By Jim Maltzman: Bob Arum says Devin Haney lacks the popularity needed to let him fight the Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez winner. When the smoke clears from that fight, Haney won’t be the one that Arum will be looking at to match against the winner. It’s not personal with Arum. He just wants the most popular fighters to face his guys, and Haney is lacking right now in that area.
Although Arum respects the young 21-year-old Haney’s talent, he views him trailing Ryan Garcia and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis in terms of his fan base in the United States.
Arum wants to make sure that he puts the best possible opponent in with the winner of the lightweight unification match between WBA/WBC/WBO champion Lomachenko and IBF champ Teofimo. Haney is still green at 21, and e hasn’t been around boxing long enough to establish himself as a big star.
Earlier on Tuesday, Haney said that he doubts that Lomachenko will fight him. Now with what Arum is saying, it’s confirmed. Lomachenko won’t be fighting Haney after he faces Teofimo.
Ryan Garcia with a big fan base
While Ryan is the age as Haney and has been fighting the same amount of time, but he works hard on social media. Ryan has single-handedly turned himself into a star with the hard work he’s done on Twitter. With Ryan’s millions of followers, it puts him well ahead of Haney with his fan base.
It doesn’t matter that Ryan’s opposition has been less than spectacular since he turned pro. The fans don’t care. He’s like one of the Youtube celebrity guys Jake Paul. Fans just want to see Ryan no matter what. It’s different with Haney. He has to build his fan base the hard way by beating quality fighters, but he’s not getting those opportunities that he needs to further his career.
The excellent news for Haney is if he keeps winning long enough, he’ll eventually be a fighter in demand. However, there’s no guarantee that Lomachenko will still be around the game by that point. That’s the way things go. Sometimes fights just aren’t meant to happen, and Haney has to live with that.
Devin Haney not popular enough
“It doesn’t disinterest me, but there are probably better fights for Loma, Lopez, or whoever wins that fight than Devin Haney,” said Arum to IFL TV. “I’ll give you examples. Gervonta Davis is a much more well accepted and better known [fighter] than Devin Haney.
“Also, the Mexican kid that Oscar [De La Hoya] has, Ryan Garcia. He’s much better known and has a much bigger fan base than Devin Haney. So I would think those fights would take precedent.
“The winner of Lomachenko-Lope would probably want to fight Gervonta Davis or Ryan Garcia before they fought Haney,” said Arum.
Haney’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA has a lot of different fighters in his stable that he can match him against in the future. Even if he never gets a fight with Lomachenko or Teofimo, he’s in a position to face Ryan Garcia and Tank Davis eventually.
It would be a good idea for Haney to be flexible about moving between divisions if he wants the crucial fights. Devin should look at the 130 and 140-pound weight divisions for the best fights.
Haney lacks public support in U.S – Arum
“Haney doesn’t mean, and I’m not talking about his ability,” said Arum. “The jury is out on that. He looks like he’s a very good prospect, but he doesn’t have the public support yet that the other guys do. He just doesn’t, you know? You can’t paper that over with a big contract that Eddie Hearn gave him.
“It is what it is. Devin Haney means a lot less in the United States than Ryan Garcia or Gervonta Davis.
If Haney ever does become a star, he can turn the tables potentially and be the one that Teofimo and Lomachenko are attempting to fight. Again, Lomachenko probably won’t be around by that time unless he fights into his late 30s.
Haney seems to have the mistaken belief that one of these days, he’ll get the big fights at 135-lb. That’s just not happening, and it’s a waste of his time and career to stay in his current situation for much longer. Right now, Haney is just hoping to get his WBC belt back, but that won’t help him even if he gets it back.
Boxing is like a job. If you’re stuck at a company where you’re being overlooked and not given chances for promotion, sometimes it’s best to move on.
Assuming Haney stays at 135 for much longer, he could waste valuable time in his career. If Haney were willing to move down or up in weight, his problems with being ignored would be over.
Arum wants Tank Davis for Lomachenko-Lopez winner
“You have to direct that to Floyd [Mayweather] because Floyd is his promoter,” said Arum about when he thinks Tank Davis will fight a quality fighter.
“Floyd knows that whenever he thinks Gervonta Davis is ready to fight the winner of Loma-Lopez, then give us a call and we’ll make that match because Davis has a tremendous following, particularly in the urban community in the United States,” said Arum.
Golden Boy Promotions aren’t likely to let Ryan face Lomachenko at this early stage of his career. Ryan isn’t talking about wanting to fight Lomachenko or Teofimo. The guys Ryan wants to fight are Jorge Linares, Tank Davis, Luke Campbell and Haney.
Teofimo is close to the same age as Ryan, but he’s already near his prim. Ryan looks like he’s nowhere near his best yet, and it would be a mistake for Golden Boy to let him face Teofimo or Loma right now.
WBC ‘Champion in Recess’ Haney is still unbeaten with a record of 24-0, 15 knockouts.