Haney vs Garcia Predictions: Life is anything but a ‘Dream’ for ‘KingRy’

 | 15th April | 

5 mins read

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Devin Haney defends the WBC super lightweight championship against Ryan Garcia this Saturday, April 20. The highly-anticipated showdown takes place at the Barclays Center in New York. UK fight fans can tune in to all the action on DAZN. Here are my Haney vs Garcia predictions ahead of one of the standout fights of 2024 so far.

Haney vs Garcia Tips

  • Haney on points @ 4/7
  • Fight to go the distance - Yes @ 4/9

Writing a piece with the word “predictions” in the title when Ryan Garcia is the subject is ironic. After all, ‘KingRy’ is one of the sport’s most unpredictable figures. Garcia was once seen as the heir apparent to Oscar De La Hoya. It was a comparison borne from his youthful good looks and immense popularity. But the link was strengthened by the fact that the original ‘Golden Boy’ was also Garcia’s promoter.

However, fractures in their relationship have widened into chasms. An ugly public spat between the pair has played out over social media. Garcia claims Golden Boy Promotions breached their contract with him, a fact De La Hoya refutes. The legal dispute has coincided with Garcia’s divorce from his wife in December of last year. 

Concerns have been raised about the 25-year-old, who has worried fans with a series of increasingly bizarre social media posts. It is brutally ironic that a star who ascended to popularity off the back of his online presence is now seemingly being corrupted by the internet, with posts featuring wild conspiracy theories causing his followers to fear for him.

It is into this maelstrom, and with Golden Boy’s logo adorning the fight poster in spite of everything, that Garcia walks into the toughest fight imaginable. There are question marks over whether ‘The Flash’ should be anywhere near a prize ring at all. But putting him in there with Devin Haney seems borderline irresponsible.

Perhaps such a fight will be restorative for Garcia. After all, the ring has been something of a sanctuary for him. In December, the turbulent month of his divorce and the birth of his daughter, under a tide of emotions, he knocked out Oscar Duarte in eight rounds. 

If opinions are split over whether Haney is a fight that Garcia needs, the reverse is definitely true. Haney is a ring general, a dominant and gifted champion. But what he isn’t, unlike Garcia, is a box office draw. He may be a two-weight world champion and an unbeaten fixture of pound-for-pound lists. But ‘The Dream’ is something of a nightmare for boxing’s bean counters.

This is why Garcia was sought to occupy the opposite corner. Having been knocked out in seven rounds by Gervonta Davis a year ago, ‘KingRy’ is not at the front of the queue for a title shot in the competitive sense. But boxing doesn’t function like other sports. The uneasy amalgam between competition and entertainment dictates that sometimes fights will take place because they sell, not because those involved are the best of the best.

Knowing what we know about these men, Haney would seem to have the clear advantage. Garcia is gifted but Haney is generational. He is the former undisputed lightweight champion, having unified those titles against George Kambosos Jr before solidifying his greatness against Vasiliy Lomachenko. Since then, he has moved up to 140 pounds, securing the WBC belt in a second division with a shutout win over Regis Prograis. His record is littered with good men. Jorge Linares, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Joseph Diaz Jr. Haney ticks every box, apart from the one marked “excitement”.

Haney’s style lives up to his ‘Dream’ nickname if you are a boxing purist. But for those who like their combat to feature more thrills and spills, he is anathema. Haney is a victim of being too good. Apart from his close fight with Lomachenko, nobody has really come close to beating him. That isn’t the 25-year-old’s fault. But like Floyd Mayweather before him, pragmatic dominance will never resonate with the casual boxing fan in the same way as give-and-take heroics.

Will Garcia bring a more dynamic streak out in Haney? It is unlikely. The well-schooled power-puncher Gervonta Davis gave him short shrift last April. Haney is less of a banger but arguably a superior technician. I expect Garcia to be brave and enthusiastic but ultimately out-thought.

This sort of fight could restore Garcia’s reputation even in defeat. He is the puncher in this scenario, having stopped 20 of his 24 victims. If ‘KingRy’ comes into this fight trying to add to that tally, fighting with bravery and determination, it could repair his public standing. Ultimately, however Garcia sets up, I feel he will be out-boxed. But he can claim some credit with a robust performance. 

That credit is unlikely to extend to the scorecards. I feel Haney will take this one via decision. He is just too educated a boxer to get dragged into a firefight and such a bout would be Garcia’s only chance in this one. I see ‘The Dream’ picking off his man and using discretion as the better part of valour if the challenger opens up. Haney is 4/7 to prevail on points.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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