By Dean Berman: Since his 4th round destruction of Zaur Abdullaev earlier this month, the 20-year-old Devin Haney has suddenly drawn comparisons to boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. The unbeaten interim WBC lightweight champion Haney (23-0, 15 KOs) is happy with fans viewing him someone worthy of being mentioned in the same breath with Mayweather.
Devin Haney targeting Lomachenko
Haney is hoping that he can blaze his own trail, and not be seen as a star separate from the others. To help further that goal, Haney wants to challenge WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko for his three tiles, but he understands that may not happen.
In today’s climate with the promoters keeping the top fighters apart, Haney may never get a shot against the aging 31-year-old Lomachenko. The two-time Olympic gold medalist Loma will be fighting the winner of the Richard Commey vs. Teofimo Lopez fight in early 2020 in a unification fight with all 4 lightweight world titles on the line. Lomachenko plans on moving back down to super featherweight without fighting Haney.
Haney happy to be compared to Mayweather
“As the fight was just getting started, I was getting warmed up, the fight ended,” said Haney to Sky Sports News about his recent victory over Zaur Abdullaev. “I’m happy with the victory. I trained hard, I had a great training camp, and I came out victorious. It’s great to be compared to a living legend, the face of boxing,” said Haney about him being compared to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“That’s a blessing, but I want to go on my own road, and be the first Devin Haney. Boxing is something I love, and it doesn’t really seem like a job to me. At the end when my career is over, I want to be mentioned with the greats. I want my name to go into the history books,” said Haney.
Devin similar to Mayweather
Haney is very similar to Mayweather in how he fights, and with his blazing fast hand speed. The main difference between the two of them is Haney’s power is better than Mayweather’s when he 20-years-old and fighting lightweight. Mayweather’s jab and power shots weren’t as good as what we’re seeing from Haney right now. For that reason, Mayweather was forced to move around a lot to avoid getting hit.
Lomachenko is the fight Haney wants
“Who knows? There’s so much politics in the sport of boxing, and Lomachenko did say he was going to go get the IBF belt,” said Haney to Sky Sports News when asked if he’ll be facing Lomachenko soon. “So if he wins the IBF belt, he said he was going to drop down in weight [to super featherweight]. But in boxing, things change everyday.
“We’ll never know, but hopefully the fight happens. At one point I was supposed to be fighting Luke Campbell, but then the fight fell out, because Lomachenko decided he wanted to fight for the WBC title, and they ended up fighting. It’s boxing. You’ve got to love it, and it comes with the territory,” said Haney.
It’s useless for Haney to sit and hope that Lomachenko will face him anytime soon, because the Ukrainian’s promoter Bob Arum has let it be known that it’s not happening. Arum says there won’t be a Lomachenko fight in 2019 or 2020. That’s bad for Lomachenko, because it increases the chances of him losing to Haney when the fight does eventually get made. There will be more money potentially for Lomachenko and Top Rank Boxing to make by letting the Haney fight marinate. It just might not workout well for Lomachenko if he waits too long.
Haney saw flaws in Lomachenko’s game
“I saw some flaws in his game, but I try not to judge a person by one performance,” said Haney about Lomachenko’s last fight against Campbell. “On any given night, we can have a bad night. We’re human just like Lebron James, Stephon Curry, and Kevin Durant, they can all go and have a bad night, and then in their next game go for 40.
“I understand that, but he didn’t dominate like everyone thought he would,” said Haney about the 31-year-old Lomachenko. “I saw him getting hit with a few things that I can definitely capitalize on, but who knows? The fight can happen at any day, so we’ll see,” said Haney about a fight between him and Lomachenko.
Lomachenko was getting hit a lot in his recent win over 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell on August 31. While Loma won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision, it was a grueling affair where he took a lot of facial damage.
Devin Haney’s November 9th opponent being finalized
“Right now, we’re finalizing an opponent, but November 9th is when you’ll see me back in the ring,” said Haney. “I just fought a week ago, so I’m having some down time right now, letting my body. While I’m in the UK, I’ll get some sparring here, and doing some media workout. But as of right now, I’m letting my body heal up. I had a hard training camp.
“Recovery is just as important as working. People don’t understand that. A lot of boxers overwork, because they don’t understand the part of recovery. So right now I’m doing a lot of recovery, doing ice baths, and doing stuff like that,” said Haney.
Haney is fighting on the undercard of KSI vs. Logan Paul on November 9 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The card will be televised on DAZN. Haney’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing is looking for a good opponent for him to fight from the top contenders in the 135-lb division. There’s not much time for Hearn to find someone. Given how impressive Haney looked against Abdullaev, he may have problems getting guys to want to fight him.
TOE2TOE! This week’s guest is none other than ‘The Dream’ @Realdevinhaney 🇺🇸⭐
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) September 24, 2019