Russell Jr tells Haney to send contract for $1.5M and he’ll fight him
By Chris Williams: Gary Russell Jr wants Eddie Hearn to send him the $1.5 million contract to face his fighter WBC lightweight champion, Devin Haney. The two had words on social media, and Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) wants the fight, or so he says.
Hearn’s plans of turning Haney into a star might be foiled if he lets the 32-year-old Russell face him. Although Russell Jr fights in a weight class two divisions below Haney at 126, he’s got more power and a lot more hand speed.
Haney doesn’t possess power or hand speed. He’s a pure boxer, who has yet to face his first test as a professional.
Will Haney take the risk?
WBC featherweight champion Russell Jr (31-1, 18 KOs) is calling Haney’s bluff by telling him to have Hearn send over the contract.
Now the world is going to watch and see if Haney, 21, will back up his bold talk by sending the contract for $1.5M to Russell Jr, who seems deadly serious about wanting that fight. Russell Jr says he’s going to whip Haney’s backside when the fight happens.
Russell Jr tells Haney to send the contract
Recently, Russell Jr was calling out WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford for a fight at 147, but Bud didn’t take him up on the offer.
Russell viewed that as a failure of nerve with Crawford, who he wants to put hands on after he made a comment about wanting to break his neck. Will Haney duck the fight with Russell Jr too?
“Now you got people saying what Devin Haney is saying that I’m trying to overprice myself,” said Gary Russell Jr on Instagram. “It’s not my fault that these people don’t know their worth.
“But since you’re playing with me, Shorty [Devin Haney], tell Eddie [Hearn] to call Al [Haymon], and I’m going to beat your a**, point blank and period. We ain’t got nothing else to talk about. Send the contract over for the $1.5, and I’ll fight you. Make it happen.
“The stuff with Terence was personal, so I was definitely willing to take that fight for that number,” Russell Jr continued. “With Devin Haney, that was business,” said Russell Jr.
Matchroom is supposed to be trying to set Haney up with a fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa next. It’s quite possible that they’ve already started the negotiation process for a fight between them.
Former IBF/WBA 126-lb champion Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) would be a nice test for Haney, as long as he’s healthy. Gamboa suffered an Achilles injury in his last fight against Gervonta Davis last December.
Gary is coming off of a 12 round unanimous decision win over #1 WBC Tugstsogt Nyambayar on February 8 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Will Haney back down?
“Now he’s [Haney] saying that I’m trying to duck him? Stop playing,” said Russell. “Since you playing with me, tell mother-f**** Eddie to send the contract over. I already spoke to Al. Al said, ‘Gary, we have a good business relationship, but you can fight whoever you want.
“If these guys are serious about it, tell them to send you a contract.’ So send me the contract. I’ll fight you for the 1.5 [million], and I’m going to beat your little a**, shorty.
“I’m going to beat your a**. I hope it’s worth it. Your father is talking about, ‘You do this that and the third.’ First of all, I’m the challenger. The challenger isn’t the one that writes the demand and stuff like that.
“With Terence Crawford, he was offering Kell Brook 1.5, meaning his team was going to put the money up to fight Kell Brook. Al Haymon isn’t going to put any mother-f**** money up to fight Devin Haney.
“He said, ‘Gary, you know, he’s [Devin Haney] the champion. He’s the one that comes up with that. It’s the champion. The challenger doesn’t come up with the figures. So if he really wants to fight, tell him to send the contract,” said Russell Jr.
Haney has had words with a lot of different fighters at 135, but none of the trash-talking has led to a fight. With Haney, coming events cast their shadows before.
The guys that Haney does end up fighting are fighters that he doesn’t trash talk. It’s a bad sign that Russell and Haney are going back and forth on social media because this fits the pattern that Devin has had during his career.
Gary says he’s going to smack Haney
“Send the 1.5. I’m going to beat your a**, shorty,” Gary said to Haney. “All that extra s*** that everyone has got to say and all that, I ain’t even tripping. It’s all good. Send the 1.5; we’ll be waiting.
“If we don’t get nothing, then everybody knows what it is. We ain’t got time for games with these people, man. Shorty [Haney] lets his father do all the talking. This is the first time that I’ve seen him do some kind of talking.
“I didn’t even know what Shorty looked like, but it’s cool. I’m going to smack your little a**. Send the contract over,” Russell said in a message to Haney.
Hearn might choose to protect Haney from Russell Jr in the same way that he’s been keeping his flagship fighter Anthony Joshua away from Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
If the Russell-Haney fight doesn’t get made, it’s easy to understand who the person is that is keeping the match from happening.
If Russell Jr beats Haney, it’s going to be a major blow to his career, and he might not be able to bounce back. Haney, 5’8″, is a lot taller and younger than the 5’4 1/2″ Russell Jr, who is 32-years-old.
Russell Jr is seen as the #1 fighter at 126, and that’s something that Haney can’t say about himself at 135. Haney isn’t #1 at lightweight, and you can’t even say he’s #2 or #3. Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis would all likely beat Haney.
Haney risking his career against Russell
Once you get past those guys, it’s a tossup whether Haney can beat the likes of Ryan Garcia, Luke Campbell, Jorge Linares, and Javier Fortuna. It wouldn’t be surprising if Haney lost to all of those fighters.
In real terms, Haney is perhaps the 6th best lightweight in the division. So when you compare where Haney is at to where Russell Jr sits in his own division at 126, he’s not on in the talent class.
Russell Jr is the better fighter and the proven guy. That’s why Hearn might not be willing to put Haney in with Russell because there would be such a massive downside if he were to lose to him.
It’s one thing for Haney to lose to a 135-pounder like Teofimo, Lomachenko, or Tank, and quite another thing for him to lose to featherweight Russell Jr.
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