Poker Player Ryan Garcia Upsets Heavily Favored Devin Haney in What Should Have Been a Title Fight

Home » Poker Player Ryan Garcia Upsets Heavily Favored Devin Haney in What Should Have Been a Title Fight
Ryan Garcia Boxing Poker

Ryan Garcia, who has appeared multiple times on Hustler Casino Live, pulled off an upset in the boxing ring Saturday night against the heavily favored Devin Haney, winning via majority decision.

One judge surprisingly scored the match 112-112 despite Garcia knocking his opponent down three times, while the other two judges scored it 114-110 and 115-109, although many boxing fans felt it should have been a unanimous decision. Either way, the winner is now 25-1 (20 knockouts) in his professional career, while the losing boxer lost for the first time in 32 fights.

Why Poker Player Isn’t the Champ

Ryan Garcia Boxing Poker
Ryan Garcia

The fight at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center was originally slated to be for the WBC welterweight title. That was until Friday’s controversial weigh in.

Garcia weighed in at 143.2 pounds, 3.2 pounds over the 140-pound welterweight threshold. As such, no matter the outcome of the fight, he was not eligible to claim the belt. But the boxers agreed to continue with the match as planned.

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Haney entered Saturday’s contest as a heavy favorite (-900 odds to win at some sportsbooks at one point). Garcia was given little chance to defeat the unbeaten champ. In a recent CBS Sports prediction article, all three boxing experts predicted Haney to win by technical knockout.

In Round 7, Garcia knocked Haney to the canvas, the first time that has happened to the now former champ in 32 professional fights.

Garcia dominated the match so much that even a one-point penalty following the knockdown didn’t help his opponent. A right hook in the 10th round sent Haney to the canvas again, and then one more time with the left in the 11th round. Although Garcia didn’t knock Haney out, it was a convincing performance that left few other than one judge questioning who truly won the fight.

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With the winner ineligible for the junior welterweight title due to his pre-fight weight, the belt is now vacant.

Garcia hasn’t been spotted at the poker table since the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP), at least not publicly. But he does have an interest in the game and has appeared four times on Hustler Casino Live where he’s down over $80,000.

In last year’s $10,000 Main Event, poker’s world championship tournament, he reached Day 4 with a healthy stack, but was eliminated in 566th place out of 10,043 for $32,500.

Away from the felt and boxing ring, Garcia has sparked some controversy on social media over comments he made about how children are, in his opinion, being abused by “shadowy elites.” Following his victory over Haney, in the post-fight press conference, the nearly unbeaten boxer again defended his conspiracy theory, calling out those who have questioned the legitimacy of his claims, before going straight to Twitter Spaces where over 50,000 were tuned in.

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Prior to the fight, Garcia’s mental and physical health came into question, part of why Haney was so heavily favored. But, as is often the case when it comes to sports, the “experts” were off base. Garcia admitted he drank daily leading up to the match, but he still came through with a dominating performance.

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