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Ryan Garcia beats Devin Haney – Perceptions aren’t always reality

Publish Date: 04/23/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

How quickly things can change.

A few days ago, Devin Haney was considered a pound-for-pound candidate. His victories over George Kambosos and Vasyl Lomachenko impressed. His dismantling of Regis Prograis silenced some critics. He was fast and smart -talented with a capital T.

Ryan Garcia was a basket case. A social media-driven overrated so-called boxer on a personal meltdown. He garnered more news out of the ring than in it. He was out of control and didn’t listen to anybody.

Garcia entered his fight with Haney as an 8-1 underdog. Few picked him to win. My thinking was more about his ability inside the squared circle, not boorishness out of it. I didn’t buy the crazy act, at least not all of it.

Several did.

“Come on guys, you really thought I was crazy?” said Garcia after his stunning three-knockdown victory over Haney at Barclays Center in Brooklyn Saturday night.“You done lost your own mind.”.

Perhaps. I had Haney winning the fight for weeks. What gave me pause was Garcia’s demeanor during the ring walk. He looked focused and deadly serious. That always doesn’t mean anything. This time I believe it did.

Garcia had defied the natural order of boxing by acting like he didn’t care when he missed weight. He swigged what looked like a beer. He slapped hands with a member of his entourage. He was happy, not embarrassed by his total lack of professionalism.

Haney’s weight was on the button. He said he was ready. There was no reason to doubt him.

As for Papa Bill Haney, he said some things that caused automatic eye rolls and head shakes.

And for nearly 40 seconds in the opening round, Haney boxed well until Garcia dropped the boom on him – that boom being his signature left hook. Haney wobbled like he’d had one too many.

“He caught me early when I was sleeping on him,” said Haney after the fight. “He caught me by surprise. I fell asleep on the left hook. We trained for it, but I got in there and I fell asleep.”

Haney would go down three times during the fight.

Garcia was impressed by his recuperative powers.

“He got wobbled bad, I’m surprised he has such a good heart and recovery,” Garcia said. “I thought it was over. I thought ‘I won, easy work.’ And then he came out firing in the second, even hurt me with a hook. I was like ‘Damn, maybe you do got a little power.”

The fight was bizarre, like an above-average Sci-fi film with special superior effects.

The effect being Garcia’s left hook.

“I mean, my left hook is my left hook,” Garcia said of the shot that scored all three of his knockdowns. “That’s blessed by God. Whenever I land it, it can put you down or out.”

Haney, his face swollen, was left shaking his head. He’s still the junior welterweight champion, but a tarnished one.

Garcia rejoiced late into the night, “I drank every single night, went out on the first Monday and Tuesday, and drank, drank, drank. What happened? I won.”

Change is hard.

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