The Daily Jay – April 19, 2024

 Login to Donate: Login Register

Boxing Betting — Is Ryan Garcia crazy beyond belief?

April 19, 2024
By Charles Jay

I have to be perfectly honest with you. In observing some of the erratic behavior being put on display these last couple of months by junior welterweight fighter Ryan Garcia, I thought it might halfway be a put-on. You know, kind of like what Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) did on the day of his fight against Sonny Liston in 1964. Where people say, “He’s so crazy!” which kind of scares Sonny a little, and then he proceeds to use that to his psychological advantage.

But I don’t know what kind of advantage Garcia could have gotten over Devin Haney, his undefeated opponent at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Saturday night, unless it’s made Haney extremely overconfident.

Going back to his loss to Tank Davis, which was ended (and not in his favor) with a body shot, Garcia has provided more than enough “SMH” moments.

In the buildup to this fight, Garcia has posted some very strange social media communications, which has reportedly prompted the New York State Athletic Commission to consider subjecting him to a mental and psychological evaluation. Apparently the WBC has felt the same way about it. But what kind of things are you going to examine with the guy? It is a very tough thing to judge. To yank him out of a big fight (PPV price $69.99 or thereabouts), you better have something materially viable to go on.

His latest moments – and those with the most dramatic effect – occurred at Friday’s weigh-in. Garcia came in at 143.2 pounds (they digitize things these days), which did not meet with the 140-pound limit for which the fight was contracted. And after that, he just stood up on the stage and chugged a beer (if that’s what it was).

In other words, he mocked the festivities, although we must note that it was a mock weigh-in, without the New York commission (the real one having taken place a few hours earlier). If the design of this, and all that came before it, was to bring Haney’s guard down, and if it works, then it deserves to be viewed as a masterstroke.

Certainly, as Haney is listed at -800 with Garcia at +500 at BetOnline, the betting public is moved by it – but strongly in Haney’s direction.

And as much as my imagination would like to run wild, Garcia’s antics would seem to be implausible in light of the fact that with it all, he gave up the opportunity to fight for a title AND lost $1.5 million to Haney; the result of an arrangement the two had made in which, in the event one of the two didn’t make weight, he’d owe half a million dollars a pound to the other.

Unless Garcia believes the three-plus pounds will do him some good (and keep in mind that the weights at the weigh-in and when they get in the ring are going to be different), there’s no rhyme or reason for him to miss 140. And Haney doesn’t come off as the kind of guy who’s going to be vulnerable psychologically.

Looking at the matchup itself, there is perhaps something Garcia can do to give himself a chance. After all, he has some explosiveness going for him, and Haney doesn’t exactly punch through walls; indeed, his last eight fights have gone to a decision.

These two have some history. They have fought each other six times in the amateur ranks, splitting those bouts. If you took that as “evidence,” you would be asking yourself whether that familiarity puts Garcia in good stead.

But the truth is that at this point, he just may not be good enough. Haney is the better fighter, and I think anyone would concede that, whether Garcia is nuts or not.

Haney beat George Kambosos, and then beat him again, and maybe that’s not such an amazing feat, as it turns out. But he followed this with a credible win over Vasyl Lomachenko, in which Loma did not exactly look like a punching machine. And then last time out, he won a shutout decision over Regis Prograis, which opened whatever eyes were not open already.

In terms of fundamentals, Haney does most everything right. He also places an emphasis on defense, so he’s not leaving himself open so easily. He’s the guy who can control this fight with the jab, and he is not going out there looking for the knockout. He is content with banging out a workmanlike decision, if that is the way things lead.

If you’re betting this fight, you might find the “over” a value proposition at the -130 price, especially as that number has dropped.

Author: channeljay
, , ,