In the amateurs, they were rivals who won three bouts each, but the rubber match occurred in the professional ranks under the bright lights, and with his controversial victory, Ryan Garcia has done irreversible damage to Devin “The Dream” Haney.

Prior to his match with Garcia, the WBC super-lightweight world champion Devin Haney was strategically building his legacy and legitimizing his case in regards to being the face of boxing. Garcia took Haney’s unblemished record and his opportunity at next level stardom all in the same night.

Back in September 2019, Devin Haney defeated Zaur Abdullaev and won the WBC Interim lightweight belt. One month later, Haney was elevated from interim to the WBC world lightweight champion.

The elevation was supposed to be a celebratory occasion, but it was ruined when Haney found himself in a war of words via social media. During their exchange of insults, Teofimo Lopez labeled Haney as the email champ because Haney didn’t win the world title inside of the ring.

A few years later, Haney would change that label as he defeated the then WBO, WBA, and IBF lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. With the victory, Devin Haney became undisputed. Four months later, Haney gave Kambosos a rematch, and once again, Haney won by unanimous decision.

Based on his accomplishment of becoming an undisputed champion at the age of 23, you would think Haney is due to receive a certain level of respect and notoriety. Unfortunately, it never happened, especially after his peers had created the narrative that belts don’t matter.

As Devin Haney continued his quest to gain respect and next level stardom, he defended his undisputed crown against former three-division world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. Haney came out victorious, but the win didn’t move the needle because a large percentage of the boxing public thought Haney lost.

Haney would go on to move up to 140 and defeat the then-WBC world champion Regis Prograis. With the victory, Devin Haney became a two-weight world champion. Haney was collecting accolades, but he needed a win that would take his popularity to the next level.

While Devin Haney has the achievements, his childhood rival Ryan Garcia has the star power. One would assume that a convincing win over Garcia would give Haney a boost in the fanfare department.

On the night of April 20th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Devin Haney faced Ryan Garcia in a scheduled 12-round super-lightweight bout. Haney’s WBC world title wasn’t at stake due to Garcia weighing in at three pounds over the weight limit.

In the opening round of the bout, Garcia stunned Haney when he landed his signature left hook. Garcia would go on to knock Haney down in the 7th, 10th, and 11th rounds. One judge scored the bout 112-112, but that card was overruled by the other two judges who scored the bout 114-110 and 115-109 in favor of Ryan Garcia.

A little over a week after Garcia’s triumphant victory, reports emerged stating Garcia tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine. Garcia made a request for his B-sample to be tested, and unfortunately, his B-sample was also positive.

Devin Haney’s father/trainer, Bill Haney, wants the Garcia victory to be overturned to a no-contest or a disqualification. In addition to pursuing an overturn of the April 20th fight result, Bill Haney also called for Ryan Garcia to be banned from the sport of boxing.

Hypothetically speaking, if Team Haney receives everything they requested, it really means nothing to the boxing public. Devin Haney will probably regain his undefeated status, but the damage is irreversible.

The boxing public can’t unsee Ryan Garcia knocking Devin Haney down in the 7th round and proceeding to stand over him. We can’t unsee Haney struggling to get off the canvas and rise to his feet.

We can’t forget about how Ryan Garcia scored additional knockdowns in the tenth and eleventh rounds. We will continue to remember how Garcia taunted Haney in the final seconds of the 12th round. And finally, the boxing public will never forget the status of Devin Haney’s face at the end of the fight.

Yes, Devin “The Dream” Haney (31-1, 15 KOs) has a great chance of getting his 0 back, but his bid to be the face of boxing is done.

The visuals of Ryan Garcia smacking Haney around with left hook after left hook are burned into our memory banks. And just in case you forgot what it looks like, the footage and the memes are plastered all over YouTube and social media.

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