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Ryan Garcia has talent set to beat Devin Haney. Does he have mindset?


(Editor’s notice: This story first revealed at Boxing Junkie, a part of the USA TODAY Community.)

Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia have loads in frequent however couldn’t be extra totally different.

The fighters, who meet for Haney’s 140-pound title on pay-per-view Saturday in Brooklyn, are each 25 and proficient. They’re each from California. They each had sturdy beginner careers, which included six fights towards each other. Every of them gained 3 times.

And so they each have turn out to be widespread skilled fighters, with thousands and thousands of {dollars} of their financial institution accounts as proof of that.

So the place are they totally different? The place can we begin?

Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) is a two-division titleholder who has climbed onto pound-for-pound lists after a collection of spectacular victories over top-tier opponents, together with a surprising shutout of Regis Prograis to win his belt in December.

The native of San Francisco has been profitable partially due to his psychological toughness and self-discipline, which have allowed him to take full benefit of expertise. He might turn out to be No. 1 pound-for-pound someday.

Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) is at the least as fast as Haney – most likely faster – and he positively punches more durable than his rival, as his knockout proportion signifies. He additionally has a number of vital victories, most notably knockouts of Luke Campbell and Javier Fortuna.

Nonetheless, not like Haney, he failed the one time he confronted a pound-for-pound-level opponent. Gervonta Davis stopped him with a physique shot within the seventh spherical.

And, maybe extra considerably, Garcia, who has acknowledged psychological well being points, appears to be as emotionally fragile as Haney is steady and difficult. Many imagine that weak spot will probably be his undoing once they step via the ropes on Saturday night time.

The social media star behaves erratically, taking weird pictures at celebrities or claiming to know who killed rapper Tupac Shakur, to call two examples. He additionally posted a picture of himself smoking what gave the impression to be marijuana solely seven weeks earlier than the combat, which he admitted was a mistake.

A purple flag first went up for me the next day, at a information convention in Los Angeles, the place he acknowledged that he’s flawed and that it may be tough for a 25-year-old to deal with stardom.

“Typically the load of the world feels prefer it’s on my shoulders,” he stated.

That undoubtedly is true however, on the identical time, its an odd remark given that almost all fighters attempt to challenge power, not weak spot within the lead as much as a combat.

Haney gave the impression to be honest when he requested Garcia repeatedly on the information convention whether or not Garcia deliberate to indicate up for the combat. Garcia by no means responded, which was unusual.

Is Garcia in bother earlier than he steps into the ring?

Properly, Haney is a few 6½-1 favourite (common of a number of shops), which is a large unfold given Garcia’s pedigree. The oddsmakers clearly imagine Haney’s mixture of capability and laser focus will probably be an excessive amount of for a mentally weak challenger.

Garcia might idiot us. Once more, he too, has capability and his personal pure items. And he has overcome obstacles prior to now.

For instance, he obtained up from a knockdown to cease the succesful Campbell, demonstrating that he could be resilient. And he returned from a tough 15-month layoff – to take care of his psychological challenges – to ship sturdy performances towards Emmanuel Tagoe and Fortuna.

Stranger issues than a peculiar, seemingly distracted contender taking down a champion have occurred in boxing.

For his half, Garcia insists that he has improved as a fighter after coaching with the respects Derrick James. And he advised that there’s methodology to his insanity.

“You possibly can’t deny all of the work that Derrick and I’ve put in both,” he stated Wednesday. “My method is healthier, my fingers are up, the chin is down. What do you all need to say? The social media is all simply noise. I publish one thing after which individuals suppose I’m loopy.

“I do know what I’m doing.”

We’ll see.

This is a gigantic problem for him. Once more, Haney has all the power on this planet and is as locked in as anybody in boxing. He’s rolling. We are able to solely guess what Garcia goes to deliver into the ring.

Like boxing? Make sure you go to Boxing Junkie for all of your protection of the candy science and observe @BoxingJunkie2 on Twitter.

Make sure you go to the MMA Junkie Instagram web page and YouTube channel to debate this and extra content material with followers of combined martial arts.



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