The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Sidelines: The state of boxing

Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney will face off on April 20. (Photo courtesy of Bad Left Hook)

It has been an eventful start to the year in the boxing world, as three blockbuster fights over the next few months will showcase the current state of the sport.

Devin Haney (31-0, 15 KOs), the former undisputed lightweight champion, will meet internet sensation Ryan Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) inside of the Barclays Center on Saturday, April 20. The fight is in the super lightweight division, where Haney holds the WBC belt.

Both fighters are as talented as they come and represent a young generation of superstars. Haney, a classical technician who has been likened to the great Floyd Mayweather, seems to be crafting a Hall of Fame-worthy resume at just 25 years old.

Garcia, meanwhile, is a natural star whose hand speed has captivated millions online. The California native is looking to redeem himself on the big stage after a knockout loss to Gervonta Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) in April of last year.

However, the fighters’ talents have not directed the most attention to this showdown thus far. Instead, it has been Ryan Garcia’s troubling behavior at press conferences, interviews and on social media, prompting concern for his mental health. The world will be watching to see how this affects his conduct inside of the ring, and who will emerge as a serious contender to become the face of the sport.

In other news, the biggest name in boxing today will return to the ring on Saturday, May 4. Canelo Álvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs), the undisputed super middleweight champion and regular pound-for-pound king, will face undefeated power-puncher Jaime Munguía (43-0, 34 KOs) in Las Vegas.

Álvarez fighting a fellow Mexican countryman on Cinco de Mayo weekend should be a massive event. Yet, this announcement left fans wondering if Álvarez is avoiding another “Mexican Monster,” as David Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) has expressed his desire to face Álvarez. Boxing fans have eagerly echoed his sentiments.

However, Álvarez recently claimed that he would need “$150 million to $200 million” to accept the proposal. Even for one of boxing’s biggest-ever pay-per-view stars, these figures are simply unrealistic in today’s landscape.

With that being said, if both men win their next matchups, it would be very hard for Álvarez to brush off the calls for a fight with Benavidez any longer. Álvarez is a heavy favorite to defeat Munguia, while Benavidez is slated to fight for an interim light heavyweight title in June.

Finally, Jake Paul (9-1, 6 KOs) will take another step in his lucrative boxing career when he faces none other than Mike Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) on July 20 in Arlington, Texas.

The sheer gravity of this event cannot be overstated. Although the 57-year-old Tyson has not fought professionally since 2005, his larger-than-life persona continues to enthrall people all over the world. Meanwhile, Paul has established himself as a legitimate figure in the boxing world and claims a fanbase that the vast majority of fighters could only dream of.

The fight will be streamed live globally on Netflix, and it could realistically become the most-watched boxing event of the past few years. However, it is currently unclear what the actual rules of the mega-bout will be.

Given the 30-year age gap between the two, it is unlikely that the fight will be officially sanctioned. While an exhibition would not affect either man’s professional record, it allows for flexibility in the rules of the contest. For example, the number of rounds, their duration and whether or not the fighters will be wearing headgear has not been announced yet.

It will be an exciting next few months in the sweet science of boxing, with fighters both young and old putting their skills on display.

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About the Contributor
Eric Ponieman
Eric Ponieman, Assistant Sports Editor
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