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Ryan Garcia shocks the world with massive boxing upset – what now?

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Ryan Garcia Devin Haney Ashah Tafari Boxing Frontkick
Pics via Golden Boy

This is an opinion piece by Frontkick co-founder Ashah Tafari, sharing his initial reaction following immediately following the massive Devin Haney vs Ryan Garcia boxing fight in Brooklyn.


Ryan Garcia just shocked the world of boxing, securing the W and handing WBC super lightweight champ Devin Haney his very first professional defeat following twelve absolutely crazy rounds.

Holy crap you guys.

What the hell did we just watch!?

“King Ry”, one of the biggest stars in boxing with millions of followers on social media, was seemingly having a full-on mental breakdown during the leadup and came in as a heavy underdog. If ever there was someone being counted out by pretty much everyone, it was Ryan Garcia against Devin Haney.

Once in the ring, however, Garcia showed just how dangerous a boxer he can be, knocking Haney down multiple times throughout contest to win a majority decision. One judge scored it 112-112 even while the other two had it 114-110 and 115-109 in favor of Garcia.

While the fight was quite epic, it was pretty controversial all around and also didn’t really resolve much in the end. It’s almost as if there are even more question now than before the bout started. Especially since Ryan Garcia lost his title shot when he missed weight by 3.2 pounds, leaving Haney with the belt despite losing for the first time in his pro career after going undefeated in 31 fights.

So where do we go from here, and what if anything did we even learn?

Let’s try to make sense of this whole thing with a few quick takeaways, shall we?

Ryan Garcia fought like a madman, and Devin Haney couldn’t handle the storm

Ryan Garcia may have lost his mind ahead of this, but fighting like a madman probably helped him get the job done. His whole approach made it tricky for Devin Haney to see what was coming. Garcia played with fire though, acting up and losing his cool as tensions was rising.

Garcia’s behavior cost him a point on the scorecards, but in the end it was Haney who couldn’t handle the storm.

Did the weight miss play a part? I think not, but it’s unfortunate that we have to wonder

The weight miss was unfortunate. This was Ryan Garcia’s biggest win ever but we can’t help but wonder how much of a difference those three pounds did, especially considering how Garcia’s power advantage over Devin Haney was what won him this fight.

I personally don’t think it would’ve made too much of a difference if Garcia made weight though. I tend to think this was more a matter of him not giving a fuck, deciding not to bother cutting the final few pounds, instead opting to continue his troll job by drinking beer as he was stepping on the scale and getting more headlines as a result.

It’s not like he couldn’t have made it if he wanted to, I believe he just didn’t care to do it, if that makes sense.

Who you betting on there, ref?

The referee seemed bought and paid for.

Ryan Garcia lost a point for punching Devin Haney during the break. Not a good look for Garcia there but come on, it was almost understandable as Haney kept grabbing and clinching, wasting time throughout the fight. When Garcia lost the point, Haney was obviously trying to cheat by not letting go of him, failing to comply with the referee’s command in order to get himself extra time to recover as Garcia had just hurt him real bad.

Fair play to Haney for fighting to the end and giving it his all, but seeing someone trying to pull ugly tricks like that and watching it go unnoticed or ignored by the ref makes me sick to my stomach. Also, there was probably at least another knockdown in there that the referee deemed a slip.

Playing the rules is such a turnoff, but crazy back-and-forth action made up for it

Ryan Garcia constantly leaning down and turning his back was a real turnoff at times too. Shit like this really makes the sweet science hard to enjoy although the crazy back-and-forth action certainly made up for the less sexy moments of the night.

Anytime the fight slowed down, sometime would happen to turn things upside down and in the end, my jaw had dropped just like everyone else who tuned in for this.

Ryan Garcia defeated Devin Haney despite major wholes in his game

Ryan Garcia’s potential as a boxer is truly enormous if he takes this more serious. I hope he is somewhat okay all things considered and that this win can help push him in the right direction going forward.

I’m not really sure what he is battling outside the ring and why he acts like he does but he just scored his biggest win to date despite still having major wholes in his game. We’ve seen him make mistakes and pay for it before, and there were some concerning moments against Devin Haney too were it could’ve ended badly for “King Ry”.

Garcia’s power and belief carries him but he could really level-up more to become even greater.

Watching Ryan Garcia’s meltdown in real time felt weird AF

While Ryan Garcia’s social media antics and erratic behavior at press conferences have certainly been alarming, I’m just glad to see him perform. It felt just as weird for me as for anyone to watch his meltdown in real time while preparing for a fight where he was already a very big underdog.

Had this been the UFC, the fight would’ve probably been pulled due to mental health concerns. But this is boxing, there was too much money on the line and in the end of the day, the stars themselves have much more of a say in this sport compared to MMA.

And hey, I’ve sometimes lost my mind due to conspiracy stuff and substance abuse too. I’m not really sure what Garcia has been going through but I’m taking a wild guess here. Who knows, maybe he even saw or perceived something that rightfully made him freak out. He’s speaking out for the children, he keeps repeating. I’m not here to judge if he’s a maniac or not. It’s a wicked world we live in and some of that conspiracy shit turns out to be real, time and time again so I don’t blame anyone falling in too deep into that rabbit hole with everything that’s been going on.

Life is weird and I just hope he gets the guidance he needs. This is a kid with a lot of pressure on his shoulders.

There is only one thing to do now, and that is a Ryan Garcia vs Devin Haney rematch for the belt

With Ryan Garcia winning without getting the WBC title, a rematch against Devin Haney for the belt is what I want to see next and both fighters seem to be on the same page. It only makes sense, in order to let this thing be resolved properly.

With this fight being such a banger, it feels like a no-brainer and I think most would agree. Maybe we can get to focus more on the actual fight and storyline next time rather than social media posts and mental health concerns during the buildup.

Hopefully “King Ry” can make weight too. He’s currently the man who beat the man, but should he manage to do it again he needs to make sure be more professional in order to reap all the rewards and enjoy the fruits of his labor.


Ashah Tafari Frontkick

Ashah Tafari is a co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Frontkick.online with over nine years experience of MMA and combat sports media, working as a writer, reporter and commentator for various news outlets and fight promotions in Sweden. If you enjoyed his takes, make sure to follow his Instagram page @ashahtafari!

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