Devin Haney wants Vasily Lomachenko after Gamboa fight
By Barry Holbrook: Devin Haney received a text message from Vasily Lomachenko, saying that he’ll “keep him in mind” as an opponent. Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) wants to fight the winner of this months’ unification match between WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and IBF champ Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KO)
The only thing that Haney, 21, has that would be of value is his unbeaten record because the winner of the Lomachenko-Lopez match will hold the WBC Franchise title, which is arguably more valuable than the strap that Devin holds.
If Lomachenko, 32, chooses not to take the fight with Haney, it wouldn’t be a shocker. Haney’s WBC title was given to him through email by the World Boxing Council. He didn’t beat anyone to win the strap, and his resume is empty as far as big names.
Haney not focusing on Gamboa
To given an example of how barren of names Haney’s ring record is, his next fight against 38-year-old Yurirokis Gamboa on November 7th will be by far the biggest name he’ll have faced during his five-year career.
For some reason, Haney isn’t focusing on the Gamboa fight the way he should be, but it’s understandable. Gamboa isn’t the fighter that Haney wanted to fight. He was hoping to get the likes of Lomachenko, Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, and Teofimo to fight him by now.
Taking the fight against Gamboa, was recently knocked out last December by Tank Davis, puts Haney in a situation where he has to try and beat him in a more dominating fashion to get the credit he wants.
Lomachenko will keep Haney in mind
“Loma finally responded to me,” said Haney to Fightype. Haney then showed a message from Loachenko to him, saying, “I’m available. I will keep it in mind” about the two of them facing each other.
“I said ‘Lomachenko vs. Haney, pay-per-view money.’ August,” said Haney when asked when he had that exchange with Lomahenko. “What are we in, October? That was two months ago, so it was recently,” said Haney.
It sounds like Lomachenko is tactically blowing Haney off by saying, ‘I’ll keep it in mind.” That’s the kind of comment that a person would say to someone they’re not serious about helping.
We’ve seen the way that Lomachenko is when he wants to fight someone. He makes the first move to set-up a fight, not the other way around. Haney needs to realize that because Lomachenko clearly has no designs on giving him a fight anytime soon if ever.
With the way Lomachenko replied to Haney, the only way the two of them will ever fight is if Devin becomes a superstar in the next five years. It’s probably going to take that long before it happens if it does at all.
By the time Haney has become a big name, Lomachenko will be an old- timer, on the bad side of 30, and needy to fight against him to get a big payday. It probably won’t be worth it for Haney to fight an older Lomachenko at that time other than to add his scalp to his collection.
That’s pretty much the situation Haney is in right now. He doesn’t bring any value to the table for Lomachenko right now, so he’s going to be ignored while he goes after guys that can bring him more money. As long as Haney isn’t bitter about it later, he can always fight Lomachenko after becoming a star.
It won’t mean as much, and he’ll be in the same situation as he is now in taking on an older 38-year-old Gamboa. In other words, Haney won’t get credit for beating Lomachenko when he’s in his late 30s to early 40s.
But obviously, the fight will be there for Haney if he achieves stardom, and if he’s not holding a grudge, after all, that time. Errol Spence Jr is an example of a fighter holding a grudge due to him being bypassed by Keith Thurman all these years. Now that Thurman is needy and Spence is a star, Errol says he’s not going to give him the time of day.
Haney: Lomachenko wants the fight
“I think honestly that Loma wants the fight, but I think his team doesn’t think it’s in his best interest. I think Loma is a true champion,” said Haney. “He showed that he’s willing to face the best, but I don’t think that his team.
“I don’t know. We got to get to that,” said Haney in how to overcome the DAZN and ESPN network issue that would potentially complicate things for a Devin vs. Lomachenko match.
“I don’t want to say the wrong thing [to mess up the Lomachenko fight], and then the fight doesn’t happen. I say one thing, and then they say the opposite. I’ll do anything to make the fight happen,” said Haney.
