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Devin Haney: ‘Amir Khan on the LIST,’ not happy with ‘hold it back’ sparring comment

Amir Khan Devin Haney

By Kenneth Friedman: Devin Haney is NOT happy with welterweight Amir Khan’s recent comment that he had to “hold it back” when sparring him last year. Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) claims now he’s added Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) added him to his “list” of fighters he wants to face.


Interestingly enough, Khan was mostly complimenting Haney this week in an interview and saying how their sparring session was competitive.

For Haney to take on a fighter like Khan at this early stage of his career, it could be a mistake. It’s unclear whether Khan would even agree to a fight with Haney, but if he did, it could end badly for Devin.

Although Khan has had problems against big punchers during his career, he’s excelled when facing fighters with moderate to little power. Haney isn’t a puncher. He’s more of a pure boxer, who wins by using his ring smarts.

Khan talks of holding back against Haney

“We had some really competitive sparring sessions. The kid [Haney] is a little bit light, so I had to hold back a little,” said Khan in talking about Haney to Fighthype.

It wouldn’t have been fair for Khan to start teeing off on Haney to try and knock him out during their sparring sessions. Khan has too much of a size, experience, speed and power advantage over Haney. It wouldn’t have been a good look for Khan to beat up on Haney.

The only negative things that Khan said was that he had to hold back against Haney, and that he views him as a level below Gervonta Davis in terms of development. Khan also said that Haney isn’t “world-class.”

The 5’8″ Haney is close to the same height as the 5’8 1/2″ Khan, but he lacks his size, power, speed, and experience. It would be hard for Haney to beat a fighter the size of Khan right now without him bulking up, and working on his punching power.

Amir Khan Devin Haney

Right now, Khan would probably have too much size and power for Haney to deal with, and it could end badly for him. We saw what Khan did in his last fight against lightweight Billy Dib last July.

Khan stopped Dib in the 4th round after punishing him with fast combinations and power shots. The size difference between the two fighters was huge, as Khan was too big for Dib.

Haney isn’t a big puncher even for the standards of the 135-lb division, and he could get dominated by Khan. In 21-year-old Haney’s last fight against Alfredo Santiago, he struggled with the lanky fighter’s size and was tagged by many hard shots. Santiago didn’t possess the speed, power or the talent that Khan has, but he still gave Haney major problems.

Haney reacts to Khan’s comment

“Amir Khan said he was holding back on me. Lmao,” said Haney on Twitter. “I helped him get ready for Bud [Crawford]. He paid to spar me. Now he’s on the list. The Dream.”

Haney’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing probably won’t be too anxious to put him in with Khan because it could derail his career before it’s even taken off. Hearn wants to match Haney against Ryan Garcia.

That’s a fight that Eddie is hoping to make happen in the future, and it’s one that has an excellent chance of taking place soon. Haney vs. Garcia could happen if both fighters keep winning, The coronavirus could slow things up for a while with Haney and Garcia, but they’ll meet up sooner or later.


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