Talk about flipping the script.

Should Devin Haney do what he’s expected to do as we’ve watched the crumbling of Ryan Garcia throughout this promotion, the narrative of this whole saga will be recalled as the ascension of Haney’s rising stardom.

For that, a lion’s share of credit should be heaped upon Haney’s father/manager/trainer, Bill Haney.

“[Devin’s] a master boxer, but his father, Bill, is a master manager the way they’ve made these calculated movements,” ProBox TV analyst Chris Algieri said on Monday’s episode of “Deep Waters.”

Boxer Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) will defend his WBC 140-pound belt against Southern California’s Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in a pay-per-view bout (DAZN, PPV.com) that will mark Garcia’s second title attempt and Haney’s first junior welterweight title defense within a year.

Algieri said Haney taking his turn against the polarizing social-media influencer Garcia is just the latest brilliant stroke by the father helping to guide his son’s fortunes.

“You fight some older fighters when you’re young and coming up,” Algieri said of the Haney path that has counted Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa, two-time Olympic champion and three-division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko and former lightweight champion Jorge Linares as victims along the way.

“He got these fights in at 135 – and he was killing himself to make 135. He’s a big guy and growing, and I think that’s why you saw such a vast improvement when he moved up to 140.”

In December, after previously standing as undisputed lightweight champion by sweeping a pair of 2022 fights against George Kambosos, Haney dismantled the former 140-pound champion Prograis.

“You saw him come into his own with his strength, confidence and maturity,” Algieri said. “The fight went 12 rounds. He looked sharp all night long. A lot of that had to do with the [comfort at 140]. We’ll see him at 140, 147 now for a while.”

Operating as a promotional free agent who fights for Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn now while previously boxing under Bob Arum’s Top Rank banner, Haney possesses flexibility to navigate the current 140-pound maze that counts four other current or recent world champions, including Teofimo Lopez (Top Rank), Subriel Matias (Matchroom), Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (Premier Boxing Champions) and Gervonta Davis (PBC).

“It was calculated on their part to make sure Devin is making money moves,” Algieri said. “He has put himself in position to beat the top guys in the world.”

In ways, it mirrors the former mentor whom Haney has been at odds with over the past couple of years, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“They’ll hate hearing this, but it’s the Mayweather track,” Algieri said. “[Devin’s] not a big ticket seller. He’s not the most exciting fighter in the world. He’s an excellent technician. A lot of times, you need to go outside of that [to sell].”

For Haney, he just needed to fight an extremely popular influencer, and prove to them the story that matters is his.

Read the full article here