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Ryan Garcia vs Devin Haney Rematch Makes Sense


PhilBoxing.com





Last April of this year (2024), Ryan “KinRy” Garcia defeated WBC Jr. Welterweight champion (140lbs) Devin Haney in spectacular fashion by scoring 3 knockdowns at Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York to earn a majority decision victory.

Garcia’s victory over Haney was a surprise to many because of Garcia’s erratic behavior leading into the fight. Behavior such as reportedly drinking alcohol, reportedly smoking marijuana, reportedly not training for the fight, a plan to run for President, etc. Many people in and around boxing called for the Garcia vs Haney bout to be cancelled citing mental health issues on the part of Garcia. There was so much concern there were reports that Ryan Garcia had to pass a mental health evaluation by the new York States Athletic Commission, which included a brain scan, so the signed bout could proceed, which Garcia passed (https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/boxing/ryan-garcia-devin-haney-mentalhealth-32631678).

The contracted weight for the Garcia vs Haney match was 140lbs. Twenty-four hours before the match, Garcia officially weighed 143lbs. A financial agreement was reached between the Garcia and the Haney camps so the fight could proceed. However, because Garcia had not officially weighed 140lbs and did not attempt a second weighin to attempt to make 140lbs he would not have the opportunity to compete and win Haney’s WBC 140lbs title.

Be that as it may, Garcia put on an excellent performance and beat Haney. Days after the fight it was reported Ryan Garcia tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). The drug reported to be in Ryan Garcia’s system was “Ostarine”. Garcia denied using “Ostarine”, but attributes the positive PED test to tainted supplements he took not knowing they contained the banned substance, “Ostarine”. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/boxing/2024/05/30/ryan-garcia-contaminated-supplement-positive-drug-test/73915014007/).

Two samples had been taken from Garcia as is the routine for drug testing after fights. Garcia's second drug test also returned a positive result, a short time later. At a hearing to determine the consequences of Garcia’s actions, the New York State Athletic Commission suspended Garcia for 1 year, changed the outcome of his bout with Haney to a “no contest” officially taking the victory away, and fined Garcia 1.1 million dollars.

So what’s next for both Garcia and Haney moving forward with their respective boxing careers? A year in boxing of not fighting is NOT an eternity. The top fighters in the sport generally fight twice a year. Some top fighters only fight once a year. When “Pound for Pound” best fighter in boxing and Unified welterweight champion Terence Crawford returns on August 3, 2024 to challenge Israil Madrimov for his WBA Jr. middleweight title, it will be one year and 4 days since he defeated Errol Spence (July 29, 2023) in Las Vegas.

Garcia is figuratively on the boxing shelf until April 2025 due to the suspension. Garcia has talked about retirement, fighting in MMA, etc. Those rants by Garcia have to be taken with a “grain of salt” because Garcia says many things. What appears to be serious is Garcia has expressed a desire to move up to the welterweight division (147lbs) as he has complained he is unable to make the 140lbs limit as evidenced of him officially weighing 143lbs for the Haney fight. Garcia has gone so far as to challenge former unified champion Errol Spence whom he and Spence use to share the same Trainer, Derrick James, who is currently in a legal dispute with Spence over James’s financial compensation for his services.

Whether or not Garcia fights Spence or any other top welterweight such as IBF welterweight champion Jaron “Boots” Ennis remains to be seen. The most intriguing fight at welterweight is clearly Garcia vs Haney II. Former world champion Regis Prograis believes the “Ostarine” (PEDs) in Garcia’s system was NOT the cause of Ryan’s victory over Haney, but rather it was Garcia’s repeated left hooks that landed on Haney as the reason Garcia won the fight against Haney.

This Writer agrees with Prograis. This Writer also believes that Garcia is also a better fighter and athlete then Haney. Garcia denies that he intentionally took “Ostarine”, which would be cheating. Many will give Garcia the benefit of the doubt, but to silence all doubters and for his career moving forward it makes sense to rematch Haney and defeat him again. In the interim (suspension), Garcia must remain in the gym and stay in shape. He should treat the time out of the ring as a long break before he returns to the ring. He should also be more careful with what he puts in his body moving forward.

Regarding Haney, Promoter Top Rank won the right to promote his next title defense against Spain’s Sandor Martin for the WBC 140lbs title he held on to because Garcia didn’t qualify to win. The reported winning bid by Top Rank was 2.42 million dollars. Haney’s share of that would be 75%, per the purse bid rule, which would be approximately 1.81 million. Haney reportedly made 10 times that amount fighting Garcia.

