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Eddie Hearn to Devin Haney: ‘Show how good you are, son’

Image: Eddie Hearn to Devin Haney: 'Show how good you are, son'

By William Lloyd: Eddie Hearn is counting on Devin Haney to go out and show the world how good he is when he defends his WBC lightweight title tonight against Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. in the main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Haney vs. Jojo will be streamed on DAZN, and there will be a lot of casual and hardcore boxing fans tuning in to see this event.

Devin (26-0, 15 KOs) needs an outstanding performance for him to earn a lucrative match-up with undisputed lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. for the first half of next year.

Kambosos has already said he’ll be ringside for the Haney vs. Diaz Jr. fight so that he can “scout” them and help him decide whether he wants to face the winner next.

With Kambosos sitting ringside, Haney will be auditioning for the right to perform alongside the talented Australian next year in front of 80,000 Aussies.

Hearn says Haney needs a breakout performance

Tonight is Haney’s opportunity to shine when he defends against what is easily the best opponent of his career in Jojo Diaz Jr.

Haney needs an impressive drama-filled fight to cement himself as the #1 fighter in the lightweight division. Many boxing fans view George Kambosos Jr and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis as the two best fighters at 135.

“I just said the Haney – Diaz fight is a much better fight than the Tank against Cruz, and a bigger fight it is,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on what set Ellerbe off. “He [Leonard] said, ‘We’ve sold more tickets than you.’

Image: Eddie Hearn to Devin Haney: 'Show how good you are, son'

“I’m not sure about that, but probably. Tank is a good draw at the box office. Haney, we’re still building. I just said it’s [Haney vs. Jojo Diaz Jr] is the bigger and better fight, and it is. Everyone knows that.

“He’s just very well regarded,” said Hearn on Devin Haney. “People know how good Devin Haney is. They’ve seen him in the gyms; they’ve seen him in sparring.

“It’s no secret in boxing anymore. It used to be, but you still have to prove it. We saw that last week with Kambosos. Did we know that Kambosos had that kind of dog in him?

Devin has got dog in him. He showed it a little bit against Linares when he got buzzed, but he may need to show a bit more of that [against Jojo Diaz] in a different kind of way and a different kind of fight.

“I expect him [Haney] to keep it long, and I expect him to outbox Jojo Diaz. But I also expect him to sit in the pocket, be aggressive, and look to close the show.

“The similarities are there, even in the style and technique and the way that his career has progressed,” said Hearn on Haney, being similar to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Devin still needs that breakout moment. He’s not a star yet, but he’s a star with a lot of potential. But these are the types of fights and the types of performances like Mayweather.

“Mayweather was never a star coming from through because he was really good, and no one wanted to box him,” Hearn said.

“He had to take chances, and sometimes he had to take money that wasn’t fair, but he believed in himself, and he produced the special moments when it was asked of him, and that’s a special fighter.

“That’s what we’re calling on for Devin Haney. Show how special you are because we all talk it; we all believe in you.

“Now it’s down to you. Go and show the world how good you are, son. That’s the message for Devin Haney tomorrow,” said Hearn.

Eddie talks Leonard Ellerbe

Hearn seems to take pleasure in hearing Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe taking potshots at him in the media frequently.

In Hearn’s eyes, Ellerbe’s comments about him validate his view that he’s succeeding with Matchroom. Why else would Ellerbe be so concerned with Hearn?

“You ask anybody in boxing, and they’ll tell you the same,” Hearn continued about Haney. “I don’t know what we’re going to do about Leonard.

“I’m not worried for him or about him, but I think that he’s got to forget about me. If I’m not relevant like he says, I’m not relevant.

“He says, ‘This is the last time I’m going to address it,’ and then sends twenty Tweets about it. Is that honestly the last time you’re going to address me?

“Him [Ellerbe] and Stephen Espinoza spent the whole day liking Tweets that were slagging me off. What are you doing? Get over it; I’m only some fat geezer from England. This is my bread & butter; I love this.

“When else has there been a British promoter that has gone into the States all guns blazing. I haven’t crept in ever. I’ve come in with a big mouth and a big set of cajones and told everyone I’m going to take over the world.

“But you cannot sit there and put us in the conversation with Top Rank and PBC. We are the three main promoters in this country. Matchroom, Top Rank and PBC.

“We’re already there; we’re already in that conversation. Just me, some large geezer from Essex, England, and I’m living a dream. This is what I live for.

“So when I see things like that from Leonard [Ellerbe], I can’t tell you what it does to me. It’s so dangerous. Part of me feels like I should just be quiet and let them talk, and part of me feels like, ‘No, you live for this.’

“And it’s good that all the American guys are talking about us because it helps us and Oscar [De La Hoya] does it all the time. It’s brilliant for me. Not Leonard [Ellerbe] because he’s got no profile, but Oscar has a massive following.

“So when he starts talking about me, it’s really quite good for me. Honestly, I have no animosity towards Leonard Ellerbe at all. I think the guy does a great job, and I think they’ve done a great job with Tank.

“But he just doesn’t like me, and even Stephen Espinoza. I’ve done a number of deals with him, and I went to shake his hand at the Canelo Alvarez fight, and he turned his back on me and wouldn’t shake my hand. That’s the sign of the man,” Hearn said.

Hearn driven for “Global domination” for Matchroom

The Matchroom Boxing guru Hearn says he’s driven for “global domination” for his promotional company in becoming #1 in the U.S, as well as elsewhere.

Initially, when Hearn spoke of taking over the U.S market for boxing, the other promoters weren’t taken seriously. Still, he’s quickly proven them wrong after just a couple of years.

“We [Hearn & Ellerbe] won’t cross paths because they said they only make fights between PBC guys and PBC guys,” Hearn said. “What Leonard has got to understand is this is good for boxing because I have a massive profile, and if I talk about him, which I’m doing now, that’s great for him.

“It’s good because it gets people talking, but it’s never personal. I’m not going to start saying nasty things about him. All I’m saying is, ‘My show [Haney vs. Jojo Diaz Jr] is better than yours [Gervonta vs. Pitbull Cruz], mate.’

“It’s good for boxing. We want rivalry, and they want me out,” said Hearn. “I ain’t going nowhere. The competition is good. I know I talk s*** sometimes, but I’m the best, unequivocally.

“I don’t always get it right, but I’m young, and I’m fresh. I’ve got big cajones, and it’s global domination, and it’s the only way to go,” Hearn said.

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