Haney: I want to “look pretty” and “not get touched” by Gamboa
By Matt Lieberman: WBC lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) says his goal is to beat the 38-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) this Saturday night without being touched by him.
(Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing)
Haney sees nothing good about defeating the talented Cuban fighter Gamboa if it means he has to take punishment to get the victory.
What Haney feels would be an ideal performance that he would consider an ‘A+’ effort would be for him to knock the former IBF/WBA featherweight champion, Gamboa, out in “one second.”
Gamboa was a far better fighter in his prime than what we’ve seen from Haney thus far. Haney can only hope to be as good as Gamboa a decade ago.
Right now, Haney is seen an email champion, who was given his WBC lightweight title by the World Boxing Council outside of the ring without having to beat a talented fighter like Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis, or Vasyl Lomachenko to earn it.
Haney, 21, isn’t a big puncher, and he’ll need to land a lot of shots for him to knockout Gamboa, even though he has a reputation of being weak in the chin department. Haney’s power isn’t quite good enough to knockout Gamboa without him landing a lot of punches.
Haney and Gamboa are headlining this Saturday, November 7th, on DAZN from the Seminole Hotel in Hollywood, Florida. Team Haney feels that Gamboa was the best option for Devin due to his name recognization with casual boxing fans and the fact that he’s coming off a tough fight against Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis last December.
The fans will get a chance to compare how Haney does against Gamboa to what Tank did.
Haney’s goal: Winning without being touched
“I’ve been telling people this,” Haney said to Fighthype when asked if Gamboa is a tougher opponent than what people think. “He went in there and gave Tank his toughest fight, and he gave [Terence] Crawford his toughest fight.
“So I don’t understand why people are underestimating him or down-playing him like he’s not a warrior and he comes in to win every time and how he’s not going to lay down for nobody.
“I can go in there and take 30 punches and hit him with one punch and knock him out,” Haney said about Gamboa.
“How good is that? It’s about going in there, looking pretty, and not getting touched with anything, and executing the game plan. I’m not into taking punches just to hit a guy with one punch and knock him out. That’s not my thing,” Haney continued.
Boxing fans would prefer the Haney vs. Gamboa fight to be competitive with a lot of two-way action. If Haney fights defensively for the entire contest, he’s not going to win over many new boxing fans.
Although Floyd Mayweather Jr had a reputation for not getting hit a lot, the newer fans like to see nation rather than the boring ‘keep away’ style fighting that Mayweather was known for.
Haney could end up putting fans to sleep if he throws pots shots and runs away from Gamboa all night long. Some of Haney’s fights have been really dull, and one can only hope that Gamboa can pressure him enough to force him to make it exciting.
The way that Haney is talking about wanting to win looking “pretty” suggests that Mayweather rubbing off on him.
Nowadays, fans prefer to see action-packed fighters like Canelo Alvarez, Teofimo Lopez, Anthony Joshua, and Jermall Charlo rather than the spoilers from yesterday like Mayweather.
Devin predicts Gamboa will fight like he usually does
“It’ll be the same kind of Gamboa that we always see,” Haney said when asked what type of Gamboa we’ll see now that his Achilles injury has healed after surgery.
“He’ll go in there and give it his all. He’ll out guns blazing. If I hurt him, he’s still going to be punching, and he’s still going to be throwing.
“Saturday night is my and Gamboa’s night. That’s the main focus right now. I feel great; this is the best I’ve felt. Honestly, I feel good this time,” Devin said about him getting down to 135 without problems.
“135 in the past wasn’t easy for me to make, but this has been the easiest it’s been. I think because of the year layoff. It’s given my body time to heal and rest and recover and be prepared for what is ahead.
“This camp, I was 100% dedicated to my diet and everything, and I feel good. It feels great,” Haney said about his surgically repaired right shoulder. “You got to see [if Haney’s right shoulder will be as strong as it was when he knocked out Antonio Moran],” said Devin.
Haney could have some problems with Gamboa if he tries trading with him on Saturday night because he’s not as powerful or as fast as the Cuban fighter.
Haney punches more like a featherweight than a lightweight, but he’s got a defensive style that makes him hard to hit.
Gamboa is like a small version of Mikey Tyson, and he’s always made it exciting for fans to watch. However, he’s ten years past his prime, and he’s never looked good since he moved up from 126 to 135.
If Gamboa had more discipline, he likely would still be fighting at 126 and dominating like he used to. It was the worse career-move that Gamboa could have made in moving up from 126 to 135.
He’s not cut out for the lightweight division in terms of his punch resistance and stamina.
Knocking out Yuriorkis in one-second is what Haney wants
“The lightweight division has so many fighters and so many good match-ups. Of course, they’re going to compare each other’s fights,” Haney said when asked if boxing fans will compare his performance against Gamboa to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis’ recent wins.
“‘This person did this, and this person did that.’ It’s part of the build-up to these mega-fights.
“If I knock him out in one second,” Devin said about what he would consider an A+ performance on Saturday night against Yuriorkis.
“Tune in on November 7th on Saturday. It’s going to be fun. No,” said Devin when asked if his prediction is a ‘one-second’ knockout. “You asked what’s an ‘A+’ performance. That’s an A+++ performance,” said Haney.
Listening to some of the things that Haney is saying, he’s probably not going to get an early knockout of Gamboa. Haney’s goal of not wanting to get hit doesn’t work well with him scoring a one-second knockout against Gamboa.
Early in Gamboa’s fights, he’s dangerous because of his speed and power. Haney could be making a mistake if he goes all out looking for a knockout in the early rounds on Saturday.
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