Paulie Malignaggi: Devin Haney ‘exposed’ in Ryan Garcia loss

Devin Haney lost more than his undefeated record on Saturday.

While Haney was fortunate to retain his WBC super lightweight title after opponent Ryan Garcia missed weight for their bout, he still suffered a deflating majority decision loss, with Garcia battering him with power punches during several key exchanges in their 12-round bout. Haney was officially knocked down three times and saw his pro record drop to 31-1.

Haney has consistently been ranked in the top 10 of the pound-for-pound rankings on most major boxing sites, but his reputation is likely to take a hit after a disappointing performance in which he was pegged as a heavy favorite.

Analyst and former boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi believes fans got a proper gauge of Haney’s talents in the loss.

“Back to the drawing board for Devin Haney,” Malignaggi said on his YouTube channel. “Still a good fighter, but he just wasn’t a pound-for-pound guy. I think this exposed it. No ability to adjust whatsoever.”

At the start of the fight, Garcia aggressively pursued a finish, but Haney weathered the storm and battled back to take several of the early rounds. However, Haney was reminded of Garcia’s power in Round 7 as he was knocked down and put into survival mode. Garcia went on to score knockdowns in Round 10 and Round 11 as well.

Malignaggi expected Garcia to have the power advantage and was surprised that Haney couldn’t adapt to Garcia’s approach.

“I saw some people that were giving Ryan a chance, but I really couldn’t take it seriously based on, not just his antics, but his inability to have shown me different dimensions in the past,” Malignaggi said. “I really am not so sure he showed those different dimensions in this fight. It more so was exposing Devin Haney than it was Ryan Garcia showing anything else.

“Garcia still was mainly a left hook guy. His left hook has always been dangerous and we’ve always known that. Did he really set it up in any other creative ways that set up Haney in different manner than anybody else? I’m not really sure. He fought the fight in spots, he fought the fight where he was either going 100 miles an hour or he was fighting really, really quietly, and the big spots were huge spots and eventually took over the fight.”

Malignaggi went on to dissect Haney’s résumé, saying that he mostly defeated past-their-prime or over-hyped fighters outside of a quality win over Vasiliy Lomachenko. In particular, Malignaggi pointed to a two-fight series against George Kambosos Jr. as playing a major part in Haney’s credentials being blown out of proportion, as he sees it.

With Haney no longer among the ranks of the undefeated, Malignaggi wonders if critics will view him in a different light now.

“The lightweight work that Haney really did that’s worth anything is Kambosos, who was famous for one win and hasn’t really looked good ever since,” Malignaggi said. “You’ve got to start reassessing Haney.

“Haney put up a great effort last night. He just didn’t have the power and the versatility. I’ll tell you what, I had a better jab than Haney, that’s for sure. Haney’s jab should have been working overtime and he should have been less squared off as it is, because if he had not been so squared up as it is, he wouldn’t have got hit with so many of those hooks. I don’t know what he’s doing.

“That’s another thing, that you can’t compare Haney to Floyd Mayweather. I remember Team Haney and some of those Haney ‘D riders’ were jumping on Haney about how he’s going to be the next Mayweather. There’s only one Mayweather.”

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