Backup Opponent Ready For Haney As Garcia’s Fight Status Remains Uncertain

Arnold Barboza Jr. emerges as a potential substitute in the event of Ryan Garcia’s absence, adding intrigue to the upcoming boxing showdown.

<p>Arnold Barboza Jr. (L) lands a punch on Xolisani Ndongeni (R)  at The Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada. Arnold Barboza Jr. claims he is Garcia's backup fighter in the event that Garcia withdraws from the Haney fight. CRIS ESQUEDA/GOLDEN BOY/GETTY IMAGES.</p>

A backup opponent is ready to face Devin Haney, a 25-year old from the United States, in case Ryan Garcia is knocked off the horse he rode into his news conference on Thursday.


Garcia has demanded that the fight be moved from New York to Las Vegas in recent days. The 25-year-old has also made records of his usage of marijuana and alcohol. Because of Garcia’s actions, WBC super lightweight champion Haney joked that the mysterious fighter would even announce his retirement before the bout. 

Due to the unpredictability of the events, Golden Boy Promotions now needs to prepare a fallback strategy in case Garcia is unable to make it to the opening bell on April 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Arnold Barboza Jr., a 29-0, 11 KO contender in the super lightweight class, disclosed that he will be competing in the co-main event and has even been suggested as the fight’s backup, possibly saving the show.


“That’s why we’re here at the press conference. I’m in the co-main event, and I’m standing by as well. That’s why we haven’t announced our opponent yet because there could be a big possibility that Ryan doesn’t get his s*** together and we step up and fight Haney,” said Barboza in media reports.


“Haney seems to be the more focused fighter right now, but I really don’t care [who wins]. I’m not focused on what they’re doing. Ryan just needs to put his head down and grind, stop doing little videos, and all that. You don’t want to cheat the people who are paying money. Maybe he’s playing a mental game with Devin, you never know. I hope he puts on an exciting fight. I’m going to make a statement in my fight. Hopefully, that gets me the winner of this fight. We’re in the works right now with Golden Boy for an opponent,” he added.


Barboza continued by saying that Haney (31-0, 15 KOs), a former undisputed lightweight champion who has already defeated George Kambosos Jr. twice as well as Vasiliy Lomachenko and Regis Prograis, is giving Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) more than he can chew.


Shortly after leaving Top Rank, the 32-year-old native of Los Angeles Barboza signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy in November. Barboza defeated Xolisani Ndongeni via TKO in the eighth round of their January fight.