Haney dares Lomachenko, Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis to fight him
By Kenneth Friedman: WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney says he wants the best 135-pound fighters Vasily Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia to face him in 2020. Devin says if he can’t get those fights, he’ll move up to 140, because it’s hard for him to make 135. He’s tired of waiting for these gunshy fighters to face him.
The 21-year-old Devin admits that he’s frustrated that he can’t get those guys to fight him right now. With Haney outgrowing the 135-lb division, he can’t wait 3 to 4 years for Lomachenko, Garcia and Tank Davis to fight him. Lomachenko has tunnel vision right now.
He’s going after the IBF lightweight belt that is in the possession of Richard Commey. Lomachenko won’t fight for that belt until the first quarter of 2020. He mentioned today that he’ll be fighting Teofimo Lopez next April.
Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) doesn’t want to continue to put his body through the tortuous process of making weight at lightweight if he can’t face the best. In his last fight, Haney received no credit for beating Alfredo Santiago by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision on November 9, because fans hadn’t heard of him. They only know the big names, and that’s why Haney wants to fight them.
Haney: I’m moving up to 140 if I can’t get the big fights
“I got a lot of flak about that [being upgraded by WBC], but that comes with it,” said Devin Haney to Fighthype. “Lomachenko just came out and said he vacated. Did you hear that? He said he vacated. It shows that he didn’t vacate for no reason. Right now, I have a mandatory with Javier Fortuna. It’s looking like March.
“I’m looking to move up to 140 if I can’t make these big fights happen, because the 135 pound division isn’t easy for me to make. I’m a lot bigger than those guys. So if I can’t fight Loma, Tank, Teofimo, Ryan Garcia, then I’m going to move up.
“I haven’t watched much of Javier Fortuna. I’m just coming off a victory, but I have seen him fight a little bit. He’s very scrappy, but he always finds a way to win.
“I’m not taking him lightly at all. He’s actually one of the toughest fights out there because of his style. But I see myself going in there, and taking away the thing he does the best, and making him handicapped.
“At one point he was at the top of his game, and now he’s trying to get back to where he was. but fighting Devin Haney is the wrong thing to do. He can’t match my speed,” said Haney.
Ryan Garcia has already said that he WON’T fight Haney in 2020, because he wants to develop. Garcia is thinking the fight could happen in 2021, and he might need to move up to 140 by that point.
Lomachenko admitted this week that he vacated his World Boxing Council title title, and that took fans by surprise. If he vacated it, then it makes it clear that he did that to avoid facing Haney.
Javior Fortuna next for Haney
“One of the things I told my dad is, I want to fight the best,” said Haney. “I don’t want to fight lower opposition. And I want fights that I can gain from. I feel like a fight against Javier Fortuna is a fight that I can gain from. It’s not the same as other fights at 140 against Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez, Lomachenko, Commey, but it’s a fight where I can gain.
“If I can’t get those top guys, then I’ll go to 140. I feel like these fights have marinated enough. These fights are big now. Me and Loma would be one of the biggest fights today. A fight between me and Tank would be one of the biggest fights. Me and Ryan Garcia might be the biggest fight today. Those are massive fights, and those are some of the biggest fights in boxing. I think we need to make those happen in 2020.
Haney will be defending against his WBC mandatory Javier Fortuna next March. Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs) is a former super featherweight world champion, and he’s considered past his prime in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans.
Still, he’s an improvement for Haney from the guys he’s been fighting since he turned pro. Fortuna has only lost twice to Robert Easter Jr. and Jason Sosa. Those losses took place not too long ago, but he’s won his last couple of fights.
Haney needs name guys like Fortuna for him to continue to build his brand. If he can’t get Tank Davis, Ryan Garcia and Lomachenko to fight him, then he needs opposition that people have heard of.
Haney dares the top lightweights: “get me out of the way”
“I’m only 21, why not fight me and get me out of the way?” said Haney. “Of course, I want to stay undefeated. I want to go 100-0 if I could, but it’s part of the game. I’m young, and I’m willing to take those top fights. If I lose, I can take my loss as a man. I don’t see myself losing to no one, but if it happens, it’s part of the game. The critics are going to criticize me no matter what.
“No one knew that he [Alfredo Santiago] was an Olympian, and no one knew he had 170 [amateur fights]. He had more amateur fights than me. He’s older than me, he’s taller than me, and he’s longer than me. I’m so high up here that they expect me to blow everybody out of the water, and that’s okay, because I put myself in that position,” said Haney.
It’s not up to Haney to decide when the other top lightweights decide to fight him. They’re doing their own thing right now, and they don’t have interest in facing Haney. He says he’s not afraid of losing, but the fact is the other top fighters are. They’re not going to risk losing to Haney right now. If they wait a few years, Haney’s popularity will be through the roof. So when they do fight him, they’ll make more money than they would right now.