Devin Haney dismissed Oscar De La Hoya’s assertion that Ryan Garcia has unsettled him and insisted that Garcia’s behaviour betrays him as the one unnerved.

The WBC super lightweight champion on Saturday makes the first defence of his title against Garcia at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

After retaining his composure throughout the build-up to perhaps the biggest fight of his career, Haney shoved Garcia on Tuesday at The Empire State Building when they came face to face.

Despite Haney also shoving Vasily Lomachenko when they weighed in for their undisputed lightweight title fight in May 2023 and following doing so by producing so disciplined a performance, De La Hoya, Garcia’s promoter, suggested that he is “rattled” and that that could show when they fight.

De La Hoya went as far as to compare Garcia’s perceived success to Floyd Mayweather, a fighter Haney has long modelled himself on, but Haney said: “If anything I think I’m under his skin. You see all the antics and everything that he’s got going. But at the end of the day I’m a true professional; he’s a true professional, I hope. It doesn’t matter what I say; what I do. When we get in the ring we gonna do our job. No matter what we feel – no matter what. 

“My main focus right now is the fight. Yesterday is yesterday. I’m focused on today, and excited for the fight.

“That’s not really for me to determine – how he’s approaching the fight. The main focus is staying focused – this is bigger than Ryan Garcia. I’ve said that before. I’m gonna prove my greatness to myself; to the world. Ryan Garcia’s just another opponent for me.

“It’s business, at the end of the day. Outside of the ring we weren’t friends – we never were friends – so it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day I’m gonna go in and do my job, and may the best man win.

“My focus is on staying focused. On the task; being the best me that I can possible be. This fight is bigger than Ryan Garcia. It’s about me proving my greatness to myself and to the world. I don’t care less. If he’s overlooking me or not, it’ll show in the ring on Saturday. 

“[Garcia will do the] same thing. Be overly aggressive. Throwing wild like he does. Trying to land something big. 

“I heard about [some of his antics] but I’m not paying too much attention to Ryan these days.”

Haney, like Garcia aged 25, last fought in New York in 2019, when he stopped Zaur Abdullaev. He has since established himself as one of the world’s finest fighters – he and Garcia fought six times as amateurs and each won three fights – and in no small part because of his professionalism.

“I came back a much bigger star,” he said. “I came back a bigger fighter as well. I’m much more mature in the ring, and it will show on Saturday night.

“I’ve spent six figures [on my fight preparation]. On gyms; my chef; my nutritionist; my massage therapist; my coaches. Everything. 

“I feel amazing. I’m growing into the weight. I feel stronger; faster. It’s gonna show in the ring Saturday night, Inshallah. It’s going to be my best performance to date.”