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“This Ref Must Have a Bet”: Jorge Masvidal, Jake Paul, Manny Pacquiao, and Others Stunned as Ryan Garcia Upsets Devin Haney In Dominant Fashion

Published 04/21/2024, 1:26 AM EDT

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From an undefeated fighter to down limp on the canvas. Devin Haney has been defeated. Devin Haney vs. Ryan Garcia has it all: Big moments, violent sequences, and exciting action. Three knockdowns and a gasping Haney hanging for his dear life were the sights no one anticipated. But that’s what we got. While ‘KingRy’ didn’t win the championship belt, he left the arena, earning the respect of everyone in the boxing fraternity.

In the first round, Garcia came out all guns blazing, and his left hook rocked Haney and pushed him to the ropes. Garcia’s speed had the champion in trouble, and Haney had to clinch to ensure he didn’t get swept away by the high pace of the fight. Garcia had big moments and bagged the first round. Shook by the events of the first round, Haney resorted to his clinch and jab game plan.

The clinical jabs landed on the mark after he went under the hook, leaving his opponent with a red face. A big right also followed, and soon Garcia would briefly employ his shoulder roll, which fans saw in the Oscar Duarte fight. Haney had pulled the pace down and equaled the score.

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via Getty

A big moment in the third round was when Haney’s right pushed Garcia back, putting on the aggressor’s shoes, which was untypical of him. In the fourth round, the clinching game dominated more than punches, but Garcia’s shoulder roll seized eyeballs. That also meant Garcia was fighting on his back foot, something he was not great at. After a rocking first round, Haney had gone up three rounds. A similar story followed in the fifth round, as Haney continued to put forward pressure, getting in clinches and throwing him off with jabs.

However, the tables again turned in the sixth round as Garcia unloaded a heavy right, threatening to knock out Haney, similar to the first round. But he would circle in the later part of the round. He built on the momentum and then caught Haney lacking with a left hook and a jab, and scored a knockdown. But he got a point deducted for punching on the break. Haney kept dropping off, and by the end of the seventh round, Garcia had closed the gap with Haney substantially. Haney pulled back the momentum in the eighth and ninth rounds.

But as has been the story, Garcia caught Haney early in the round, dropped him on the canvas, and then Haney clinched to hang on to dear life in the tenth round. He then landed a big left hook on Haney, with Haney wobbling on the legs. In the championship rounds, Garcia scored his third knockdown, bamboozling the champion. And that was it. With this win, Garcia won the respect of the boxing community.

‘KingRy’ earns the respect of the boxing community

Jorge Masvidal joked that the referee must have a bet on the fight, as he referenced the point deduction imposed on Garcia. He said, “This Ref must have a bet in.” In fact, many boxing fans were not happy with the deduction.

Max DeLuca had scored the fight a 112-112 draw. But judges Eric Marlinski (114-110) and Robin Taylor (115-109) scored it in Garcia’s favor.

Shakur Stevenson admitted he got fooled by Garcia’s social media shenanigans. But things weren’t limited to social media. Remember, he came in 3.2 pounds heavier than the weight limit? Yes, that’s the reason he was ineligible for the WBC super lightweight title.

And of course, Jake Paul had to comment on the bout. In a series of comments, he lauded both fighters and asked people never to underestimate anyone. “This is the craziest fight I’ve ever seen.”

Even Manny Pacquiao was left excited. Stats showed that while Garcia landed 106 of 285 blows (37.2%), Haney’s was 87 of 214 (40.7%). However, the former had more than double the power shots (95) as compared to Haney (45).

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Claressa Shields believed Haney was still too big for the 140-pound division. But this opinion isn’t something new. He has previously been referred to as a weight bully. Remember his fight against Regis Prograis? While Haney successfully made weight, as per boxing reporter Michael Benson, he weighed as much as 165 lbs on fight night.

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Clearly, the outcome of the bout shocked many. In fact, even Haney was surprised. “He caught me early, but I was sleeping on it. Caught me by surprise,” he said. With this win, Garcia extended his professional record to 25-1.

What do you make of this exciting fight between Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Rohit Lohan

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Rohit Lohan is a senior Boxing analyst and writer for EssentiallySports. With over 1000 articles to his credit, Rohit’s expertise has extended beyond mere reporting, with a keen focus on statistical analysis and accurate fight predictions that have garnered significant praise. Noteworthy coverages include Amanda Serrano's bold act of vacating her title in defiance of the WBC, and the creation of a highlight digest encapsulating the best fights of 2023.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha