Devin Haney should fight Shakur Stevenson at 135 says Buddy McGirt

By Boxing News - 05/30/2023 - Comments

By Robert Segal: Trainer Buddy McGirt wants Devin Haney to stay at 135 and fight Shakur Stevenson before he moves up to 140. Buddy thinks that’s a good fight for Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) to take to keep learning and improving.

With that said, Buddy doesn’t think the undisputed lightweight champion Haney will beat Shakur (20-0, 10 KOs) because he views the 2016 Olympic silver medalist as tied with Gervonta Davis at #1 in the 135-lb division.

Haney showed in his fight with Vasyl Lomachenko that he’s not an elite-level fighter at 135, but he’s still an A-level guy, but he’s not at the top at this point.

The fight against Loma may have dented Haney’s confidence to such an extent that he will veer away from taking risky opposition for fear he’ll start taking losses, and his ability to bring in money will rapidly drop off.

Most would agree that Haney dodged a bullet in being given a controversial decision win Vasyl Lomachenko because he could have lost.

Had that happened, it would have been the beginning of the end for Haney in terms of him being a marketable fighter. Haney isn’t going to want to play with fire so soon by fighting a talent like Shakur after what he experienced.

Mentally, Haney is going to treat his fight with Lomachenko as a loss, and like most fighters that lose, he’ll look to take a confidence booster against a weaker guy next and stay away from risky opposition for a while.

Haney should fight Shakur

“I think Haney should fight Shakur,” said Buddy McGirt to MillCity Boxing. “I see Shakur winning. I think Shakur is the best at 135. Shakur has come a long way, and he’s always had the talent.”

Ideally, Haney should fight Lomachenko again, but won’t. If not him, it would be an excellent PR move on Haney’s part to show the boxing world that he’s not afraid of fighting, which means staying at 135 to face Shakur Stevenson.

“The problem is he’s getting better and better, and he’s going to become a guy that nobody wants to fight. He’s going to be the Marvin Hagler of the 135-lb division that nobody wants to fight. He’s the real deal,” said McGirt.

When you’re fighting a guy like Lomachenko, he’s special. So he’s going to expose you no matter who he’s fighting. It was a good experience for Haney, fighting a guy of that caliber because round, he was giving him different looks.

“When he got comfortable with one thing, he was coming with something else.  It was a fight that Haney could go off of, but someone from the top five should step up and give Loma a shot just off the controversy of this fight. I think it would be a different ballgame because of the fact that he should have won or gotten draw.

I think he [Shakur] beats him [Lomachenko]. My two top 135-pounders are Gevonta Davis and Shakur Stevenson. I think Davis beats them,” said Buddy when asked how Gervonta would do against Haney and Lomachenko.

The fight that should be at 135 is Davis and Stevenson. That’s the fight I’d pay to go see. The one I’d really pay to go see is Tank Davis. I’d love to see Haney and Shakur.

Stevenson will take over at 140 soon

That Would be a very good fight. He [Shakur] and Tank aren’t #1 and #2. They’re #1 and #1. They’re both the best at 135, and I believe they can take over 140 as well. I believe Shakur is going to move up and take over 140.

“Haney showed a lot in the fight with Loma. As I said, he went to school. The next fight he has, it’s not going to be a Loma. The next fight he has is going to be much easier because he’s been in the deep waters, and he survived those deep waters. So whoever fights Haney next has got to be on his Ps and Qs.

“I’m sure he took a lot from that fight, which is going to make him a better fighter. Whoever fights him next has got to be on their A-game. If they’re on their A-game, it’s going to be interesting. If they’re not on their A-game, Devin is going to beat them,” said Buddy about Haney.

YouTube video