Eddie Hearn says Ryan Garcia has refused to fight Devin Haney - despite beating Luke Campbell to earn a title shot at the WBC champion.
Before Haney announced he will defend his belt against Jorge Linares on May 29 in Las Vegas, it seemed like the undefeated 22-year-old rivals were finally destined to cross paths for the first time in their professional careers.
Unfortunately for boxing fans, it seems both sides were unable to agree terms, with Garcia set to face Javier Fortuna in the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card in July at a location to be announced.
Hearn, however, hasn't given up hope that the two stars will collide in an epic lightweight title fight at some point later this year, but this is far from guaranteed.
“I really feel like we’ve got to put the pressure on this situation if both guys win, to say, ‘C’mon, guys,’" Hearn told “The Ak & Barak Show” which streams on DAZN and SiriusXM.
“Devin is still a bit baffled why Ryan won’t fight him. But we move on. And I’m glad that we managed to pull a big fight out for Devin, because he does need it.”
Garcia (21-0), a teammate of Canelo Alvarez, became the interim WBC lightweight champion when he beat Campbell via TKO in the second round at the American Airlines Center in Dallas in January.
It's been so far, so good for "The Flash," but Hearn proceeded to offer a note of caution when asked about his upcoming fight with Fortuna.
"It’s a tough fight," Hearn said. "Like he’s gonna get, I don’t know, a quarter of the money to fight Fortuna than he would [receive] to fight Haney.
"It’s just frustrating because, listen, Ryan Garcia is a great fighter. But he keeps talking about all these other challenges, when there’s one right in front of him.
"You know, the Luke Campbell fight was a dangerous fight for him. But I thought that he took that fight because he was gonna get a shot at the world title against Devin Haney if he won.
"But then when he did win, he didn’t wanna fight Devin Haney.”
He added: "I still feel like if you fight a mandatory, you know, if you fight a fight to become mandatory, like he did against Luke Campbell, you should fight the champion.
"I mean, that’s the whole reason you enter a final eliminator. There’s no other reason to fight a final eliminator, without wanting to fight the champion.
"Ryan Garcia refused to fight Devin Haney, so we then applied to fight Jorge Linares, and then they made Ryan Garcia fight Fortuna.
"No problem. I mean, two great fights, as long as we get the fight we want at the end of it. You know, but it kinda skirts around the fact that, which, you know, most media and everybody refuse to mention, the fact that Ryan Garcia has refused to fight Devin Haney, and he was his mandatory."News Now - Sport News