By Adam Baskin: In what appears to be a desperate last-ditch attempt to get a title shot against undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney, WBC mandatory Shakur Stevenson’s managers have written to the World Boxing Council to try and persuade them to order the fight, with a split of 50-50.
Boxing Scene reports the news of Shakur’s managers, Josh Dubin and James Prince, contacting the WBC, hoping they will intervene to make Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) defend against Shakur next.
The chances of Shakur (20-0, 10 KOs) getting his wish, with the WBC ordering Haney to begin negotiations, are slim, and the situation is hopeless as far as the 50-50 bit. That’s not happening. If Shakur gets his way and the WBC orders the contest, Haney will indeed vacate the belt, which he’s going to do anyway.
Haney is already on record, saying he’s targeting a fight against superstar Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis next, and he’s currently behind bars, incarcerated until the end of the month.
Devin wants the kind of green that influencer/boxer Ryan Garcia recently got last April for his fight with Tank. Ryan got a purse of $15 million. That’s good money for a fighter with no solid experience.
If Haney can’t get the fight with Tank Davis, his expected plan B is WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis. That would give Haney a golden chance to become a two-division world champion without much risk.
Tank’s trainer Calvin Ford wants Haney next, but it’s unknown how much persuasion he has with the superstar. PBC guides him, and they may not see that as the best match-up.
It’s believed that Gervonta (29-0, 27 KOs), coming off a seventh-round knockout over the popular Ryan Garcia with his 11 million Instagram followers, will be fighting a rematch with Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz next. Fighting Cruz again will enable Gervonta to take advantage of the Mexican brawler’s large fanbase to make good money.
The former two-division world champion Stevenson was hoping that he’d be next for Haney after beating Shuichiro Yoshino by a sixth-round knockout last April in a World Boxing Council-sanctioned 135-lb title eliminator.
It’s pointless for Stevenson to continue pushing for the Haney fight because it’s NOT going to happen. If Devin wanted that match-up with Shakur, he wouldn’t have fled the ring when he climbed through the ropes to call him out moments after Haney’s victory over Lomachenko. That move Haney showed clearly that he wants nothing to do with fighting Stevenson.
Shakur is a horrible style match-up for Haney, and a fight that he would likely lose badly, perhaps every round. We saw how Haney struggled against the older & smaller Vasily Lomachenko last May. That looked like a fight between a junior middleweight & a super featherweight. The only surprise was Haney’s inability to use his tremendous size advantage to squash the diminutive Lomachenko.
Even with a mammoth size advantage, Haney still appeared to lose to Loma. So if Haney can’t even beat an undersized Lomachenko, his chances against Shakur are less than zero, and it wouldn’t matter if the same set of judges worked the fight that was on duty on the night he beat Loma. Devin is not going to beat Shakur.
Shakur should bide his time and wait for Haney to vacate his WBC title so that he can fight for the belt against Lomachenko or whoever is willing to face him. It wouldn’t be a total shock if Loma and Pitbull Cruz turn down the fight with Shakur for the vacant WBC belt.
If Loma & Pitbull reject a fight with Stevenson for the vacated belt, it’ll come down to one of these fighters in the WBC’s rankings to agree to thee fight:
4. William Zepeda
5. Frank Martin
6. George Kambosos
7. Jamaine Ortiz
8. Artem Harutyunyan
9. Edwin De Los Santos
10. Shuichiro Yoshino
11. Maxi Hughes
12. Francesco Patera
13. Raymond Muratalla
14. Michel Rivera
15. Keyshawn Davis