What does Ryan Garcia’s suspension, no contest mean for him and Devin Haney going forward?

  • The NYSAC's ruling leaves both fighters with different options moving forward
  • Ryan Garcia has been suspended for 1 year
  • Devin Haney's loss has been turned into a no-contest
Devin Haney v Ryan Garcia
Devin Haney v Ryan Garcia / Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy/GettyImages

Ryan Garcia’s April 20 majority decision victory over WBC super lightweight world champion Devin Haney has been changed to a no-contest. Haney’s title was not on the line that night as Garcia failed to make weight by three pounds.

Garcia failed two separate VADA-administered urine tests. Urine samples were taken the day before the fight and immediately following the fight. Both samples tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine. Garcia’s team requested that the “B” samples also be tested, at his own expense. The “B” samples were also positive for Ostarine. Garcia has maintained his innocence throughout the process.

Multiple reports have stated that Garcia and his team negotiated a one-year suspension, a $10,000 fine, and the surrender of his purse to Golden Boy Promotions. What does this news mean for both men going forward?

What's next for Devin Haney?

Perhaps the biggest development here is that Haney is once again undefeated. While no one will be able to forget Haney getting thoroughly beaten up and dropped multiple times by Garcia, Haney will always have in his back pocket that Garcia was caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Haney has significant options in front of him as he remains the WBC super lightweight champion. Just this week, Top Rank was the sole bidder to promote Haney’s mandatory defense against Sandor Martin. Martin, a Spaniard, has an effective style, but it can be painful to watch. He is best known for upsetting Mikey Garcia and making Teofimo Lopez look bad despite losing a split decision. Haney is in a bind here, this is a mandatory defense, so if he forgoes fighting Martin, he will be stripped. He will be doing a true balancing act as far as risk vs. reward. A loss or even a controversial win will vindicate Garcia and taking a fight with Martin for short money may not be the move, even if he has to vacate the WBC title. 

Super lightweight is wide open at the moment with four title holders. A unification with newly crowned IBF super lightweight champion Liam Paro would sell very well in Australia, where Haney has fought before in his victories over George Kambosos. 

Lopez is recognized as the lineal champion at 140 after beating Josh Taylor. This could be an intriguing option for Haney. Haney is a free agent in promotional circles and with Top Rank involved with his mandatory, Teofimo could be a future foe. A win over Teofimo would cleanse Haney of any residue from the fight with Garcia, and give him lineal status in a second weight class. Teofimo is scheduled to defend his lineal and WBO super lightweight titles against Steve Claggett on June 29. Should he make quick work of Claggett, do not be surprised if Haney throws his hat into the ring in a bid to unify with Lopez. This is perhaps the most financially lucrative fight for Haney, barring a rematch with Garcia next year. 

Haney has also expressed interest in moving to 147 pounds. Since the departure of Terrence Crawford to 154, Haney could have a chance to win a title in a third weight class. Haney has expressed interest in a clash with newly elevated WBC Welterweight champ, Mario Barrios.

What's next for Ryan Garcia?

Garcia’s options are much more limited. The New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) has suspended him for one year, retroactive to the date of the fight. Given NYSAC’s affiliation with the Association of Boxing Commissions, Garcia cannot obtain a boxing license anywhere in the US or with legitimate commissions worldwide for the length of his suspension. He will also be subject to random drug testing for PED’s. A failed test during this period of limbo would be sure to lengthen the time of his suspension. 

Garcia has a chance to make this the defining moment in both his boxing career and his personal life. There has been no shortage of stories involving his erratic behavior, including a recent arrest for felony criminal damage to property at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills. Garcia is a true boxing talent, PEDs notwithstanding, he has a gift. Not only is he a talent in the ring, he is a star outside of it. His social media following is exponentially greater than those not named Canelo or Jake Paul. Hopefully, he can take this time off from the ring to work on his mental health, mend fences, and come back stronger than ever. 

Write this date down…. April 26, 2025…. Why do you ask? If Garcia adheres to the terms of his suspension, this will be the first major Saturday night he will be eligible to fight. If Haney can win a fight or two, even pick up a welterweight strap in the interim, Garcia vs. Haney 2 is the biggest rematch to be made in boxing.