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COA News 2024

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Ryan Garcia scores 3 brutal knockdowns and wins shocking upset over Devin Haney

Ryan Garcia may have had the biggest troll job in combat sports history.

The 25-year-old California native displayed nothing short of bizarre behavior in the weeks leading up to his fight against Devin Haney, walking into the ring on Saturday night as a huge underdog with most expecting him to be blown out. What actually unfolded was nothing short of a stunning performance, as Garcia scored three brutal knockdowns before winning a majority decision to hand Haney the first defeat of his professional career.

The final scorecards read 115-109, 114-110 and 112-112 as Garcia got the nod and picked up the biggest win of his career.

Afterwards, Garcia seemed to say that the joke was aimed at anyone who dared to doubt him.

“Come on guys, did you really think I was crazy?” Garcia shouted after his win. “My left hook is my left hook. That is blessed by God. Every time I land it, it can take you out or down. You guys hate me because I’m beautiful and damned. That’s damned. The truth is in front of you.”

Although there were moments where Garcia almost sleepwalked through rounds when he finally erupted and came after it, Haney had no answer to the power coming to his chin.

Promising a fast start, Garcia threw bombs out and connected with a huge left hook that rocked Haney in the first exchange of the fight. As Haney backed up, Garcia remained on the attack, unleashing a flurry of punches in an attempt to seize the moment to hurt the undefeated champion.

Haney eventually regained his composure and reset in the middle of the ring, with Garcia settling down after the initial adrenaline dump. Replays after the opening round showed Haney’s eyes rolling back in his head after the first punch landed, but he did not go to the canvas.

Despite a rough start, Haney showed no fear moving forward over the next few laps as he built a slick lead and used feints to make Garcia miss with wild haymakers. Midway through the third round, Haney blasted Garcia with a stiff left hand of his own that briefly wobbled Garcia and brought the Brooklyn crowd to its feet.

As time expired, Haney took control of the rounds, walking Garcia down and unloading quick combinations in succession. Garcia seemed content to simply circle away and drop the occasional bomb at him, but he was always a step behind Haney in the exchanges.

After refusing to actually throw any punches or engage, Garcia opened the sixth with another barrage of shots, with a few slipping through Haney’s defense. Haney was temporarily injured, but recovered and was largely in control of the remainder of the round.

The momentum shifted again early in the seventh as Garcia unleashed another flurry of punches, with another huge left hook cracking Haney and sending him to the canvas for the first time in his career. Still on rubber legs, Haney tried to survive with Garcia in hot pursuit looking for the knockout.

Moments later, as the referee tried to separate the fighters, Garcia threw a punch as the action was stopped. The referee deducted a point for Garcia throwing a punch after calling for a break, and that at least partially negated the knockdown that would have given Garcia a guaranteed 10-8 round.

Despite the point deduction, Garcia knew a knockdown changed everything for Haney going forward.

“I just knew I was in control after that,” Garcia said. “It’s hard to recover from big shots.”

Even in the brief moments when Haney began to beat his opponent with a technical game plan, Garcia’s strength proved to be the difference maker. As the 10th round got underway, Garcia surged forward and fired off another huge combination, dropping Haney to his knee again for the second knockdown of the fight.

Haney climbed back to his feet, but disaster struck again when Garcia blasted him with another huge left hook, sending him to the canvas in the 11th. Garcia started celebrating while Haney struggled to do much more than survive the bell.

Towards the end of the fight, Garcia was wagging his tongue and taunting Haney as the crowd roared in approval. What should have been a crowning achievement for Haney turned into his worst nightmare, with Garcia knocking him down three times in twelve rounds.

“I’m disappointed with my performance,” Haney said. “He caught me sleeping on it early. I fell asleep on the left corner. I fell asleep and he caught me with it. I thought it was still a close fight.

Garcia enjoyed the win, but it can’t be ignored that he lost three pounds, which negated his ability to win the title. Between that and Haney’s previously undefeated record, there’s a good chance these two will see each other again in the near future.

“Yeah, let’s turn it back,” Garcia said.

It may take a while for Haney to really understand what just happened, but he already seemed ready to answer that challenge.

“I would love to play again,” Haney said. “He hasn’t gained any weight, so I’m still the champion. We can reverse it.”