By: Hans Themistode
Devin Haney hasn’t signed his name to any contracts just yet, but he knows a showdown against former multiple division champion Jorge Linares is most likely next for him.
Currently, both sides are locked in negotiations with May being floated around as the target date. With Haney’s resume shallow in terms of elite-level opponents, the WBC lightweight titlist has welcomed a showdown against Linares with open arms. But while he’s locked in on the former champion, he is still holding out hope that a certain Ukrainian sneaks in through the backdoor.
“Jorge Linares is the frontrunner,” said Haney during an interview with FightHype. “But I’m still looking forward to hopefully making a fight with Loma (Lomachenko).”
Over the past few weeks, both Haney and Lomachenko have thrown jabs at one another over social media. Although it is unlikely, both sides have agreed to take each other on in May. Yet, they appear to be heading in opposite directions.
Haney (25-0, 15 KOs), as previously mentioned, is deep in negotiations with Linares. As for Lomachenko, promoter Bob Arum recently claimed that he is interested in matching him up against Masayoshi Nakatani.
Haney though, is hoping that they will simply fight each other instead. While his interest in facing Lomachenko has somewhat waned since the Ukrainians defeat at the hands of Teofimo Lopez just a few months ago, Haney still believes that a showdown between them would be nothing short of box-office.
“I’m happy that he finally acknowledged me and interested in fighting me. It sucks that now it comes after he takes a loss. I would rather it happen when he was on top but at the end of the day, a fight with Loma would still be huge and a fight that I would welcome.”
Lomachenko, 33, was thoroughly outboxed when he was last seen in the ring against Lopez. At the time, most pegged him as the best fighter in the world. Fast forward to today however, and Lomachenko is attempting to repair his once unbeatable image.
For what it’s worth, Haney still has a tremendous amount of respect for the former two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. But with now two losses straddled to his docket, Haney views him as vulnerable. At one point, there was seemingly only one game plan to defeat him. In 2014 in only his second pro fight, former world champion Orlando Salido handed Lomachenko the first loss of his career.
The crafty veteran pulled out every trick in the book, including what many felt was a few dirty ones as he roughed up Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) on his way to the victory. Now, with Lopez providing a different game plan to beating him, Haney believes the book on beating Lomachenko is out for the entire public to see.
“Teofimo did lay another blueprint on how to beat Loma. It just shows that there’s different ways that he can be beat.”