I haven’t been this excited for a fight in quite a while – De La Hoya

Oscar De La Hoya has praised Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney for agreeing to fight on April 20. 

The promoter expressed his excitement at the prospect of the Californian facing off in a rivalry that stretches back to their teenage years.

Garcia and Haney had been in discussions in December following their respective bouts against Oscar Durate Jurado and Regis Prograis, with Haney relieving Prograis of his WBC world super-lightweight title on December 9. 

However, negotiations could have been more straightforward. 

Garcia asked his promoter, De La Hoya, to switch from negotiating with Haney and focus efforts on striking a deal with WBA titleholder Rolando Romero but the WBA champion instead agreed terms to defend against Isaac Cruz on March 30. 

Negotiations reopened between Haney and Garcia in late January, and a deal was struck and confirmed by Golden Boy Promotions on February 9. 

De La Hoya spoke to The Ring about his excitement that two of the biggest names in boxing are coming together, reminding De La Hoya of how boxing was in the “late 90s-early 2000s” when De La Hoya was fighting in his prime. 

“I haven’t been this excited for a fight in quite a while, and this fight here has me excited, just the fact that they are both in their prime makes this special,” De La Hoya told The Ring. “This is a great start to 2024. I am very proud of Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney. Ryan fought Tank [Davis] and is now fighting Haney. This could be the start of a major career for Ryan, Devin Haney, fighting [Regis] Prograis, and now fighting Ryan, it brings back great memories of mine from the 1990s and early 2000s when [the best] fighters fought each other.”

The promoter hopes the fight will encourage other elite stars to face each other and said the deal was easy to agree, despite the lengthy discussions. 

“The best fought the best,” added Oscar. “Hopefully we are onto something. Hopefully we can start a trend here, and April 20 will be the beginning. We are working on a venue. This fight was not tough to make. A lot of details were involved, and it took hours and hours and days, and we finally ironed everything out. Everyone is happy.”