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Ryan Garcia Stuns With Massive Upset Over Devin Haney


BY: COOPER ALBERS / CHIEF SPORTS EDITOR


King Ry had everyone fooled.

Garcia stands over Haney after a big knockdown in the seventh round (Chris Esqueda / Golden Boy / Getty Images)

Ryan Garcia defeated WBC Super Lightweight World Champion Devin Haney via majority decision on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Coming into the fight up against the ropes, King Ry shocked the world by handing the reigning champ his first career loss. 


"Come on, guys, you really thought I was crazy? You all lost your own minds," Garcia said in his post-fight interview. "You guys overegg everything."


Garcia, 25, sparked controversy with his erratic behavior building up to the fight. His recent party habits, chaotic social media posts and conspiracy theories made many question his mental state ahead of the contest. 


The challenger’s antics carried into the weigh-ins as he chugged a beer on the scale while coming in three pounds overweight. Not only was he then ineligible to win Haney’s 140 lb strap, but, because of a bet between the two fighters, Garcia had to pay Haney $500,000 for each pound he came in over the weight limit. 


With his motivation and ability in question, Garcia opened up as the heavy underdog against the undefeated, No. 6 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world.


During the main card, locker room footage displayed a drastic difference between the fighters. While the champion looked relaxed and prepared, Garcia appeared nervous and frantic. Making matters more interesting, the challenger warmed up with a string quartet playing him classical music.


As soon as he stepped in the ring, though, everything was different. 


From the opening bell, the fighting pride of Victorville, California was calm, collected and calculated. The challenger wobbled Haney with a left hook in the opening minute and never looked back. 


Garcia emphatically knocked down Haney in the seventh round, sending the champ to the canvas for the first time in his 32-fight career. The challenger nearly finished the fight, but with the help of some questionable reffereeing, Haney desperately held on to survive the round.


"It was a horrible ref," said Garcia. "[Haney] was holding me for dear life, and I felt an opportunity to keep swinging while my hands were free and I cracked him. And then he took a point away when I cracked him, but [Haney] held me and then I should have knocked him out in that seventh round.”


Regardless of the point deduction, Garcia regained his momentum and continued to unload on the champ in the latter rounds. He dropped Haney again in the tenth and eleventh rounds to pull away on the judges’ scorecards. 


Recognizing his comfortable lead, King Ry mocked his opponent by dancing around the ring to close the final round. 


Heading to the scorecards, the first judge surprisingly scored the contest evenly (112-112). However, the remaining two judges ruled in Garcia’s favor (114-110, 115-109) to signal the most important victory of his career. 


Although Garcia (25-1) didn’t walk away with the belt, he became the only blemish on Haney’s then-perfect professional record (31-1) while spitting in the faces of those who counted him out. 

Ryan Garcia and his team celebrate his victory over Devin Haney at the center of the ring at the Barclay's Center (Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

In his post-fight press conference, Garcia reflected on his behavior leading up to the fight.


"I don't give a f--- what people say about me. I walked through the fire and still held it down and still beat f---ing Devin Haney and still drink every day," he said. "Not necessarily am I proud of that, but I'm just saying it was a statement to show you, you guys can't really f--- with me."


Looking forward, Garcia welcomed a rematch against Haney but after the massive upset, King Ry is 'calling all the shots' regarding his future. 



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