By: Hans Themistode
Devin Haney is exactly where he wants to be, with the spotlight shining upon him. This Friday night on September 13th, at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, Haney will take on undefeated contender Zaur Abdullaev. On the line will be the interim WBC Lightweight title.
His own billing, fighting an undefeated contender and having the opportunity to win his first interim world title. What more could Haney ask for? He isn’t even legally able to purchase liquor as he is just 20 years of age but yet he has managed to grab the attention of many throughout his young career.
Haney has been the next one in line so to speak. A fighter who even at a young age was just different from anyone else. You know that look don’t you? Some fighters are great but others aren’t only great but they give you a belief that they can’t be beat. Floyd Mayweather comes to mind. No matter who he fought, he gave off the idea that he would not be beat. 21 years and 50 wins later without a single defeat and Mayweather was right, he couldn’t be beat. Haney has some what of that same aura currently.
There is a reason why he is the youngest amateur ever to win the Youth World Championships at just 16 years of age. Mayweather, who was once known as “Money” earned that nickname by defeating everyone he came across and winning piles upon piles of cash in the process. Haney is known as “New Money”. It seems fitting doesn’t it? With Mayweather now seemingly retired someone has to take his place.
The confidence of Haney has been well chronicled for quite sometime now. For a young fighter, being considered a prospect is not a slight. Instead, it is apart of the learning process. For Haney, he decided that he was far above just that label. “I’m a fucking contender.” Yelled Haney following his unanimous decision victory over Xolisani Ndongeni earlier this year.
The thought of being just a prospect bothered Haney to no end. His words were brash and loud, but they also proved to be true. He has constantly called out every champion at his weight class including pound for pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko. Now that he is fighting for the interim WBC title, he will receive exactly what he has been calling for as he will become Lomachenko’s mandatory should he win.
Haney’s confidence stretches so far that he already has another contest lined up for November 9th, in the Staples Center, in Los Angeles.
For a fighter, it is easy to build in the shadows while no one notices. It becomes increasingly more difficult when you bring attention to yourself and speak of your own excellence. This Friday night, the world will be fixated on Haney. For some the pressure would break them, but for Haney, he wouldn’t have it any other way.