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‘Ryan Garcia should be chasing Devin Haney’: Eddie Hearn responds to Oscar De La Hoya and post-Prograis call-out

Ryan Garcia says he wants to fight Devin Haney, and Eddie Hearn thinks the fight may be more possible now than in the past.

Devin Haney with Eddie Hearn and Bill Haney
Team Haney believe a Ryan Garcia fight is more possible than ever
Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Devin Haney had a career-best performance in a dominant win over Regis Prograis last night, and it wasn’t long before Ryan Garcia and promoter Oscar De La Hoya were calling for a fight with Haney next.

During Haney’s post-fight press conference, father and trainer Bill Haney asked promoter Eddie Hearn if “the Ryan Garcia shit” he was hearing was “real.”

“I mean, it’s come from Oscar, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s real,” Hearn replied, to some laughs in the room. ”But Ryan said so as well. Listen, that’s a great fight. I think Ryan should be chasing the champions at 140, he should be chasing the No. 1 in the division, and Devin’s the No. 1 in the division.”

Hearn continued: “For years and years, we chased a Ryan Garcia fight. No one wanted to fight Devin Haney. When you’ve got a really good fighter, everyone uses the excuse, ‘Aw, they just don’t sell, it’s not a big enough fight, nobody knows who he is.’

“But he’s actually gone to Australia, become undisputed, come back. Those fights that he had — beat Lomachenko. Now he’s sold out in a city that hasn’t had boxing for two decades. Who else can do that in boxing?”

Hearn and Bill Haney added that Devin’s opponents are getting career-best paydays.

“When you’re too good, the only way you can entice people is by making sure they get paid to get beat,” Hearn said. “Now people are seeing the draw, people are seeing the size of Devin Haney, maybe even Ryan Garcia, and going, ‘You know what, that’s a big fight. If I get beat, I get paid.’”

Devin himself said the Garcia fight is a possibility, but didn’t sound certain it would happen.

“I’ve been calling out Ryan for years now, and it’s good to hear that he finally wants to fight,” Devin said. “It sucks that it came after he took an L, but it was only a matter of time. But now he finally wants to call me out, and at the end of the day it’s still a big fight, and like I said, I want to make the best fights, biggest fights happen.

“What’s crazy is I seen Ryan right before I went into training camp, he didn’t say nothing about fighting me, so — I literally was shopping, we ran into each other at a store, he didn’t say nothing about fighting.”

Hearn also discussed Devin saying that he had been “depleting” himself to make 135, which Eddie backed.

“Looking back, I think people don’t quite understand what Devin used to do to make 135,” he said.

“When I used to work with him before he had to go over to [Top Rank] and rob the bank, he was done at 135, and he went on to have three more fights at 135. Two of them were traveling over to the other side of the world to make weight, which I think is an incredible achievement. There is no way he could have fulfilled the potential he had as a fighter at 135.”

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