Devin Haney and Yuriorkis Gamboa reach an agreement for Nov.7 fight on DAZN
By Sean Jones: WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney and Yuriorkis Gamboa reportedly have a deal done for them to fight on November 7th on DAZN. Gamboa’s manager Jesse Rodriguez has revealed the news of the fight with Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) being agreed on and ready to go to contracts.
Featherweight Gary Russell Jr had been in talks with Haney and his father, Bill Haney, for a fight in November, but supposedly the fans weren’t in favor of that fight due to Gary needing to come up two weight classes to challenge Devin for his WBC 135lb title.
The fans aren’t exactly in favor of Haney fighting the 38-year-old Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) either, as they see the Cuban fighter as old, and they don’t like the fact that he’s coming off of an Achilles injury and a knockout loss to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.
Everything ready for Haney-Gamboa
Haney, 21, won’t gain much in fighting Gamboa, but the casuals might like this match-up more than they would Russell, who isn’t as well known. Gamboa has been around for a long time since turning professional in 2007, and he’s fought a lot of different guys on U.S television.
“I spoke with Haney’s father and he assured me that everything is ready for November 7,” said Jesse Rodríguez, Gamboa’s manager to the El Nuevo Herald. “Yuri always wanted this fight from the beginning. Other names came up, but he always insisted on clashing with Haney. Now it’s going to be a reality. ”
It’s easy to see why Gamboa would prefer a fight against Haney, as it’s a world title shot, and his likely other options don’t involve fighting for a belt. Gamboa is coming off of a failed title shot against Tank Davis last year on December 28th in Atlanta. Gamboa was knocked out in the 12th round by Davis in their scrap for the vacant WBA ‘regular’ lightweight belt.
Now a year later, Gamboa will be fighting for a world title again, this time against WBC 135-lb champion Haney, on DAZN. While some boxing fans will criticize the choice of opponent for Haney, it’s still easily the best guy that he’ll have fought.
Even at 38, Gamboa is a better fighter than anyone that Haney has fought during his five-year professional career. There’s nothing wrong with the young Haney having never fought anyone talented, given how young he is right now.
That makes it hard to give Haney as much grief as one would if it were a champion that had been fighting for a decade or more.
Gamboa didn’t lose credibility against Tank
Ranked #8 WBA, #10 WBC at 135, Gamboa will be fighting for the fourth consecutive time at lightweight since moving up in weight in 2018. He put in a good enough performance in losing to Tank Davis last December to keep his high ranking, which is why he’s getting a title shot against Haney.
Boxing fans see Gamboa as an easy mark for Haney, but that might not be the case. Even at 38 and competing in his third division, Gamboa still has better punching power and hand-speed than Devin.
Gamboa is one of those types of fighters that was blessed with a lot of talent, and he’s gotten the most of it in winning a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics and capturing two world titles at 126 after turning pro. Haney would be lucky to have the kind of career that Gamboa has had.
“Yuri is very excited about this fight, now that he is healthy and feels rejuvenated,” said Rodríguez. “We are waiting for the contract to be sent to us, but the main issues are resolved.”
Hopefully, the fight takes place, and we don’t see Haney suddenly going back in the direction of Russell Jr. With the way Haney has been bouncing around in deviating from a fight between Russell and Gamboa, it’s hard to predict what he’ll do.
There are some boxing fans that believe that Team Haney and Matchroom don’t like the idea of Devin facing Russell, 32 because he’s still in the latter stages of his prime and would be dangerous.
Haney needs a decisive win
With Gamboa, he’s less of a threat due to his age, his recent Achilles injury, and the loss that he suffered against Tank Davis. Gamboa will be turning 39 in December, and that’s almost twice the age as Haney.
As a fan, what you don’t like about Haney fighting Gamboa is it puts him in a position where he won’t receive credit if he wins.
There be nothing to gain for Haney, aside from him being able to brag that he did a better job beating Gamboa than Tank Davis did last December. However, Gamboa was injured from the second round in that contest with an ankle problem, and it looked like Davis wasn’t going hard on him.
If Haney is forced to struggle to beat Gamboa or if he loses, it’s going to hurt his career. The only way Haney comes out of the Gamboa fight with a favorable opinion from fans is if he blows him out within six rounds.
Anything other than that, Haney will be dealing with backlash from fans. That’s why it’s never a good idea for young champions to face old lions unless they’re super popular, and there’s a lot of money to be made.
Gamboa recovered from Achilles injury
“Fully recovered, everyone will be able to see a Gamboa in great physical condition and mint,” Rodríguez said about Gamboa’s injured Achilles. “It is incredible how the name of Gamboa arouses interest every time it is mentioned.
“[Tank] Davis knew the importance of facing him and now with Haney, history repeats itself. When you leave a valuable legacy, that’s what happens,” Rodriguez added about Gamboa
During his long career, Gamboa has wins over these excellent fighters:
- Orlando Salido
- Roman Martinez
- Jason Sosa
- Rene Alvarado
- Darleys Perez
- Jorge Solis
- Daniel Ponce De Leon
- Jonathan Victor Barros
- Adailton De Jesus
Gamboa gave Terence Crawford a lot of problems in 2014 when the two of them fought at lightweight. That was an excellent effort by Gamboa to fight a guy with a huge size advantage over him.
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