Home Boxing News Back-up plans are in place to prevent Ryan Garcia disaster

Back-up plans are in place to prevent Ryan Garcia disaster

Ryan Garcia. Photo credit: Getty Images

If Ryan Garcia 24-1 (20) fails to make it into the ring at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night, WBC junior welterweight champion Devin Haney 31-0 (15) will still get the chance to defend his world title.

Boxing is big business and nobody gets paid if a card is cancelled. That is why there is an insurance policy in place in the event that the erratic Garcia pulls out of the fight.

WBC number five ranked contender Arnold Barboza Jr 29-0 (11) is ready to step up to the main event slot if Garcia withdraws from the bout. The undefeated Los Angelan is slated to face Irish southpaw Sean McComb 18-1 (5) on the undercard.

Former undisputed lightweight champion Haney, 25, is aware of the situation, but says his focus remains Garcia, also 25.

“My main focus is fighting Ryan Garcia and being the best I can possibly be,” Haney said.

“Arnold Barboza is on the undercard and he’s on the undercard for a reason. The people are coming to watch me and Ryan Garcia.

“I gotta share the ring with him to see [how much Garcia has improved since we were amateurs], but he’s not elite level like I am.

“It’s very important. It’s time for me to put this thing to bed. Once and for all, the Devin-Ryan saga will be over. The better man will win on April 20th and that will be me. Inshallah.”

Questions have been asked about Garcia’s ability to make the 140-pound weight limit as photos of him on fight week appear to show the challenger well about the contracted limit.

When confronted about this by team Haney, Garcia verbally accepted a $500,000 penalty if he fails to make weight.

The entire build-up to the fight has been overshadowed by Garcia’s frequent and bizarre social media posts that have given rise to questions about how well prepared he is for the bout.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said co-promoter Eddie Hearn on Matchroom Boxing. “Maybe this newfound Ryan will help him. Maybe it’ll help him dig deeper. Maybe it’ll help him be more aggressive, or maybe it’ll make him capitulate on Saturday night.

“But that’s the beauty of the sport that you are exposed in the most brutal capacity and that’s what’s going to happen on Saturday night. It gets real.”

Lead promoter Oscar De La Hoya said his boxer Garcia was not only ready to show up, but also to win.

“Ryan winning, he practically becomes the face of boxing,” the Golden Boy Promotions boss said. “There’s Canelo Alvarez and Ryan Garcia. With PPV stars in America, you don’t get any better than Ryan Garcia.

“We have all the ingredients to make a classic fight and both guys know what they’re up against. Both guys know what’s up in front of them.

“Not only can he become a world champion, but he can also become an icon if he wants to. Ryan Garcia is the one that is fighting the top guys. He fought [Gervonta] Tank [Davis], now he’s fighting Devin Haney. Who does that now? We did that in the 90s, but not today.”

Haney said that Garcia is a blight on the sport and that the sooner boxing is rid of him, the better.

“I don’t know if Ryan Garcia is taking the fight seriously or not. That is not something for me to pay too much attention to,” Haney said.

“The world is going to see me beat down Ryan Garcia, get him out of boxing. He is definitely not a good role model or a guy the younger generation should be looking at – they should be looking at guys like me.

“I am trying to compete with myself. [This fight is] bigger than Ryan Garcia. It is bigger than any opponent. I am in there competing against myself.”