How Ryan Garcia Broke Haney Mentally

April 22, 2024
4 weeks
How Ryan Garcia Broke Haney Mentally

Ryan Garcia secured the biggest win of his career, dropping Devin Haney three times on his way to a majority decision win.

The scorecards of 112-112, 114-10, and 115-109 failed to reflect Garcia’s dominance in the second half of the bout. Garcia arguably secured more than three knockdowns, yet the referee ruled them as slips. While Haney made it to the final bell, the boxer’s excessive clinching went unpunished. However, since Garcia missed weight, he was not eligible to fight for the WBC Junior Welterweight Belt, leaving him without a world title. Garcia was not fazed as he revelled in the victory, smoking what appeared to be marijuana after the win. Here are the main reasons why Haney lost.

The Game Plan

Haney chose the wrong game plan. The boxer underestimates Garcia, choosing to meet him in the centre of the ring. That almost cost Haney in the first round. Haney landed a right hand during an exchange, only to get tagged with Garcia’s left hook in return. While Garcia did not land it flush on the chin, it had Haney running backwards, holding on for dear life. Haney did not learn his lesson, and he was dropped on three occasions.

“No, it was not good [game plan]. There was a lot of left hooks thrown [by Haney]. I saw that in the warmup. The rule is jab with a jabber, don’t hook with a hooker. When I saw him throwing the hooks, and he threw them all night long, and he actually hurt Ryan in the third or fourth round.

“It just was not a good game plan. I said leading up to this fight that Ryan’s path to victory was to try and get Haney to trade with him. He didn’t have to get Haney to trade with him. Haney chose to trade with him. I don’t know if it was ego or bravado or if they underestimated Ryan, but it was the wrong game plan and it showed,” Algieri stated 

The Weight

Garcia missed by weight by over 3. 2 pounds. Those extra few pounds played into Garcia’s favor, given what he said after losing to Gervonta Davis. Ryan had to make the 136-pound catchweight with a ten-pound rehydration clause, making him weight-drained. Although Ryan later stated he took those stipulations to make the fight for the fans, he learned from those mistakes against Haney. Garcia revealed that his plan was always to lose weight since he did not want to weaken himself. He resorted to paying a $1.5 million fine, learning from the Davis mistakes.

“What he learned from Gervonta Davis [fight], he took it into Devin Haney. People say, ‘Haney took the money.’ He had to because he was damned if he do, damned if he don’t. He had to because this was a huge event. You pull away, and you are going to anger a lot of folks. If it’s only 3.2 lbs, why wasn’t it attempted to be made? Why didn’t Ryan Garcia attempt to make the weight? He said it in a Tweet, ‘I don’t want to drain myself.

“I want to be physically strong for the fight.’ Well, guess who drained himself to make the weight? Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney. Now, it’s not Ryan’s fault. He didn’t even attempt to make the weight. So, Ryan went into this fight with an advantage. Everything we [the media] say in the lead-up to this fight, we don’t know he’s not planning to make weight. We’re not banking on that. We’re banking on skill for skill. Their last performances,” Tim Bradley said


There was also pressure on Haney to make the fight more entertaining. There were question marks over Haney’s star power. His last fight with Regis Prograis only sold a reported 50,000 PPVs. Garcia’s pulling power is much bigger, as he sold over 1.2 million PPVs against Tanks Davis. Devin’s resume shows very few KO wins, with only 15 stoppages in his 32 fights. His last stoppage was in 2019, stopping Zaur Abdullaev. The pressure to put on a big performance meant Haney reverted from his calculated, defensive style. That had previously allowed Haney to secure wins over George Kambosos Jr., Vasiliy Lomachenko and Prograis.


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