Social Media Polarized After Ryan Garcia Reportedly Pockets $12m Bet for Devin Haney Win

  • Ryan Garcia reportedly staked $2m on himself to beat Devin Haney and won $12m
  • Opinions differ on whether or not his bet was legal, even if it was on himself
  • Shady bets prompted Ontario to ban sportsbooks from taking bets on WBA bouts
Fighter punching a dollar sign
Ryan Garcia’s explosive win over Devin Haney also netted him a controversial $12m win for betting on himself. [Image:]

Garcia cashes out

Boxer Ryan Garcia has polarized opinion on X after reportedly cashing out a $12m bet courtesy of his brutal underdog victory over Devin Haney.

bet $2m on himself

Mixed martial arts news site MMA Casuals took to social media Monday with the claim Garcia bet $2m on himself to earn the massive payday. The news channel shared details the bet on X which, accompanied by a clip of all the fighter’s knockdowns, has since had over 5.4 million views:    

The fight had already caused controversy when Garcia registered pre-bout for the WBC light-welterweight title at 143.2 pounds, way over the 140-pound limit. Garcia, who had bet Haney he would pay him $500,000 per pound he came in overweight, had to pony up $1.5m. The weight aberration also meant Haney would keep the title, regardless of if he lost.

Garcia, however, lit up the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, his left hook putting Haney down in the 7th, 10th, and 11th rounds.

Rules and controversy

MMA Casuals’ X post has created a text storm on the platform, with some supporting and some condemning the California-born boxer for betting on himself.

Garcia’s actions “were literally illegal”

UFC fighter Iliato Puria declared under his X username Veluta that Garcia’s actions “were literally illegal.” In September 2023, the UFC set bet tracking technology on all its fighters, coaches, or other employees, having warned them not to bet on the sport.

MMA Casuals responded by citing the Nevada State Athletic Commission/Nevada Gaming Control Board’s stance that a boxer betting on himself was not against regulations. Sportskeeda, meanwhile, pointed out that New York hosted the fight and not Nevada, and that Garcia could potentially be subject to the state’s own boxing rules over self-backed bets.

Another pre-fight controversy Garcia stirred up was referencing his alcohol intake, saying he “drank, drank, drank” every single night in the lead up to the bout, fueled in part, he claims, by his divorce.

The fighter said while he wasn’t “necessarily proud” of the drinking, it “was a statement to say you guys can’t really f—k with me. I can do whatever I want.”

X user @Truthtellerftm sided with Garcia betting on himself, saying it was “100% legal! Genius move pretending to be drunk and high every day!”

Betting on fights

Garcia’s hands ultimately did the talking in front of American boxing legends Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, with Haney hitting the deck for the first time in his first defeat in his 32-fight pro boxing career.

It remains to be seen how the lawmakers, stakeholders, and general boxing fans react to Garcia’s reported massive gambling win.

Gambling on boxing has been in the spotlight, as just last week, Ontario banned sportsbooks from taking bets on World Boxing Association events. One of the WBA bouts cited was the Livan Navarro vs Yoenis Tellez undercard fight on a Jake Paul bill. The regulator for the province ruled that WBA betting fell short of the necessary integrity standards for sportsbooks to offer markets.

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