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Bob Arum says Devin Haney must prove himself to get Teofimo

Devin Haney

By Charles Brun: Bob Arum is making it clear that Matchroom fighter Devin Haney must prove himself first worthy of a fight against undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez or Vasily Lomachenko if he wants to share the ring with them.

Haney (25-0, 15 KOs), who is referred to by many as the WBC’s ’email champion’ at lightweight, has complained in the past about him wanting to face Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) and Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs).

Although Haney has lost all desire to face the former three-division world champion Lomachenko following his recent defeat, he is still pushing hard for a fight against IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO 135-lb champion Teofimo.

Haney needs a big win

Unfortunately, Haney won’t get a fight against Teofimo, as well as Lomachenko, until he puts his name on the map by taking on a top lightweight. Arum suggests that Haney face former three-division world champion Jorge Linares to be tested by him.

Despite his advanced age, the 35-year-old Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) is still one of the best fighters in the 135-lb division, and he’s ranked #3 with the World Boxing Council.

If Haney can beat Linares, that would give him his first elite-level name. There’s a possibility that Haney and Linares could meet up in April.

Haney is coming off a victory over 38-year-old former WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa last November, but that win wasn’t impressive.

Gamboa is old and many years past his prime. Moreover, Haney failed to stop the Cuban fighter, and he made it a very boring fight for the boxing public to watch.

Arum: Devin hasn’t been tested

“I’d like to see Devin Haney fight a recognized lightweight like [Jorge] Linares or someone like that,” said Arum to Barbershop Conversations about Haney needing to build his name brand before facing Teofimo.

Devin Haney

“In the same way that Ryan Garcia was tested against Luke Campbell, I’d like Haney to get tested. If he comes through and the numbers align, Haney would be great against Ryan Garcia of Golden Boy or Haney-Teofimo.

“Haney, and this doesn’t demean him; Haney is really untested. So let’s put him in a real test, and if he passes the test, it would be a very desirable partner either for Teofimo or Ryan Garcia,” said Arum.

You can say that Arum is kind by only requiring that Haney prove himself against Linares for him to get fights against Teofimo or Lomachenko. Haney should have to prove himself against three or four other top guys before he can get a fight against those guys.

These are name fighters Haney needs to be tested by:

  • Richard Commey
  • Jorge Linares
  • Masayoshi Nakatani
  • Felix Verdejo

Haney’s management has done a good job of keeping him out of harm’s way by putting him in against non-threatening opposition.

Haney’s lack of punching power will put him at the mercy of fighters like Teofimo Lopez, Richard Commey, and Ryan Garcia.

Top Rank did Haney a huge favor when they had Lomachenko given the Franchise tag in 2019 because he would have been overmatched against the two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Hearn knows Haney must prove himself

“Eddie [Hearn] may have mentioned to me, we talk all the time, but he never really pursued it,” said Arum when asked if Hearn has talked to him about matching Haney against Teofimo Lopez or Vasily Lomachenko.

Devin Haney

“I think Eddie realizes that Haney has got to get tested first, the same way that Ryan Garcia was tested, and then he would realistically enter the picture [for fights against Teofimo and Lomachenko],” said Arum.

If Hearn hasn’t been pushing Arum to set up a fight between Haney and Teofimo Lopez or Lomachenko, it can only mean one thing. He likely doesn’t believe Haney is capable of winning those matches.

You can tell from watching Haney struggle in his last fight against the old-timer Gamboa that he’s not good enough to take on Teofimo or Lomachenko and have any shot at beating either.

The punching power isn’t there for Haney, and he would likely be battered and beaten by both of those guys.

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