WBC: Haney Keeps Belt Despite Garcia Loss; Fans Outraged – ‘A Joke’

April 22, 2024
4 weeks
WBC: Haney Keeps Belt Despite Garcia Loss; Fans Outraged - 'A Joke'

Devin Haney will remain the WBC Junior Welterweight Champion despite losing to Ryan Garcia

The Dream suffered the first loss of his career, getting sent to the canvas three times in a majority decision loss. Haney’s record went to 31-1-0. However, Garcia could not become the champion after failing to make weight. Ryan weighed 3.2 pounds above the 140-pound limit. Garcia was not disappointed, stating it was always the plan since he did not want to drain himself.

Even for Ryan’s fight against Oscar Duarte, Garcia weighed over 140. Garcia chose to pay a fine, giving Haney $1.5 million. The loss for Haney meant the title could become vacant. If that happened, the WBC’s first-ranked contender, Sandor Martin, would likely box Gary Antuanne Russell, who is ranked number two for the belt. However, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has said Haney will keep the belt.

WBC Reacts

“Congratulations to Ryan GarcÌa defying all obstacles and winning a huge fight. Congratulations to Devin Haney for showing his huge heart and class. Just as in Corrales vs Castillo 2 , with the challenger not making weight, Haney remains WBC champion,” Mauricio Sulaiman said

Nevertheless, that does not benefit Haney’s brand. The boxer is not seen as the legitimate champion, with Garcia arguably being the ‘lineal champ.’ He beat the current champion, Haney, who had secured the belt from the former holder Regis Prograis. Devin has been mocked previously for being an ‘email champion.’

During his time at lightweight, Haney became the WBC Interim Lightweight Champion. That earned him a title shot against Vasiliy Lomachenko. But rather than fight his mandatory, Loma requested that the WBC make him the franchise champion. That went ahead, with Haney becoming the champion by email, much to the ridicule of others.

Haney’s Stock

“I don’t think it’s a true factor that he earned it in the ring. It’s something that he got elevated and went up one and got his regular belt via email. That’s why I call him the email champion,” Teofimo Lopez said 

“He’s an email champ. He’s fighting because somebody mailed him the belt,” Gervonta Davis stated 

Haney’s next fight will likely be against the current WBC mandatory Sandor Martin. However, that is not a big fight, which will further harm Devin’s brand. If Haney vacated the belt, he could chase fights with Subriel Matias (IBF champ), Isaac Cruz (WBA champ), or Teofimo Lopez (WBO champ). Fights with Matias and Cruz could pose Haney problems since they are front-foot fighters.

Garcia shows Haney is vulnerable when he is pressured. A bout with Lopez is not that appealing, given how Haney lost. The other option is to pursue a rematch with Garcia. But that is unlikely to happen, given the one-sided nature of the beating. Haney must rebuild himself to hype up the fight, just as Garcia has since losing to Tank Davis. But given that he is coming off such a big loss, Haney must make the right moves going forward.

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