Midnight Mania: It PAYS To Be King

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Last weekend (Sat. April 20, 2024), Ryan Garcia shocked the world. Not long ago, Garcia was one of the hottest up-and-comers in boxing, but a one-sided knockout loss to Gervonta Davis and unimpressive bounce-back victory cooled expectations. Then, the community grew concerned for “King” after there was a murder hoax, and Garcia’s public and online behavior raised many eyebrows.

Against the undefeated Devin Haney, Garcia would not have been favored by odds makers at the best of times, but his pre-fight antics didn’t seem to indicate a boxer that was training seriously. Missing weight and pounding a beer at weigh-ins seemed to confirm that Garcia was destined for a beating, and he grew to be an even larger underdog.

It all changed on fight night. Garcia was confident and sharp from the very first bell, hurting Haney early with his signature left hook. Haney managed to win some rounds back, but when Garcia turned it on late, he knocked Haney down multiples times and forced the judges to deliver him the victory (watch highlights).

That’s one hell of a turnaround! Oh, and to make victory sweeter, Garcia may have bet on himself too. In a recent interview, Garcia acknowledged that his outside-of-the-ring antics may have resulted in increased viewership, and he also revealed his projected purse: somewhere between $30 and $50 million.

“I don’t know [if my antics helped the fight overall] but I think it brought more eyes to it.” Ryan Garcia said the PBD Podcast (via Josh Evanoff). “[It brought] the casual fans. I don’t know about the pay-per-view or tickets but we’re going to find out real soon. I’m projected to make around thirty to fifty million from the fight.”

He continued, “No [they haven’t released the pay-per-view numbers yet]. But Oscar said that they are very good. Very good, yeah.”

In case anyone needed clarification on why UFC champion Sean O’Malley was talking about boxing Garcia — there’s your answer!

Insomnia

Donald Cerrone ripped his bicep and will not be riding Dana White’s bull.

So … this seems like a pretty good reason not to fight Cedric Doumbe. All the best to Derek Anderson in recovery!

This is about as good a non-title fight as one could make in the women’s Bantamweight division.

How long into his fight versus Dustin Poirier until Islam Makhachev shoots the first takedown?

Jiri Prochazka is harnessing the power of the universe.

In case any further evidence was necessary that Ilia Topuria hits really hard:

Is the Philly shell the perfect defense for eye pokes? I love this niche bit of MMA art.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Good thing the Dan Henderson-esque diving overhand missed.

Head kicks on the break of the clinch, forever underrated.

If you’re going to copy Fabricio Werdum’s flying side kick start, it helps to be one of the greatest jiu-jitsu artists in MMA history.

Random Land

Presented without spoilers:

Midnight Music: Punk, 1981

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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