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The drama around a Ryan Garcia vs Devin Haney fight is heating up with Garcia wanting a full arena before the two can square off in the ring.
- What do you feel is fair for, let's say, a Ryan Garcia who's Devin Haney's mandatory but doesn't care to fight him?
MAURICIO SULAIMAN: Well, in this case it's different. What happened is that we've been in communications with all the camps, and Ryan Garcia wants to fight Haney, but he wants to fight him when it is appropriate, when there's public in the arena so they can maximize-- they understand it's a big fight. It's a big-money fight, so all they want to do is maximize that event. And that's why we took this course.
Haney is going to fight Linares in a great fight, and Ryan Garcia is going to fight Fortuna. And then down the line if things are appropriate by the summer or by fall, then we will see both winners fight each other.
- Oh, so what are you saying? You're saying that Ryan wants more fans? Because he just had thousands of fans at his fight, and there was like 15,000 at Canelo's last fight. You mean he wants a full capacity of [? some ?] crowd?
MAURICIO SULAIMAN: Well, I believe they expect that fight to take place in California, and they have not had fans yet in California or Nevada.
- Got you.
MAURICIO SULAIMAN: But it's a complicated time. We've been very flexible, and we talk-- we talked to all the parties involved in this division, and I'm very satisfied with the way it's shaping as a tournament as we intended from the beginning. Now we have these two great fights and potentially also Teófimo fighting Kambosos and then potentially many great fights in the lightweight division.
- Yeah, no, obviously that scenario that you painted is perfect, I mean, if David-- Devin gets past Linares and Ryan gets past Fortuna. It makes it just that much of a bigger fight opposed to them fighting each other now and you still have guys like Linares and Fortuna around. Why don't you get past those guys and create a big showdown? So I think that's a perfect scenario. Makes total sense.
Some people will complain about it because they want the rules to always follow. I think every rule sometimes needs to be flexed a little bit for the greater good.
MAURICIO SULAIMAN: Yeah, the total commitment is to try to get the best fights for the fans. That has been a dedicated priority, and I'm happy that here on the flyweight division we're going to see a great tournament. And we're just trying to get the best fights to the fans and be flexible and accommodate the circumstances, you know, with the restrictions that we have today. It's not easy for the promoters and for the fighters to get things going, and it is shaping up to be a great year for the sport.