Haney easily beats Abdullaev, calls out Lomachenko
By Chris Williams: Devin Haney dominated Zaur Abdullaev through the first four rounds to get a stoppage win to pick up the WBC interim lightweight title to place himself in a position to challenge WBC champ Vasyl Lomachenko. Haney (23-0, 15 KOs) battered the outclassed Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KOs) for four rounds until his training team pulled the plug on the fight before the start of the 5th round at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Abdullaev, 25, was in no position to come out for the 5th round because of an injured cheekbone. His nose looked bad as well with blood leaking from both nostrils.
Crown me 23-0 15KOS
— Devin Haney (@Realdevinhaney) September 14, 2019
Haney’s victory places him on the doorstep for a world title against unified WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko. Now it’s up to him and his promoters at Top Rank if they want to make the fight with the 20-year-old Haney.
Haney: Lomachenko doesn’t want to fight
“Lomachenko, this guy doesn’t want to fight me,” said Haney after his win over Abdullaev. “I’m ready to fight. Lomachenko should be fighting me.”
The problem is Lomachenko is more interested in winning belts against arguably lesser fighters rather than taking on Haney, who is looking unbeatable right now. Haney may have scared the 31-year-old Lomachenko and his promoters at Top Rank off permanently. Lomachenko looks like he’s lost a couple of steps, and isn’t the fighter that beat Gary Russell Jr. in 2014.
Age is starting to rear it’s ugly head with Lomachenko, and he may not want to take on a young lion with sharp claws and a full set of teeth like Haney. Instead for going for that fight, Lomachenko is interested in unifying the 135-lb division by facing IBF belt holder Richard Commey or Teofimo Lopez, if he beats the Ghanaian fighter next.
Lomachenko expected to vacate titles without facing Haney
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said Lomachenko will be moving back down to super featherweight after he unifies the lightweight division in 2020. Arum says Lomachenko will float between three weight classes, and fight the best at 126, 130 and 135, He says Lomachenko will be like a modern day Henry Armstrong. The late Armstrong (152-22-9, 101 KOs) captured three division world titles at the same time, and would move up and down in weight to defend his titles.
Holding three division world titles at one time was an incredible accomplishment. It doesn’t appear that Lomachenko will be attempting to follow in the giant footsteps left behind by boxing great Armstrong. The fact that Arum is saying that Lomachenko plans on vacating all of his lightweight titles as soon as he beats the Commey vs. Lopez winner suggests that he doesn’t want to fight at lightweight any longer.
Lomachenko might want to take the fight with Haney now while he still has a shot at beating him. Haney is going to mature, and continue to improve in the next 3 to 5 years. Unfortunately, Lomachenko isn’t getting better. He’s getting older by the day. If he doesn’t take the fight with Haney right now, he could regret it. A win over Haney now would allow Lomachenko to tell his boxing fans that he beat him. However, Lomachenko and his promoters at Top Rank are likely going to leave Haney alone, and not risk it. Haney already looks more than good enough to beat Lomachenko, and do a better job than Orlando Salido.
Zaur Abdullev injured
Abdullaev wasn’t allowed to come out for the 5th round because of a potential broken cheekbone. Haney was pounding Abdullaev through four rounds. The Russian was never able to get his offense un-tracked. In the 4th, Abdullaev suffered a bloody nose, and his face badly marked up from the heavy shots from Haney. The hard jabs and right hands from Haney took their on Abdullaev’s face. By the 4th round, he was beaten up, and not able to continue to take the punishment that Haney was dishing out.
Devin came into the fight with a 22-match winning streak since turning pro in 2015. Before the contest, Haney said he was going to make an example of Abdullaev to send a message to Lomachenko, who he calls “No-machenko.” Until recently, Lomachenko was considered the #1 fighter in boxing by many fans. Haney has suddenly changed that perception in the eyes of a lot of fans.
Haney challenges “No-machenko” to fight him
“I saw he was bleeding a lot, and he was hurt, yeah,” said Haney about Abdullaev. “I was hitting him with the jab all night. That’s my favorite shot right there [right hand]. He always stresses that shot in training camp. Before I was coming out, and he was telling me to throw that shot, and it worked perfectly. Instantly, I don’t do too much studying, because I’m able to make adjustments inside the ring very fast. That’s one thing me and my dad work on. We’re situational boxing. In the gym, we work on different situations to be able to make adjustments at any given time, and that’s what I did.
I think you said his name wrong. It’s ‘No-machenko,’ because he doesn’t want to fight me. But I feel like I’m ready for the fight. This is the WBC mandatory. So come on, No-machenko, let’s get this fight going. Like I said, Abdullaev was the #2 mandatory. I went in there and destroyed him. He was no contest for me. If I’m so easy, Lomachenko should just fight me and get me out of the way.
I’ve been talking to my promoter Eddie Hearn about November 9th,” said Haney about him fighting next on the Logan Paul vs. KSI card on the 9th of November. “I think it’s good for the sport of boxing. It brings a lot of excitement, and a lot of new fans for the sport of boxing. I would love to get back to the gym, and get back to work to get back in the ring. This is all a dream come true. When I was fighting in Mexico, at times I would get frustrated, and my dad would tell me to ‘stay down and trust the process,’ and everything paid off,” said Haney.