Devin Haney's Parents Taught and Inspired Him to Become a Record-Breaking Fighter

Ryan Garcia suggested that Devin Haney's mother is being "pimped out" by Devin's father — trash talk that didn't sit well with the boxer.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Apr. 17 2024, Published 12:18 p.m. ET

Physical fights can only be so entertaining, so a little bit of pre-match drama can always help hype up the audience. Boxers Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia have gone head to head in six amateur matches with a record of 3-3, so it’s time, once and for all, for them to set the record straight. And in the big lead-up, some beef between the young men brought in mentions of their parents.

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At a pre-match showdown atop the Empire State Building, Ryan came at Devin hard, asking where his mother was. This enraged Devin so much that he actually hit Ryan, who took it like a champ. But it also led all of the fans to wonder who Devin’s mother is and what role his parents had in his undefeated professional boxing career.

Devin Haney vs. Ryan Garcia atop the Empire State Building
Source: Getty Images
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Devin Haney is close to both his parents and his father even doubles as his trainer.

Devin might have one of the best records in boxing at 31-0, maintaining his WBC lightweight title, but he wouldn’t have gotten there if it wasn’t for his parents. His father, Bill Haney, was also a boxer in his youth and is now Devin’s trainer. Devin was born in 1998 in San Francisco, Calif. to Bill and Rene Haney, although they separated before Devin was born.

Devin started boxing at just 7 years old, and by the time he was 14, he moved to Las Vegas to train with Bill. Before Devin was born, however, Bill was nowhere near ready to be a father. He had just served 40 months in prison for possession and conspiracy to distribute two kilograms of cocaine, which is where he made friends with a music industry exec based in Oakland. This connection helped drive his association with the boxing world.

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“When [Devin’s mum] told me she was pregnant, I knew I couldn’t go back to prison,” Bill told talkSPORT. “[In Oakland] I wanted him to be able to defend himself. Early on we watched Aaron Pryor; ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard; we had the VCR so we’d rewind it back and study what they did. I’d wanted him to do another sport.” Bill learned to fight on the streets, but he wanted Devin to take a more on-the-books approach.

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“‘I’m going to take you to the [Round One Boxing] gym, and let’s see what you can do with some guys that really know how to fight’. He looked back at me, ‘OK’. He wasn’t intimidated at all. Devin was 8 years old. I’d never heard that description. [Until then] nobody had said that he was a ‘natural,’” which is what pro boxer Derrick Harmon called him.

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Devin Haney moved away from his mother at 14 years old to train, but she’s still supportive.

Bill moved to Las Vegas much earlier to focus on his music career and give his children something to aspire to. Eventually, Devin moved there to continue training and upping his boxing career, which hit a plateau in Oakland. But Devin’s mother is incredibly supportive of his career, and not at all being “pimped out” by Devin’s father, which is what Ryan suggested in his trash talk.

Rene was actually seen on FightHype after Devin’s win over Xolisani Ndongeni. “He’s a bad boy,” she joked. “It’s always tough [watching ringside as his mother], but with the training he has and the skills and the people that he has around him, like church, his dad … No doubt do I feel that he’s going to be OK … He’s always mild, he’s very humble. When I look at him, I just see greatness.”

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"I always knew from the day that he was born … When you have a strong, positive family behind you, this is what can happen.”

Devin may be a fighter, but based on his relationship with his parents, he’s also clearly a lover.

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