Devin Haney Set To Defend Title Against Ryan Garcia In April
Devin Haney is set to make the first defence of his WBC super-lightweight title against Ryan Garcia on April 20 in Las Vegas, according to reports from ESPN.
Haney, 25, made the step up to the 140lbs division in December and became a two-weight world champion in his first fight, defeating Regis Prograis with a wide points victory. The American’s previous fight was the second defense of the undisputed lightweight title, which he retained with a close points win over Vasiliy Lomachenko in May last year.
Haney (31-0-0 15 KOs) will now reportedly put his title and unbeaten record on the line against Garcia in April in another mega Pay-Per-View bout.
Garcia (24-1-0, 20 KOs) is coming off the back of his own December win, and a return to form, with an eighth-round stoppage of Oscar Duarte Jurado. ‘The Flash’ suffered his first professional defeat in his fight before that when he suffered a seventh-round TKO by Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis in April last year.
While Garcia looked out of his depth against Davis, it’s worth noting that it was fought at a 136lbs catchweight and there was a clause that ensured Garcia could not exceed 146lbs on fight day. Back in his natural weight class, Garcia has the speed and power to cause unbeaten Haney problems.
That said, Haney will be the favorite to retain his title and extend his perfect professional record. ‘The Dream’ has consistently fought and beaten the best in the past few years, first becoming undisputed lightweight champion in June 2022 by outclassing George Kambosos Jr.
He retained the belts with another comfortable win over the Australian in the rematch and again in a fight-of-the-year contender against Lomachenko. Other notable wins in his career include over Jorge Linares and Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Talks between Haney and Garcia had been going on since December, and initial negotiations had collapsed. It led Garcia to target a fight with Rolando Romero but the WBA champion has agreed a fight with No.2-ranked challenger Isaac Cruz in March.
It appears now that talks have not only resumed but reached a successful conclusion, with Haney and Garcia set to finally share a ring in the professional ranks. The pair met six times in the amateurs, winning three bouts each, and after a long-running feud confined mainly to social media, they will now trade leather in the next few months.
Garcia may be one of the most famous boxers on the planet but this will be his first world title fight, and a victory would propel him towards the very top of the game.
The news of their agreed fight comes the day after Teofimo Lopez Jr. defended his WBO super-lightweight world title against Jamaine Ortiz in unconvincing fashion. Despite Lopez’s desire to fight welterweight king Terence Crawford at catchweight, there have been calls for him to face Haney in a unification bout.
That will now need to wait until at least the end of the summer or fall, leaving Lopez once again searching for legitimate opponents. With Romero fighting Cruz next month and IBF holder Subriel Matias in line to face Liam Paro in Puerto Rico this summer, it could be some time before the division gets unified.