Devin Haney dismissed Oscar De La Hoya’s assertion that Ryan Garcia has unsettled him, and insisted that Garcia’s behavior betrays him as the one who is unnerved.

Haney, a junior welterweight titleholder, will make the first defense of his belt against Garcia on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

After retaining his composure throughout the build-up to perhaps the biggest fight of his career, Haney shoved Garcia when they came face to face on Tuesday at the Empire State Building.

De La Hoya, Garcia’s promoter, suggested that Garcia had “rattled” Haney during the prefight buildup. But perhaps De La Hoya had forgotten Haney shoving Vasily Lomachenko when the fighters weighed in for their undisputed lightweight title fight in May 2023, then following it by producing a brilliantly disciplined performance.

De La Hoya went as far as to compare Garcia’s perceived psychological success to that of Floyd Mayweather Jr., a fighter whom Haney has long modeled himself after. Yet Haney said of Garcia, “If anything, I think I’m under his skin. You see all the antics and everything that he’s got going. But at the end of the day, I’m a true professional. He’s a true professional, I hope. It doesn’t matter what I say, what I do. When we get in the ring, we gonna do our job. No matter what we feel – no matter what.

“My main focus right now is the fight. Yesterday is yesterday. I’m focused on today, and excited for the fight.”

Haney, 25, said it isn’t for him to determine how Garcia approaches the fight.

“The main focus is staying focused – this is bigger than Ryan Garcia,” he said. “I’ve said that before. I’m gonna prove my greatness to myself, to the world. Ryan Garcia’s just another opponent for me.

“It’s business, at the end of the day. Outside of the ring, we weren’t friends. We never were friends, so it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, I’m gonna go in and do my job. And may the best man win.

Haney emphasized that he is focused only on what he can control.

“It’s about me proving my greatness to myself and to the world,” he said. “I don’t care less if he’s overlooking me or not. It’ll show in the ring on Saturday.

“[Garcia will do the] same thing – be overly aggressive, throwing wild like he does, trying to land something big.

“I heard about [some of his antics], but I’m not paying too much attention to Ryan these days.”

Haney last fought in New York in 2019, when he stopped Zaur Abdullaev. He has since established himself as one of the world’s finest fighters – he and Garcia fought six times as amateurs, with each winning three fights – in no small part because of his professionalism.

“I came back a much bigger star,” Haney said. “I came back a bigger fighter, as well. I’m much more mature in the ring, and it will show on Saturday night.

“I’ve spent six figures [on my fight preparation] – on gyms, my chef, my nutritionist, my massage therapist, my coaches. Everything.

“I feel amazing. I’m growing into the weight. I feel stronger, faster. It’s gonna show in the ring Saturday night, Inshallah. It’s going to be my best performance to date.”

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