come back to the sport. He can go do great against some tough competitors, you can’t count him out. You can’t say just because he got injured or he’s not in the right state of mind. That don’t mean he can’t still go in there and do good…Ryan just got to get in there and get focused, he got a lot of natural god gifted talent.
“He just got to apply his hard work and dedication and he can do good! You can’t sleep on Ryan. One thing I can say, you can’t rock me to sleep and think that Ryan still can’t do damage in the sport. I definitely would never sleep on him. I hope he heals up and comes back to the sport and hopefully we make a super fight one day.”
Now, let’s just see if Garcia believes in himself as much as Haney does and he makes good on his potential and talent. Or, will he continue to be flashy and a very visible story of ‘what could have been?’
By: Bakari Simpson