Shakur Stevenson says Devin Haney is “pump-faking” by pretending that he’s going to return to the 135-lb division to defend his remaining IBF/WBA/WBO lightweight titles against him or anyone else in the weight class. Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) believes that Haney is tricking the media, and that’ll never come back down to 135.
(Courtesy: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)
Shakur still seems to be grieving his lost opportunity to fight Haney for the undisputed lightweight championship, considering that’s all he seems to be talking about 24/7. Who can blame him, though?
With the huge backlash that Shakur has received from boxing fans for the way he bungled the opportunity to pick up the belts and transform himself into a star overnight, it’s understandable why he can’t stop talking about Haney. The media won’t let Shakur forget how he wrecked his chance by letting his foolish pride get in the way.
When asked about the three offers Haney gave him to try and set up a fight, Stevenson says there was only one offer, the 75-25, which he rejected and went the WBC route to force a fight for that lone belt rather than all four.
That move by Shakur has been heavily criticized by the boxing public as it made him look dimwitted because he failed to see the big picture of what he would gain by fighting Haney for the undisputed lightweight championship. All Shakur was the money, as he would parity with Haney, even though he was the one with belts.
So instead of Shakur fighting for the undisputed, he’s facing little-known Edwin De Los Santos on Thursday for the lone WBC lightweight title in a fight that has received very little attention from the boxing public due to Stevenson rarely mentioning during interviews, and the fans not being familiar with the Dominican Republic fighter.
Shakur insists Haney won’t return to 135
“Edwin De Los Santos is a tough fighter. Thursday night, tune in. He’s coming to try and become a world champion, and I’m not going to let him,” said Shakur Stevenson to the media during Monday’s workouts ahead of Thursday’s clash on ESPN.
“No, he’s not coming back down. He’s just talking. He’s pump-faking all of y’all to make it sound good with the media,” said Shakur when asked if Devin Haney will fight him.”He’s very good with the media. That’s what he like to do.”
Haney might return to 135, but only for the big cheese to fight the ‘Face of Boxing’ Gervonta Davis. Devin won’t return to 135 to fight the much less popular Shakur because he’s not a big name and can’t sell tickets. There would be no gain for Haney by putting his body through hell to drain back down to 135 to fight a less popular fighter like Stevenson.
If Haney is going to return to 135, he’d be better off fighting Vasily Lomachenko in a rematch rather than wasting time on fighting Shakur, who can’t draw due to his dull fighting style.
“He’ll tell y’all, ‘Oh, I’ll come back down,’ but he just went in an interview that he’s not going to fight Tank at 135. He’ll fight him at 140. So, he’ll fight me at 135,” said Stevenson about Haney.
“Haney likes to give y’all a whole bunch of bull s**t to make y’all feel good. I never heard no three offers. We never got the first part [when Haney offered him a 75-25 deal, which was rejected]. The first part was when they came to me with the bull s**t. I’m like, ‘Okay, cool. WBC, what’s up,'” said Shakur.
Talk about your blow-it moves. Shakur should have agreed to the 75-25 offer from Haney, as he would be fighting for the undisputed lightweight championship this Thursday in a fight that would likely be on ESPN+ PPV rather than just regular on-PPV.
It would be interesting to know what Bob Arum of Top Rank told Shakur about whether he should accept Haney’s offer. Arum is highly intelligent, and he likely would have recommended that Shakur take the offer because he would have had a chance to pick up a valuable pawn piece if he had captured the undisputed championship, which he could have used to lure Tank Davis into fighting him.
Stevenson denies he received other offers from Devin
“I don’t know nothing about any other offers that never came to me. Haney, what he like to do to y’all. He like to lie to y’all all day and y’all fall for that s**t. It’s on y’all. Y’all believe that bull s**t,” said Stevenson.
Shakur doesn’t deny that he did receive the 75-25 offer from Haney and that one was more than good enough for him to take. Haney had the belts, while Shakur was the needy, belt-less challenger, hoping to get a fight.
In that situation, Stevenson had no way of forcing Haney to agree to the deal he wanted because it didn’t matter that he was a former two-division world champion and Olympian in 2016. That junk was meaningless when it came to the negotiations.