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Haney: Win over Garcia will make me 'new face of boxing'

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Devin Haney believes he'll emerge as one of the biggest stars in boxing if he beats Ryan Garcia on April 20.

"It's gonna catapult me," Haney told DAZN Boxing when asked what the highly anticipated fight will do for his career. "It's gonna prove that I am the new face of boxing, I am the man, and I'm a huge draw."

Haney, one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world, is scheduled to defend the WBC junior welterweight title for the first time against Garcia, one of the sport's top draws. Haney is the former undisputed lightweight champion who moved up to 140 pounds last December and dominated Regis Prograis to capture a belt in a second weight class. This will be Haney's third consecutive pay-per-view bout and the most high-profile matchup yet.

"After the last fight, I said, 'I've done the legacy fights, I got the belts, I did that, I'm in the history books forever,'" Haney said. "But now it's about making the biggest fights happen for the most amount of money. ... Here we are. It's gonna be arguably the biggest fight in 2024. I think the biggest fight. It's gonna be a mega event."

Haney and Garcia - both 25 years old - fought six times as amateurs, with each scoring three wins. But Haney is the far more accomplished pro boxer, as he captured his first world title in 2019 and Garcia will be competing for his first-ever legitimate belt in April. Haney said he plans to prove that he's evolved more as a boxer since their amateur days.

"Ryan has always been a good fighter - since we were kids," Haney said. "But I feel like over time, I've just grown past him, gotten a lot better, where Ryan kind of stayed the same. And that's for me to show on April 20."

When asked how he sees the fight unfolding in Las Vegas, Haney said he thinks Garcia will give up like he has in the past. Haney was seemingly referencing Garcia's seventh-round body-shot knockout loss to Gervonta "Tank" Davis last April. That was Garcia's sole career loss, and he's since rebounded with a stoppage of Oscar Duarte.

"We've seen Ryan quit before. I think that this won't be anything different," Haney said. "I think once you have that quit in you, it's installed in you. You know how to do it. I think he'll quit on April 20."

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