Fight or Flight? Bill Haney throws down the gauntlet for Gervonta – Devin bout

By Bob Smith - 12/14/2023 - Comments

Bill Haney wants Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis to agree to a fight with Devin Haney next at 140 lbs, without a rehydration clause or catchweight to create a more even playing field for a mega-fight between them.

(Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom or Melina Pizano/Matchroom)

Devin’s dad, Bill, feels that Gervonta’s need for weight stipulations indicates that he’s “scary” and afraid to fight his son without the need for a handicap.

Bill insists that the people have spoken, and they want to see the unbeaten Tank (29-0, 27 KOs) & Devin fight next, regardless of what weight it takes place at.

Size doesn’t matter: Despite the reports of Haney rehydrating to 165 lbs for his title challenge last Saturday night against WBC 140-lb champion Regis Prograis, Bill insists that weight doesn’t matter for a fight with Gervonta Davis, saying that weight stipulation is “bulls***” and not required.

Interestingly, to reinforce his argument that Tank shouldn’t worry about the weight of a fight with Devin, Bill brings up greats of the past, Sugar Ray, Mike Tyson, and Floyd, fighters who weren’t concerned about the weight of their opponents when they fought.

The people have spoken

“Devin is more than competitive at 147 right now. He’s a big name
at 140. Absolutely, and I think Devin has had a conversation with Eddie [Hearn], saying he would like the Conor Benn fight, and Eddie said, ‘I know you would,'” said Bill Haney to ThaBoxingvoice when asked if Devin Haney would be interested in traveling to the UK to fight Conor Benn.

“Listen, the Devin Haney era has just begun. If you don’t follow the rules of boxing and keep trying to make this s*** up. The people have already spoken. Let the rules be the rules, man, and let the best man win, you scary a***,” said Bill, appearing to make an argument about Gervonta Davis needing to agree to fight Haney without a catchweight or rehydration clause at 140.

Bill using the argument that the “people” have given their voice about wanting to see Tank vs. Devin, regardless of what weight, appears to be a snake-like way of persuading Gervonta into taking the fight while ignoring that he would likely be at a tremendous size disadvantage against the 165+ lb Haney.

However, Bill doesn’t say anything about the risks that Tank would be undertaking by facing a fighter 30 lbs heavier than him if he were to fight the much larger Devin, who could walk into the ring at or near the super middleweight limit of 168 on the night of the fight.

If Devin is given free rein to fight Tank without any weight stipulations for a fight at 140, there’s a very good chance we could see a repeat of what transpired last Saturday night with Haney marching into the ring as a super middleweight and crushing his smaller opponent on size alone.

“The people have decided [that they want to see Tank Davis fight Haney]. I’m rolling with the people. What the people are saying is you can’t get to the Mount Rushmore of boxing with those rules,” said Bill. “You got to go to the Queensberry of rules, and you can’t make this s*** up, saying you’re the best that’s ever done.

“So tell that scary a** dude [Tank Davis] and his team to stop trying to pull out some pencil or paper. This s*** [size disparity] has been around since the beginning of time, and that’s how we’re going to get down,” said Bill, seeming to say that the weight differences should be ignored for the fight between Devin and Tank.

The argument that Bill presents about size disparity between fighters has always existed in boxing as a justification for Tank needing to agree to it for a fight with Devin, is a weak one.

If sport was run right, there should have been rules in place a long time ago to prevent fights between fighters that would rehydrate to well over the weigh-in limit to gain an advantage. One way of preventing this thing from happening would be as follows:

  • Same-day weigh-ins occur within an hour of the fight to prevent fighters from using IVs to pump water rapidly into their systems.
  • Rehydration limit of 10 lbs.
  • Stiff fines of 50% of a fighter’s purse for missing rehydration limit.

“He’s ready for 140,” Bill said about Haney. “He’s the hydration champion, the champion with all the rules and stipulations. We’re pulling up old school. We’re fighting the way Sugar Ray fought them. We’re fighting the way Floyd Mayweather fought them, Mike Tyson. We’re fighting by them rules, champ,” said Bill.

Fans will buy it

“They’re going to buy it, and they’re going to know what they’re buying now because Devin Haney, the real ‘Face of Boxing,’ has shed light on the bull s***,” said Bill with another cryptic remark.

“It’s the people that deciding it and who they want to watch,” said Bill Haney when asked who is the A-side in negotiations between Devin and Tank Davis. “It’s been a big shift in terms of who you want to watch, and it don’t make you the A-side because you can talk crazy to the people. What makes you the A-side because people want to see you.”

Fans do want to see Tank & Devin fight, but how can it be made a fair fight without weight stipulations? If Haney stubbornly refuses a catchweight and rehydration clause, it seems unlikely Tank and his management will agree to the fight for obvious reasons. They won’t want to fight a super middleweight on the night.

“It’s a great audience, an urban audience that we tend to share that fan base,” said Bill. “The crossover audience happens when you bring a crossover opponent. So when you talk about A-side and B-side, we concede to the fact that he’s [Tank Davis] the A-side. That’s why we’re waiting for him to send the contract.

“If we were the A-side, then we would have sent him something already. So if he concedes to the fact that he’s willing to entertain an offer from us, then that’s fine. Sometimes, it doesn’t have anything to do with A-side and B-side. He says the driver, he’s the money man, then you would send over an over, right?” said Bill.

Bill admitting that Tank Davis is the A-side and asking him to send an offer is a slick way to apply more pressure on him, reinforcing his theme that Gervonta is “scared” of fighting Devin. As long as Tank doesn’t send the contract, Bill will continue his mantra about him being afraid to fight Devin.

Will fight at 140 or insist on weight stipulations?

“Tank speaks for himself, and I think he spoke loud that he’s moving up to 140 lbs,” continued Bill Haney. “He said that this morning, so let’s make him stand on it, and if he’s moving up to 140 lbs, let it be him and Devin Haney immediately next. Send something out. They got my number.”

As you can see, Bill is trying to maneuver Tank into a position where he’ll agree to fight Devin without a catchweight or any weight stipulations, knowing obviously that his son is far too big to drain down to 136 or 137 and deal with a rehydration clause that would limit him to rehydrating to the low 150s rather than 165+.

“We’re saying Tank is scared to death. That’s what we’re saying. It’s not that easy. Tank is scared to death to fight Devin. Devin is going to expose him and beat him up no different than Regis Prograis. It’s the same fight,” said Bill.

“Yes,” said Bill when asked if Gervonta is afraid of Devin.

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