Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that Ryan Garcia approached him “some time ago” in a bid to make one of the most wanted fights in boxing a reality. 

Garcia challenges career-long rival and WBC super-lightweight champion Devin Haney on April 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Haney last defended the WBC crown in December, with an impressive victory over Regis Prograis on December 9 in San Francisco. 

After Haney’s decisive win, Garcia instructed Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya to begin negotiations with Haney but, speaking with the MMA Hour, Hearn said he had received a direct approach from Garcia to gauge his and Haney’s opinions. 

However, Hearn admitted that the deal brokered between Haney and Garcia was done between De La Hoya and Bill Haney, Devin’s father and manager. 

“The deal was done between Golden Boy and Bill,” said Hearn. “We had a matching option with Devin, which we decided not to get in the way of [this fight happening] for some financial benefit.

“I have to take my hat off to Devin and Ryan. Ryan reached out to me quite a while ago and said that he wanted to make this fight with Devin and asked me what I thought about the possibility of the fight being able to be made.”

Hearn explained that the approaches came earlier in the year and the promoter had initial doubts about the sincerity of Garcia’s intentions.

“This was two or three months ago, but I didn’t believe him because this is a really tricky fight for him. He [Garcia] seemed genuine to get the fight done though, but then he moved on to Rolly Romero, which was probably the right fight for him because it was a much easier fight for him,” said Hearn

Following the initial breakdown of negotiations and then the failed talks with Romero, Hearn added that Garcia again reached out to him to confirm that he was ready to restart discussions, which saw a deal signed relatively quickly afterwards. 

“But [Garcia-Romero] fell through, and [Garcia] messaged me again and said that he was back, and that was when Oscar and Bill picked everything back up again to get a deal over the line,” Hearn said.