By Adam Baskin: Promoter Bob Arum has revealed that the 25% offer made by undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney recently to his mandatory Shakur Stevenson had no substance and wasn’t serious.
In other words, Haney made a fake offer to Shakur so he could save face with his boxing fans so he wouldn’t look like he was ducking him. Haney’s pretend offer allowed him to say to his followers, ‘See, I tried to make the fight with Shakur, but he didn’t accept it. He lacks confidence in himself. I accepted a low offer to fight George Kambosos Jr.’
It’s interesting how many naive fans actually believed Haney’s 25% offer to Shakur was a real one, as social media is flooded with gullible people saying that Stevenson turned down the 25% offer from Devin because he’s chicken.
It was obvious from the start that Haney put out a bogus offer to Shakur to give himself cover to make it look like he wasn’t running from him.
Haney choosing to flee the 135 lb division to move up to 140 should have been a hint to his impressionable fans that he’s avoiding Shakur.
“No, I don’t think Haney was particularly anxious to fight Shakur because frankly, probably, it’s a fight that Shakur is going to win,” said promoter Bob Arum to Fight Hub TV when asked if there was any substance to Devin Haney’s offer of 25% to Shakur Stevenson.
“It depends on who he [Haney] wants to fight. If he beats Regis, he’s going to look to fight Teofimo, and he’ll come back, and that’s a huge fight.
“I don’t know,” said Arum when asked if Haney beats Prograis. “Regis didn’t look like the same Regis that fought the close fight with Josh Taylor. He just didn’t, but whatever the reason was, you can’t write him off based on his body of work,” said Arum about Prograis not looking good in his last fight against Danielito Zorrilla last June.
“If Regis returns to where he was, he against Haney will be a very competitive fight. If he is on the same level as he showed in his last fight, then Haney will beat him quite easily. You can’t write a guy like Prograis off based on the one performance in that fight.
“Yeah, he’s going to be stripped. If he wins and beats [WBO light welterweight champion Regis] Prograis, then he’s going to stay at 140,” said Arum about Haney. “You know he’s having big, big trouble staying at 135.
“Haney is better off fighting at 140, where his body is calling for because it’s more and more difficult for him to make the 135 limit.
“Shakur will fight this year against the best available guy. Let’s see,” said Arum when asked if a fight between Shakur and George Kambosos Jr. is possible. “Each of them will have an opportunity to win a title in the lightweight division, and maybe they decide to match up.
“Again, if I start talking now, it just confuses them. I talked to him [Shakur Stevenson] last night, and he’s a young, ambitious guy and is super talented, and he’s like a horse that can’t wait to get out of the starting gate,” said Arum about how Shakur is anxious to get into the big fights already.
“I talked to him and told him, ‘It’ll all come. Take your time; you’re building up a tremendous record, making good money, and the dream fights you’re looking for will be there. Maybe not this year but next year or the year after.
“He started with Top Rank when he was a baby, and he, therefore, lacks some maturity, and now as he’s getting older and understands everything, he’s becoming more mature not only as a fighter but as a person. So yeah, he’s highly intelligent, and he understands,” said Arum.