Sources: Haney to defend title vs. Garcia in April

Boxing

Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia have struck a deal to fight April 20 in Las Vegas for Haney’s junior welterweight championship, sources told ESPN.

Haney, ESPN’s No. 6 pound-for-pound boxer, will step into the ring for his third consecutive pay-per-view fight — his most high profile yet — as he continues his star climb.

The 25-year-old Haney, who fights out of Las Vegas, is ESPN’s reigning runner-up for fighter-of-the-year honors.

His 2023 campaign included a thrilling decision victory over future Hall of Famer Vasiliy Lomachenko to retain his undisputed lightweight championship; and a shutout victory over Regis Prograis to become a two-division champ in his junior welterweight debut.

Now, Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) will make the first defense of his 140-pound title against Garcia, one of boxing’s top stars.

Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) owns arguably the quickest hands in boxing. In April, he faced Gervonta Davis in a genuine super fight, an event that generated over 1 million PPV buys and more than $22 million at the gate.

Garcia wasn’t at his best in the matchup, which he lost via seventh-round TKO from a body shot. After all, the 25-year-old Southern Californian agreed to a 136-pound catchweight where he couldn’t exceed 146 pounds the morning of the fight.

Garcia’s previous two bouts took place at 140 pounds, as did his most-recent performance, an eighth-round KO of Oscar Duarte in December. And that’s the weight for the Haney fight, Garcia’s first shot at a world title.

Haney is ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 140 pounds while Garcia is No. 8. Both boxers boast sizable social-media followings: Haney has 2.6 million Instagram followers; Garcia has 10.3 million.

It’s a fight years in the making, dating back to their amateur days when they split a series of six bouts.

But it’s Haney who is the far-more accomplished pro boxer, a resume he’ll look to add to with a win over Garcia.

Garcia, meanwhile, will seek an upset victory in what would be a career-defining win that would propel him to the pound-for-pound list and change his trajectory.

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