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Devin Haney targeting Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia winner

Image: Devin Haney targeting Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia winner

By Craig Daly: Devin Haney says he wants to see how he feels when he defends his undisputed lightweight championship against Vasily Lomachenko next month on May 20th.

If Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) wins, looks good, and still feels strong at the weight, he’ll stay at 135 to potentially face whoever emerges the winner of next Saturday’s fight between Gervonta ‘Tank’Davis and Ryan Garcia.

Haney recognizes that the big fights are at 135, but he also understands that he’s been at this weight his entire career and has outgrown the division. However, there are less compelling opportunities for the 24-year-old Haney at 140, aside from facing the Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez fight winner.

At this point, it’s still unknown whether Haney will beat Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) or if he’ll make weight for the fight.

In Haney’s last fight against George Kambosos Jr last October, he looked terrible at the weigh-in, and his fighting style was less than entertaining, involving a lot clinching.

If Haney can’t make weight, he will need to move up because he’ll no longer have the four 135-lb titles to lure Tank Davis or Ryan Garcia to fight him.

Gervonta isn’t going to move up to 140 just to fight Haney because there would be no titles on the line, and he’d likely be out-sized unless he dragged Devin down in weight for a catchweight + rehydration clause fight.

Haney says he’s gotten stronger

“I feel like I got stronger since then and even better,” said Devin Haney to Max on Boxing about his layoff since his last fight against George Kambosos Jr. “Every fight, I’m getting better. My body has been maturing.”

“I want to get to your outgrowing. You’ve been at the same weight class since you were 16 years old. You’re 24 years old. Eight years in the same weight since an amateur is a long time, and your body grows,” said Max Kellerman.

“At the moment, you preside over maybe the best division in boxing. The division’s newest elite member is Shakur Stevenson. Shakur looked very impressive in his lightweight debut and afterward said, in kind of campaigning for his title shot against you, referred to his sparring session that you guys had through the years, claims that he got the better of them, and you know that too.

“Can you address that now?”

“Shakur is supposed to call me out now,” said Haney. “I don’t feel like that’s the wrong thing to do. I’m the champion. I remember when guys wouldn’t call me out because I had nothing for them to call me out for.

“It was high risk, low reward. Now it’s high risk, high reward. It’s worth it to fight me. He can say what he wants to say about the sparring sessions.

“We had back-and-forth sparring sessions when we were 16 years old. We were 14, 15, and 16 years old. Are last sparring session was when we were 16. It’s different now. We’re men now. When we share the ring, we’ll see. May the best man win,”  said Haney.

“And you were clearly gotten better and better as you’ve gained experience as a pro. That’s usually the case with people, and it is the case with you,” said Kellerman. “You mentioned risk-reward. A lot of times with guys slick boxing styles, people like me love Pernell Whitaker, and watching Floyd and guys like that.

“A lot of times the average fight fan, Joe sixpack, unless the guy has a huge personality, like Floyd did and figures out a way to captivate the public, they prefer the brawler. That guy has an easier path, even though it’s not as sustainable to stardom.

“So here we have Tank Davis and Ryan Garcia, action-style fighters, they now have the economic clout to where even though you’re the champion, you could be in a position where you have to campaign to fight them or do you not feel that way?” said Kellerman to Haney.

Devin might stay at 135

“The pure boxing purists know who the true champion is and who the man is in the weight class is,” said Haney. “I could chase them because they have the following, but I’m a legacy-type of fighter, and I’m fighting to be an all-time great in the sport. So eventually, the fights that are meant for me will happen.

“So we just got to keep beating these guys one by one and fighting the best fighters in the world,” said Haney.

“By the way, that’s my conclusion and analysis exactly,” said Kellerman. “The blue-chippers, and you got to show that over time, but if you just keep winning, the pure boxing style I mentioned, Pernell Whitaker and Floyd and those guys were pound-for-pound, and they got the big fights eventually.

“If you keep winning, they eventually all have to fight you if you stick around long enough. I want to ask you about the weight, speaking of sticking around. You brought it up earlier. You’ve been at the weight for a long time now.

“Are you going to move? How much longer are you going to be at lightweight? It’s a two-part question and are you eying the winner of Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez?” said Kellerman.

“We just got to see how I feel on May 20th. If I feel great, I’m strong, and I’m victorious, and then we’ll see,’ said Haney. “It’s very much possible I could stay at 135. That’s where the biggest fights are, the fights are for my legacy, but this is my first weight class.

“I’m looking to be a multi-weight world champion. Maybe we’ll go up to 140 and become undisputed one day, God willing. So, of course, I’m eyeing Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez, but I’m also looking at the Tank and Ryan fight.

“We saw Shakur. So we just got to wait things out, but it all starts with me being victorious on May 20th because without me being victorious, I can’t have those fights. Those fights won’t likely to happen. So once I’m victorious on May 20th, I can tell you what’s going to be next,” said Haney.

“Devin Haney, congratulations for landing the fight that you’ve been looking for for years. Best of luck, champ,”  said Kellerman.

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