Devin Haney has his sights set on Ryan Garcia.
The former undisputed lightweight and current WBC super lightweight champion confirmed on The MMA Hour on Monday that his and Garcia’s teams are in talks for the two to square off in the near future. Haney is coming off a one-sided title fight win over Regis Prograis, while Garcia recently successfully moved up in weight with a win over Oscar Duarte.
An argument could be made that Garcia needs to compete a few more times in his new division before facing Haney, but the champ welcomes Garcia as his next challenger.
“That’s something that we’re talking about,” Haney said. “We’re in negotiations with Oscar and Ryan, Ryan’s lawyer, Ryan’s team. It could very much be what’s next.”
Haney’s calling the shots now after his dismantling of Prograis. The 25-year-old changed divisions after a trio of title fights that saw him defeat George Kambosos Jr. twice and Vasiliy Lomachenko. His bout with Prograis was a one-fight deal with former partners Matchroom Boxing.
He plans to continue working with Matchroom to set up the Garcia matchup, though it’s still too early to tell what parties will have to be involved to make it happen.
“We’re still in the beginning stages of negotiations, so we’ve just got to see,” Haney said. “But definitely Matchroom is part of the team for sure.”
Another option for Haney is fellow undefeated fighter Gervonta Davis. “Tank” defeated Garcia by seventh-round knockout this past April in a highly anticipated bout and has held titles at super lightweight, lightweight, and super featherweight.
Should that bout materialize in the future, Haney won’t be dropping back down to lightweight for it.
“It’s a huge fight,” Haney said. “The Gervonta Davis fight is the biggest fight in boxing today and Ryan Garcia is not too far behind, so one of those two fights for sure.
“My thing now is I’ve accomplished everything in the lightweight division. I became undisputed, I got all the belts, I did all that. Now it’s about making the biggest fights happen for the most money and that’s a formality.”
At the moment, Haney said there have been no negotiations with Davis’ team. He’s more than happy to set up a fight with Garcia first—Haney is targeting a March or April date for his next fight—which he sees as both an important fight on its own and a means to an end.
“[Davis is] a fight that I would love, but nothing has really taken off,” Haney said. “His team hasn’t reached out to us or anything like that. They said that they need to send us an offer and they’ll be the ones reaching out and doing that, but nobody’s reached out so right now we’re on to Ryan Garcia. … I’ve been calling for these guys for a long time. It’s only a matter of time until I share the ring with all of them.”
“That’s the No. 1 guy on his résumé, is Ryan Garcia,” Haney added. “So once I beat him then my résumé is only going to get bigger and bigger. Like I said, it’s one of the biggest fights in boxing, it’s a huge fight.”