WBC junior welterweight champion Devin Haney is set for the first defense of his title when he meets fellow young superstar Ryan Garcia on April 20. After reports that the fighters were working to get a deal done, Haney’s father and trainer, Bill Haney, confirmed to PPV.com that the fight is a “done deal.” A location for the fight is still to be determined.
Haney and Garcia had previously engaged in negotiations for a fight after Garcia’s Dec. 2 win over Oscar Duarte and Haney’s Dec. 9 win over Regis Prograis to claim the WBC belt. Those negotiations ended when Garcia instead attempted to pivot to a fight with WBA champion Rolando Romero.
Romero then backed out of the negotiations to instead defend his title against Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz. The Haney camp was not happy with Garcia at the time, but it appears that was not enough to turn down a fight that will make Haney more money than almost every other option.
Haney’s lopsided win over Prograis was his first fight at the weight. He became WBC lightweight champion in 2019 after he was elevated from interim champion to world champion when the WBC made Vasiliy Lomachenko its “franchise champion.” While some rivals began calling Haney an “email champion” for not winning the belt in the ring, he ended his time at lightweight as undisputed champion.
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Haney defeated George Kambosos Jr. in June 2022 to add the WBA, WBO and IBF titles. He won the rematch later that year and then defeated Lomachenko in a thrilling fight in May 2023 to once again defend his status as undisputed champ before vacating his titles and moving up in weight.
The fight with Haney will be Garcia’s first shot at a world championship. Garcia is a talented fighter and one who has utilized social media to become one of the biggest stars in the sport.
After starting his career 23-0, Garcia met Gervonta “Tank” Davis in a battle of two of boxing’s biggest young superstars. Davis knocked Garcia down twice, the second time keeping Garcia down for the full 10 count with a body shot.
The winner of Garcia vs. Haney will have plenty of intriguing options for future fights, including a possible clash with WBO champ Teofimo Lopez, who is coming off an uninspiring decision win over Jamaine Ortiz on Feb. 8.