Haney And Garcia: New York Gets The Mega Fight

Golden Boy Promotions

There was Ryan Garcia sitting on his throne on a stage at the Podium in the heart of Times Square, New York. The 25-year old young superstar now living in Las Vegas is known as “King Ryan” and with a multi-million dollar bank account deserves a throne fit for a king.

And there was Devin Haney, he too, 25 years of age and a two- division champion, one-time lightweight unification king and now a champion at junior welterweight (140). He, too, can be called a king and made an auspicious entrance as part of a two-city press tour to promote their April 20 title fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn as Haney will defend his crown.

Originally scheduled in Las Vegas there was a quick shift to Brooklyn. They said New York City was the place to stage a fight of this magnitude, though one would think Vegas is a better fit. Regardless, Barclays Center which has been in a dormant stage with boxing has the premiere event and Garcia was vocal on social media about keeping the fight in Sin City.

It was that press conference called an extravaganza for two kings that right now own boxing. There were no punches thrown, pushing or shoving. Just plenty of sparring coming out of their mouths along with Haney’s father Bill who talks too much for his son.

Regardless this is a fight that was in the making and one for the fans, many who sat in the gallery and were lucky to get a free ticket in advance. They screamed and hollered who was going to win this fight, two prominent names in the sport that go back a long time as kids in the gym. Co-promoter Oscar De La Hoya, the Hall of Famer and outspoken about promoters working together to make fights like this, complimented Eddie Hearn the promoter of Matchroom boxing. They made this fight in a matter of minutes.

De La Hoya made peace with his superstar Garcia to make this fight happen. Garcia also made amends with Hall of Fame champion Bernard Hopkins, partner with De La Hoya who had their known differences about his career direction.

They been rivals since 19 years old,” De La Hoya said about the two, a fight that could surpass over 1 million buys on DAZN Pay-Per View, and when money is on the table it is easy to understand how and why this came together.

So they had their words at this extravaganza. Very minimal were obscenities on the stage. Garcia waved off Hearn, (promoter of Haney) when he was speaking his views about the mega fight. Garcia got up from his throne and intercepted what Haney and his father had to say.

It was pure cinema, theatrics. But a press conference that sent a message about a mega fight. And boxing fans have become vocal about seeing more fights like this on the calendar which are rare in this era. A press conference at times that resembled the theatrics of Hall of Fame heavyweights Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, an era when boxing was king and fighters did not need a throne on a stage to promote their platform.

And regardless of who wins, assuming there is no controversy, boxing gets the victory. If Garcia does not quit or take a knee as he did last April in Las Vegas to Gervontay Davis, another young superstar and fight that grossed millions at the box office and pay-per-view, this could be a barnburner.

In other words, styles make fights and it’s a bout that defines supremacy in a division that is fit for kings. Watching will be Teofimo Lopez, Davis, and Subriel Matias, a former IBF junior welterweight champion who recently inked a multi -fight deal with Hearn and Matchroom.

We seen Ryan quit before,” Haney said as Garcia listened and waved his hands. “We’ve seen him take a knee before and quit and on April 20 it will be no different,” referring to Garcia’s fight with Davis. “At the end of the day, it’s personal now. It’s bigger than boxing; we’ve been rivals since we were nine, ten years old and now it’s time to do the deal, when it counts for everything on April 20.”

But at the end of the day, this is New York. Garcia said he did not knock the fight shifting from Las Vegas, his residence where he jogs often with Hall of Famer and undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. Perhaps Mayweather got into Garcia’s ear because boxing is a small fraternity with secrets.

“To me, this is the place you must come through to get the stamp of approval on your certificate of greatness,” Hopkins said. “These two young fighters have got to understand that to be great, you’ve got to do great things.

This is one of the fights that can go down in history. This fight has superstar stamped on it.”

Indeed, Hopkins was right about a historic fight again in New York. Though to Garcia, he is confident the same knee won’t go down in this one.

Realize this was the beginning of more theatrics to come as two fighters here are perfect for the build up that hardly needs one. But the personalities, and Garcia with his million or so followers on social media always creates a buzz.

And then, there was this comment from the king on his throne. Truth be told, a statement that will go down in boxing history if so.

“If I get knocked out in the first round, I’ll retire,” Garcia said. “I’m going for a legacy and this is gonna be ugly. This is going to be bad.”

Though, if Garcia retired he would be a very rich young man. But this is boxing and a fight that was made and should deliver. A mega fight for New York City and a press tour that concludes Thursday in Los Angeles.

Same theatrics and cinema. Then again, that is expected with two of the young and exciting personalities of this boxing era. 

Rich Mancuso: X (Formerly Twitter)@Ring786, Facebook.com Rich Mancuso. Watch. Watch Keep It In The Ring with Rich Mancuso. Boxing, MMA, pro wrestling analysis and updates.Subscribe and comment: @Rich Mancuso YouTube, @AGT Network

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and BoxingInsider.com, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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