Will Devin Haney fight Shakur Stevenson after Lomachenko?

By Boxing News - 04/10/2023 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Shakur Stevenson is already begun ratcheting up the pressure on undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney to face him next if he’s successful with his title defense against Vasily Lomachenko on May 20th.

Will Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) choose to face Shakur (20-0, 10 KOs), who now looks like a killer at 135, or will he vacate his four belts and move up to 140 to safer, less shark-infested waters?

Stevenson is Haney’s mandatory with the WBC now following his sixth-round technical knockout victory over Shuichiro Yoshino last weekend in a title eliminator at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Interestingly, Haney has been speechless since Shakur’s victory last Saturday, making some boxing fans believe Devin wants no part of that work.

Usually, you can’t keep Haney quiet for anything, but in this case, no one has heard a peep out of the Oakland, California native since Stevenson’s sixth-round bludgeoning of the previously unbeaten Yoshino (16-1, 12 KOs). Is Haney in hiding now, knowing that the fans & the media will put his feet to the fire, making him say the name and commit to a fight against Stevenson?

Will Devin Haney fight Shakur Stevenson?

Bernard Osuna: “Devin Haney reached out to [ESPN commentator] Mark Kriegel via text and told him, ‘I’m staying at 135 after I beat [Vasily] Lomachenko.’ That is a pay-per-view on May 20th. What does that mean to your future?”

Shakur Stevenson: “Hey, come on. I’ve been waiting for this [a fight against Devin Haney] for a long time. I swear to God, I’ve been waiting for that. Me and Devin have been in the ring with each other for years. I always got the best of Devin, so come on.”

Osuma: “Alright,  there it is, Shakur Stevenson [wants Haney].”

It’s safe to say that if Haney moves up to 140 without fighting Shakur, he will get raked over the coals by the fans, and his popularity will take a dramatic dip.

The only way Haney can escape abuse is if the winner of the Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia fight faces him next, but that’s a big if. Considering that Gervonta is likely to be the one that emerges victorious against Ryan, his management isn’t likely going to want to put him in against Haney and watch him get outboxed.

If Tank doesn’t fight Haney, that will put Devin in a position where he’ll have to fight Shakur next.