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Devin Haney: Top Rank doesn’t want Teofimo Lopez to fight me

Devin Haney Teofimo Lopez Yuriorkis Gamboa

By Allan Fox: Devin Haney believes that Teofimo Lopez’s promoters at Top Rank don’t want him to fight him for some reason. Haney says Top Rank is putting out a false narrative that Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is the undisputed lightweight champion after his win over Vasily Lomachenko.

(Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing)

In Devin’s view, Teofimo can’t be the undisputed 135-pound champion because his WBC Franchise title can’t be won. That’s a belt that Lopez had to petition for with the World Boxing Council.

If not for that, Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) would still be the Franchise champion despite losing to Teofimo.

It angers Haney that Teofimo could move up to 140 soon without fighting him because he wants a chance of facing him before he leads the division.

Haney says he won’t let it get to him if Teofimo doesn’t face him because he’s still young at 21 and has a lot of time ahead of him in his career. Also, Haney says Teofimo isn’t a mega-star, and he’s not going to chase after him.

Devin Haney Teofimo Lopez Yuriorkis Gamboa

Haney says he’d have beaten Lomachenko

“I do wish it had been me because it was a very winnable fight for me,” said Devin Haney to The Ali & Barak show about wishing that it had been him that defeated Lomachenko.

“I saw myself beating him. And I knew he wasn’t what everyone was portraying him to be,” Haney said of Lomachenko. “He’s accomplished a lot in the sport of boxing, but I just felt like it was a tailormade fight for me. It’s okay. Things happen, and timing is everything. It wasn’t my time.

“I do think he’s a good boxer,” Haney said of Teofimo Lopez. “I do think him and Top Rank are trying to brainwash the fans with this email thing. Just putting out false information to try and prove he’s undisputed when in reality, he’s not.

“How can you be undisputed when your next opponent can’t fight for undisputed? So you’re not undisputed. Your next opponent is not Devin Haney, and cannot fight for undisputed unless they go petition for it [the WBC Franchise title] like he did,” Haney said in pointing out that Teofimo’s WBC Franchise belt can’t be passed on if he loses,” said Haney.

It would have been fun to see how a fight between Haney and Lomachenko ended up. But given Lomachenko’s shoulder injury, Haney would have likely beaten him.

If Lomachenko didn’t throw punches against Haney for the first seven rounds, he’d have fallen behind in the same way he did against Teofimo.

You can see that Haney is still bothered that Teofimo took away his glory by beating Lomachenko before he did.

Devin Haney Teofimo Lopez Yuriorkis Gamboa

Since losing to Teofimo, Lomachenko hasn’t said anything about wanting to fight Haney for his WBC title. You’d have to assume that Lomachenko will never bother fighting Haney for whatever reason.

Devin insists Teofimo is not the undisputed champ

“I did, and they [the WBC] said he’s not undisputed. It’s Top Rank. They’re trying to push that narrative,” said Haney about Teofimo. “They’re trying to brainwash the people. In reality, he never came and cleared it up.

“So it has something to do with him as well. He’s [Teofimo] not [the undisputed]. There’s no way he can be because he’s got the Franchise title. He can’t be undisputed. It’s a fact.

“I didn’t see Teofimo beating Loma. I thought that Loma would be too smart for him and would pretty much outbox him. But Teofimo surprised me. He went in and was more busy.

“It really wasn’t so much what Teofimo did. It was what Loma didn’t do. He didn’t even try to punch. But you never know until you get in there. I’m on the outside looking in.

“It may have been Teofimo’s skills. Teofimo may have shown him something or thrown something on him where, ‘Oh, he’s got some smoke on him.’ You never know until you get in there,” said Devin.

In the real sense, Teofimo isn’t the undisputed lightweight champion, but in the boxing public’s eyes, he is. Perception is the reality in life, and unfortunately for Haney, they view Teofimo was the legitimate four-belt lightweight champion.

