Although no one was particularly surprised when Devin Haney won the undisputed lightweight championship of the world this past weekend in Australia, the sheer impressiveness of his performance against fellow world titlist George Kambosos left quite an impact on fans and analysts alike. Kambosos is a serious fighter of considerable talent. One doesn’t dominate the previously undefeated Aussie without the large doses of focus, dedication, and ability needed in order to do so. In other words, the world now sees that Devin Haney is a force to be reckoned with.
Here’s five takeaways from Haney’s Saturday masterclass:
Skills Pay The Bills: Devin Haney is no longer on the margins. Although known throughout the fight world, the Vegas based fighter certainly was no media darling before this past weekend. Haney isn’t flashy or colorful like many of his peers. That didn’t matter when the opening bell rang on Saturday, and it won’t matter when the opening bell rings in Haney’s future fights. In a sport that celebrates sizzle – Haney brings the steak.
All Roads Lead To Haney: More colorful fighters, those with names like Teofimo Lopez, Vasyl Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis or Ryan Garcia may naturally draw in more attention than Haney, yet there’s simply no ignoring him now. All the media darlings must prove to be at least legitimately willing to square off with Haney if they want the continued respect of fans.
The Competition Has To Wait Its Turn: Still, no matter how badly some of those fighters might want to square off with Haney, Kambosos gets a chance to redeem himself first. There was a rematch clause in the contract for last weekend’s fight.
He’s That Good: It was easy to write Haney off, to call him an email champion or someone who wasn’t capable of stepping out of the margins before last weekend. No more. Teofimo Lopez showed how good he was by beating Vasyl Lomachenko, Kambosos showed how good he was by beating Lopez, and now Haney has shown how good he is by topping Kambosos.
He’s Now A Star: Whether he craves the spotlight or not, Haney is now one of the top dogs in the sport of boxing. Being an undisputed champion means you’re a divisional king, and – until you’re dethroned – all other fighters in your division are mere subjects. This particular king may be hard to dethrone.