Sandor Martin would likely be a tough fight for Haney one that he could conceivably lose. A loss would hurt Haney’s brand which will affect his ability to demand multimillion dollar purses in the future. The possibility of future lucrative fights against Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Teofimo Lopez would be gone which are not likely to happen in the near future anyway.

Because of Haney’s propensity to rehydrate at least 20lbs after officially weighin in before a fight, there has been some talk of him also moving up the 147lbs which is the division currently ruled by Terence Crawford and Jaron Ennis. Crawford has made it clear he would like to fight Undisputed champion at 168lbs Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, should he defeat Madrimov and Haney does not appear interested in fighting Ennis. Therefore, because of Garcia’s social media popularity, the controversy of the failed PED test, the millions that could be generated in a rematch, it makes sense for Garcia and Haney to fight again. The biggest payday for Haney unless he fought Canelo is by rematching with Garcia. GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS THIS PIECE OF ADVICE IS FOR FREE: So there is no controversy in the rematch there should be a few things in place:

1) The bout should take place at welterweight (147lbs).
2) There should be strict drug testing
3) Rehydration clause of no more than 10lbs for each fighter.

If Garcia wins the rematch this will add more weight to his denial that he did not intentionally use PEDs before he defeated Haney. If Haney wins he can perpetuate the claim that Garcia needed PEDs to defeat him. Hopefully these two can rematch and settle who the best fighter is because a rematch between Garcia vs Haney makes sense.

Boxing Notes
Now that former unified welterweight champion Errol Spence and Trainer Derrick James have officially made it known they will no longer be working together it will be interesting to see who Spence will choose as his new Trainer. Will it be a known trainer like Buddy McGirt, Joe Goosen, Freddy Roach, Calvin Ford, etc.? Spence is scheduled to face WBC junior middleweight champion Sebastian Fundora in October. Lets’ see who will be training Spence. ..Former WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is 1-4 (l KO victory, 1 decision loss, 3 knockout losses ) in his last 5 fights. There is some talk about him dropping down from heavyweight to challenge WBC Bridgerweight (the division between cruiserweight and heavyweight) champion Lawrence Okolie which would make Wilder a 2 division champion should he prevail. If Wilder were to remain in the Heavyweight division and win a couple of heavyweight matches he could easily be in contention to once again challenge for the heavyweight title. Didn’t former Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua lose by a surprising knockout to Andy Ruiz? Joshua came back to defeat Ruiz in a rematch. Didn’t Joshua lose two fights in a row to Current Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk? Joshua has won 4 matches in a row after his last defeat against good fighters. Joshua will next fight Daniel Dubois who was elevated from Interim IBF champion to official IBF champion. The fight takes place this September. If Wilder wants to continue in the Heavyweight division, he has to put together some wins and perhaps consider hiring a new trainer to replace Malik Scott…It will be interesting to see who Saul “Canelo” Alvarez announces as his next opponent for this September bout. Will it be New York’s Edgar Berlanga or Cuban William Scull? This writer’s guess it will be New York’s Edgar Berlanga.


***Ralph Rimpell is a writer based out of New York and is a Boxing Correspondent for Philboxing.com. Ralph holds an undergraduate degree from City University of New York. He has been a Boxing Writer for over ten years having written for several top boxing websites on the World Wide Web. Before becoming a writer, Ralph's passion was for professional wrestling until he realized professional wrestling was entertainment and not a real sport. It was at that time the 1984 US Olympic team made up of future stars such as Evander Holyfield, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, etc. entered the professional ranks and signed with promotional outfit Main Events.It was also at that time a young exciting Heavyweight originally hailing from Brooklyn named Mike Tyson also turned professional and became the face of boxing. Young boxing fan Ralph just couldn't get enough of boxing as a large part of it was being broadcast on "free TV". As time went on, Ralph felt boxing writers were not being forthcoming with their boxing coverage, opinion pieces, interviews, etc. So Ralph decided to write an article and submitted it to a Boxing website thinking it would be deleted and ignored by the Editor. To Ralph's surprise his article was posted on their website and the readers embraced it. The rest is history.

"I thank God for the Internet because it has created opportunities for writers like myself who likely would not have been given an opportunity to write for print publications. I hope someday soon to expand my role in Boxing on different levels." -- Ralph Rimpell


Contact Writer: RLuvsboxing@aol.com


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ralph Rimpell.


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