Devin Haney Teofimo Lopez Yuriorkis Gamboa

Top Rank doesn’t want Haney to fight Teofimo

“That’s the thing. They don’t want to fight me, and that’s why they say they’ve accomplished everything, and there’s nothing more to accomplish because, in reality, they don’t want to fight me,” Haney said of Teofimo Lopez.

“It’s fine. If I don’t fight Teofimo, it’s not a career-ending thing. There are so many big fights out there. I’m only 21.

“I’ve got too much time ahead of me. If it doesn’t happen, so be it. I don’t chase Teofimo. Teofimo is not a mega-star. Teofimo, of course, he has the belts, but he’s still not a mega-star,” Devin said.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has already gone on record to say that it’s not worth it for Teofimo to fight Haney because he’s not well known. Arum sees Haney as someone that’s only known in small circles in the boxing world.

Haney’s age is the reason why he’s not better known. He’s just starting, and he hasn’t been in the pro game long enough for him to build a big following.

Once Haney has been around for a while and built up his fan base, Arum and Top Rank will change their mind about not wanting to match Teofimo against him.

Devin will likely need to wait until he moves up to 140 before he gets a chance to fight Lopez. Teofimo already several fighters in mind that he wants to fight before he moves up to 140.

Teofimo is quickly outgrowing the 135-lb division, and he may not be able to stick for more than one fight before he’s forced to move up to 140.

Devin Haney Teofimo Lopez Yuriorkis Gamboa

Gamboa was Tank’s toughest fight, says Haney

“We can’t forget that Gamboa’s last fight was Tank’s toughest fight,” said Devin. “Tank went in there and demolished Leo Santa Cruz.

“Why didn’t he do it to Gamboa? Is it because of Gamboa’s skills? I don’t know. We got to see on Saturday night, but we can’t forget he was his toughest fight. He put up more of a fight.

“Everyone praises Leo Santa Cruz for the effort that he put, but what about Gamboa?

“It was an interesting fight,” said Haney about Tank’s fight with Leo. “Leo was toughing him with more than I thought he would early. He was landing shots.

“The casual fans are blinded by the knockout by one big punch. That’s all they remember. But you’ve got to think about what was happening before. Leo was winning rounds. Leo was having success.

“He [Tank Davis] got the job done. So I don’t want to critique his performance too much because he got the win. So I’ve got to respect it. He [Tank] went in and got the job done.

“It may not have been his prettiest performance, but he showed he’s a true champion. Just because you have success early and you hit him with some shots doesn’t mean he’s out of the fight. He can punch from round one until whatever round,” Haney said in talking about Tank’s win over Leo Santa Cruz.

It goes without saying that Gamboa was Tank’s toughest fight as a pro, and that’s not saying much. Tank hasn’t fought a lot of good opposition since turning pro.

It’s scary to think what Gamboa would have done to Tank if he hadn’t suffered a torn Achilles in the second round.

Devin Haney Teofimo Lopez Yuriorkis Gamboa

Gary Russell Jr went MIA

“He [Gary Russell Jr] said he would fight Terence Crawford for 1.5 [million] or something like that, but before that, he told my dad that he wanted 4 million or something crazy like that,” Haney said of his negotiations with Russell.

“So I was like, ‘If you want to fight him [Crawford] for 1.5, then fight me for 1.6. We got it. That’s when we started to talk. There was so much back and forth, back and forth.

“We said we’d give this one thing to him, then there would be something else, and then it was something else and something else. In reality, he never really wanted to fight.

“When he saw that we were serious, and we were trying to press the fight, he tried to call our bluff. When he realized that we really weren’t bluffing, he went MIA,” Devin said of Gary Russell Jr.

Devin Haney Teofimo Lopez Yuriorkis Gamboa

It’s too bad that Haney and Russell Jr didn’t set up a fight because that would have been an interesting one. We still could see those two potentially fight in the future because Russell will be moving up sooner or later to 130 or 135. He’ll go after the money fights, and Haney is the ideal fighter for him to ace.

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