Devin might be underestimating Lomachenko’s ability to be selective about his opponents. Vasily obviously knows which fighters will bring him the most money on ESPN or pay-per-view. If he thought Haney was someone he could make a lot of dough fighting, he would be facing him now.
It’s not about Lomachenko’s team blocking the Haney fights. It’s more about him. If Lomachenko wanted to fight Haney, Top Rank would grant his request. Lomachenko knows that Haney is still green and doesn’t have a big enough fan base for him to be worthwhile fighting.
If Haney can’t get the top lightweights to fight him, then he needs to float between divisions to try and dig up fights against the best from 130 to 140. That would be the fastest way for Haney to become a star, but he would have to take himself out of his comfort zone to do that.
If Haney melted down to 130, he’d have the chance to fight the likes of Shakur Stevenson, Miguel Berchelt, Oscar Valdez, Leo Santa Cruz, Joseph Fiaz Jr, and Jamel Herring.
At 140, Haney could fight some of these guys:
- Josh Taylor
- Jose Ramirez
- Regis Prograis
- Mario Barrios
- Jose Zepeda
- Ivan Baranchyk
- Pablo Cesar Cano
If Haney were flexible about moving among the different weight classes like a modern Henry Armstrong (151-22-10, 100 KOs), it would be a quicker path for him to become a star. Once that happens, Haney wouldn’t have any problems getting a fight against Lomachenko if he were still interested.
Right now, Haney is in a position of weakness in trying to get Lomachenko to fight him. Devin is not a big name, and he’s not fought any of the talented fighters to increase his star power.
You can argue that Haney should have turned down the World Boxing Council when they made him email champion. It’s always better to win a world title the traditional way rather than being given a belt.
Devin insists Tank Davis fight will happen
“We’re going to have to fight each other whether they like it or not or whether they want to or not,” said Haney about him and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis. “The fans just go to end these fights.
“The best will have to fight the best whether we like it or not and whether we feel they deserve money or if it doesn’t want to see them with money. It is what it is,” said Haney.
Tank and Haney probably will fight one of these days, but it might be until 2022 or later. WBA lightweight champion Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) is fighting Leo Santa Cruz this month on October 31st, and they may end up fighting twice.
Earlier this week, Tank told unbeaten lightweight contender Ryan Garcia that they’ll be fighting in 2021. Garcia doesn’t hold a world title, but he does have 6 million+ followers on social media. If Haney had that kind of popularity, he would have no problems trying to get Tank to fight him.
Haney needs to increase his popularity to get the big names like Tank, Ryan, and Lomachenko to fight him. Unfortunately, Haney doesn’t have a gimmick that attracts the fans that Ryan, Tank, and Teofimo do.
Haney wants to beat Gamboa as no one else has
“I’ve got Gamboa ahead of me, but after that fight, I’d like to make [the match with Lomachenko] that fight or any other fight that’s possible. My focus is on Gamboa. I can’t look past him.
“I know he’s [Gamboa] going to come to fight and bring his all, and I’m going to go in there and showcase my skills. I’m going to show the world I am the best lightweight. No one beats Gamboa like I will,” said Haney.
It would be better for Haney not to concentrate on beating Gamboa in a better way than past fighters like Tank Davis, Terence Crawford, and Robinson Castellanos.
Haney should stay within his realm of how he fights, and not try and become something he’s not to try and outdo what other fighters have done in beating Gamboa. That would be playing into the Cuban talent’s hands by doing that.
As it is, Devin is going to have his hands full against Gamboa, who can still punch harder and has faster hands than him at 38.
Haney needs a win over Gamboa to add his name to his resume, and he should forget about trying to do a better job of beating him than guys like Tank.
More Boxing News:
- Eddie Hearn wants boxing to follow UFC model with one belt and one promotional company
- Devin Haney: Lomachenko needs to take his loss and move on
- Devin Haney reacts to Mayweather saying “too many belts”
- Teofimo wants Ryan Garcia, Tank, and Haney to prove themselves worthy to face him
- Top Rank wants Ryan Garcia for Teofimo Lopez’s next fight