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‘Genius salesman’ Ryan Garcia proves doubters wrong

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In a World Boxing News pre-fight preview, Ryan Garcia would come out of Saturday night’s fight as either a ‘genius salesman’ or ‘in serious danger’ of imploding against Devin Haney.

Garcia is on top of the world after proving his doubters wrong, including this one, over his demeanor and mindset.

Calls to pull Garcia out of the Haney fight often irked the Golden Boy star, who knew what he was attempting to achieve in his heart. He wanted to sell the fight to the best of his ability, cause a stir, and have all eyeballs on him when he used his strength to outgun the WBC super-lightweight champion.

It needs admittance that the plan worked like a charm.

“Kingry” pushed his record to 25-1 with 20 KOs as the Pay Per View star shocked the world at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Not only did he beat Haney up during the mid-rounds, but Garcia almost finished the job on more than one occasion.

Before “The Dream” dropped to 31-1 courtesy of a first career defeat, Garcia put him on the canvas for the first time in his career and twice more for good measure. That middle portion of the fight, with Haney confined to three rounds of an eighth score, put Garcia in prime position to record a majority decision victory.

Scores of 115-109 and 114-110 mimicked what most witnessed as Max DeLuca was dumbfounded with his card of 112-112. Round seven to eleven alone was enough for Garcia to win the fight, even with a point deduction by an over-picky referee in Harvey Dock.

Golden Boy stated that “after months of enduring ridicule and scorn from so-called experts who gave him no shot at victory,” Garcia proved his worth. Like a Hollywood actor, He did sell that something was mentally wrong with him.

To be fair to Garcia, though, most of what was written beforehand on WBN was due to concern for his welfare. Not once was it stated he couldn’t win the fight.

Speaking after his most incredible night, Garcia reveled in his triumph, and rightly so.

“I shouldn’t have put too much pressure on myself to stop him because every time I hurt him, I went crazy, but I couldn’t stop him,” he said. “I think the ref should’ve stopped the fight.

“He was really hurt. I felt bad. I even looked at Bill to stop the fight.”

Asked about the point deduction in the seventh round, Garcia added: “The guy was holding me for dear life. I felt the opportunity to keep swinging while my hands were free.

“I should’ve knocked him out that seventh round. They stole that from me. I’m surprised he has so much heart and recovery. He wobbled badly in the first round. I thought it was over.

“He even hurt me with a hook. At the end of the day, I’m going to fight him, win or lose.”

As triggering as his blueprint was, and given that Garcia even told Haney’s team some of what he planned to do during the build-up, you cannot fault his execution of the plan.

No matter if he’s not the model professional people want him to be, Garcia is now a significant player in the sport after sealing the victory to match his PPV selling power.

The sky is the limit for whatever is next, with many fighters set to join a Canelo-style queue to land a big payday opposite the newest entry to the Pound for Pound picture.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.