Devin Haney has the respect of Hall of Fame fighter turned promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
The Golden Boy will have to perhaps deal with the WBC super lightweight titlist one day as a possible opponent for Ryan Garcia.
But De La Hoya is not sleeping on “The Dream.”
“I think Devin Haney is a special fighter,” De La Hoya told BoxingScene.com and other media in an interview.
“He knows how to figure out his opponents. Haney knows how to dissect you and be patient and use his reach and distance. He doesn’t care what the crowd says, and that’s crucial to any fighter. When you’re in the ring and hearing boos from everybody, a lot of fighters panic and start changing up their gameplan and then they make mistakes. Shakur Stevenson doesn’t care. It hurts you in other ways, like popularity with the fans, but all they care about is winning.”
De La Hoya and company were diligently working behind the scenes in recent weeks to get a deal done for Garcia to next face Haney, but Garcia instead called an audible during negotiations earlier this month and instead directed Golden Boy to secure bouts against different opponents.
However, as BoxingScene.com reported on Tuesday, Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) and Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) are now back in discussions.
Haney had a remarkable 2023 scoring a narrow points win against Vasiliy Lomachenko to defend his undisputed title in May and he moved up to 140 pounds to dominate Regis Prograis for the WBC belt in December.
Garcia’s uneven 2023 featured a seventh-round knockout loss to Gervonta Davis in April and an eighth round KO win against Oscar Duarte in December.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.