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Haney to fight on Nov.7, Gamboa and Russell Jr potential foes

Devin Haney Gary Russell Jr.

By Jim Malzman: Eddie Hearn revealed today that he’s still considering Yuriorkis Gamboa an option as the next opponent for Devin Haney to fight on November 7 on DAZN. Matchroom will be naming Haney’s opponent next week.

It could come down to economics. If Gamboa is less expensive than Russell, who has already agreed to $1.5 million, then he may get the fight. If Hearn wants to save money, then Gamboa might be the better option for Haney.

Hearn says the 38-year-old Gamboa (30-3 18 KOs), and Gary Russell Jr (31-1, 18 KOs) are the two possible opponents for WBC lightweight champion Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) to defend against next.

Hearn naming former IBF/WBA featherweight champion Gamboa as one of the potential next opponents for Devin might explain why the offer sheet sent to Russell Jr. said that he would still need to be approved by Matchroom and DAZN.

In other words, Russell Jr could sign the offer sheet and still not get the fight with Haney if DAZN or Matchroom didn’t approve him.

Devin Haney Gary Russell Jr.

It makes sense for Hearn to have a plan-B option for Haney, 21, to fight just in case DAZN rejects one of the two guys. Where it could get tricky for Hearn is if DAZN says no to both Gamboa and Russell Jr.

If they’re expecting a premier type opponent for Haney like Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, Vasily Lomachenko, or Teofimo Lopez, then he’s going to be out of luck because those aren’t fights that can happen in 2020.

Gamboa still an option for Devin

“November 7 is the targeted date for his return, and the two main targets are Gary Russell Jr and Yuriorkis Gamboa,” said Hearn. “Both are great fights for Devin.  Devin is ready to defend his WBC titles against all comers, and I can’t wait to see him back in the ring in November.”

“Mr. Cap strikes again!!! The DMV is mine,” said Haney on Twitter in taking a shot at Russell Jr. “I don’t care about Gary. I wanted to beat his a** for that DMV respect. #StayWoke.”

Gamboa is well known to U.S boxing fans, and he’s been in with a lot of different fighters during his The exciting 2004 Olympic gold medalist from Cuba lost his last fight to Gervonta’ Tank’ Davis nine months ago in December.

Gamboa fought with a torn Achilles from round two until he was stopped in the 12th. Of all the guys that Tank has fought during his career, Gamboa gave him his toughest fight, and that was with an injured ankle.

Hearn might even prefer Gamboa as the opponent for Haney, as he’s someone that you know will put in a great fight. There are fewer unknowns involved with Gamboa facing Haney compared to Russell Jr, who will be moving up two weight classes from featherweight to challenge for the title.

You don’t know what you’re going to get with the 32-year-old Russell because he’s never fought at 135. In contrast, Gamboa has been fighting at lightweight since 2012 and has wins over these fighters:

  • Michael Farenas
  • Darleys Perez
  • Hylon Williams Jr
  • Rene Alvarado
  • Miguel Beltran Jr
  • Roman Martinez

Bill goes off on Russell Jr.

“Lying a** Mr. Gary Russell,” said Bill Haney, Devin’s dad/coach on social media. “You got the audacity to question whether DAZN and Matchroom are behind the fight.

“You got the audacity to say that a term sheet is a contract. Those are the terms of the fight, sir, and we tap you on your shoulder. DAZN and Matchroom didn’t. You know that we came looking for you, Mr. Russell.

Devin Haney Gary Russell Jr.

“I told you before we got down if Al [Haymon] is interested in putting up the money for you and you’re getting a world title, you said that Al is not interested. You said if they would put up the money, then you’re with it.

“We told you that we got $1.5 million for you. You said you didn’t like that. You didn’t want to deal with us for the terms 1.5, so guess what? We found somebody that would agree to your terms.

“Why wouldn’t Eddie [Hearn] talk to Al? I keep waiting or a call from Gary to say that he didn’t realize what he had just said and that he was out of pocket.

“He’s [Russell Jr] the longest reigning champion in boxing. Gary is a problem for who? That’s why he hasn’t fought anybody.

“Mr. Gary Russell, if you pull out the agreement that was sent over to you, it’s everything you asked for. Now, if you need to talk to somebody at someplace else without signing the agreement, we can do that too. Everyone needs approval from the network,” said Bill.

What Russell Jr wanted was an offer sheet without the part where it said that the Haney fight was pending approval from DAZN and Matchroom. Since that wasn’t there, Russell wasn’t going to sign for a fight that might not be approved.

Waiting for Gary’s approval of the terms

“As promoters, how would I present it to the network if he does not even agree to the s***. So what do I present?” continued Bill. “How are we going to prove it if you haven’t even said that you want the fight?

Devin Haney Gary Russell Jr.

“That’s not my job to talk about the hypotheticals. My job is to prepare guys to get in the ring. Yes, he’s a lion in the jungle. He’s a young lion, and Gary is an old lion, and we got him limping.

“We didn’t send out no offers to PBC fighters. We aren’t going to disrespect the great Al Haymon. I would never disrespect him like that. We saw him [Russell Jr] offering his serves as a boss to Terence Crawford at 147 pounds.

“So, Devin, as a young boss, offered him some money to come over to the network he’s on so we could give you guys something to appreciate it. Are you going to put DAZN and Matchroom in the middle in negotiating between two extraordinarily talented and successful black families?

“We can’t come to an agreement and present it to somebody? It’s a term sheet, man, and it isn’t a contract. I didn’t send any contract over to you. It’s a term sheet. These are the terms that you said online that they told me.

“‘Is that what he wants? Let’s get him to agree to the terms and see if DAZN approves it.’ Was I supposed to send him a check? We haven’t even got in the ring. So when you talk about ‘blank check.’ Blank check how?” said Haney.

Gary probably isn’t going to approve the terms of the fight offer from Team Haney until he knows if he’s getting the fight. He won’t know that until next week when Matchroom decides who they want Haney to fight.

Bill Haney is not giving up on Gary Russell Jr.

“Did he want a check for 1.5 or did he want the terms for what he’s going to get in the ring on a particular day for an event for the people, and would then pick up the money based on the terms for the agreement,” Bill said. “We’re not getting another opponent.


“Gary Russell is the opponent. We’re not moving on. If DAZN doesn’t approve it, then Showtime will approve it. You are the opponent, and you will not get out of this. And if it doesn’t look right, you send the s*** in and send it back to us.

“And then when you send it, say, ‘Oh, they wouldn’t accept it.’ Right it on another piece of paper and send it over. Stop capping, you little a** fraud,” said Bill Haney.

Bill Haney says he’s not giving up on Russell as the next fight for Devin, but he may have to. If Hearn and or DAZN wants Gamboa as Haney’s next opponent, then the decision will have been made. them

It’s nice that Haney and Bill are trying to be assertive and select opponents, but that’s Matchroom’s job as promoters for Devin. Also, things are complicated by DAZN, who want fights that bring in subscribers.

They seem to have tightened their reigns now that the pandemic has caused a lot of users to unsubscribe. Also, they’ve been putting on a lot of mismatches that haven’t brought in a lot of subscribers.

Of the two, Gamboa and Russell Jr, the more proven is the former. Gamboa has been involved in a lot of exciting fights during his career, and he won’t be over-matched against due to his size the way Russell Jr will.

Obviously, Russell’s career is still going great, but that’s because he’s been fighting at 126.

You can argue that if Gamboa were fighting 126, he’d be a world champion today. When Gamboa competed at featherweight, he was a terror. His problems didn’t start until he moved up to 130 and 135, and began to fight bigger guys.

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