By: Hans Themistode
WBC featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr. has made his dislike for WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney well known. Despite being separated by two weight classes, the Maryland native has called for a showdown between the two for several months.
Both parties were reportedly never close to an actual deal materializing and the moment their contest fell apart, each side pointed a blaming finger at the other.
With their matchup off the table for the time being, Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) defended his title against former multiple division champion Yuriorkis Gamboa this past weekend. Outside of one round on one judge’s scorecards, it was a clean sweep for Haney. Following the win, the 21 year old was pleased with pitching a shutout. For Russell Jr. however, he was far from impressed.
“Devin boy, you did all this mother fucking talking and you looked like some shit,” said Russell Jr. on his social media account. “That was the most boring fight ever. I don’t know why people paid their money to see that shit. That was ridiculous. You know that was unsatisfactory. No one wanted to see that boring ass shit. You look like a professional amateur.”
Much of the feud between both Haney and Russell Jr. played out in the public eye. The 31 year old featherweight belt holder expressed his frustrations for his lack of a big fight over the years. That in turn has pushed him to step inside of the ring only once a year for the past six years. His lack of activity though, is through no fault of his own but rather because several notable fighters in his division refuse to fight him.
With no contest he believes worth his time, Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KOs) made his interest in facing Haney known. It didn’t take long for team Haney to respond. A contract was sent to Russell Jr. soon after, but after having his legal team take a closer look, he opted against signing it.
That decision seemed to be a sagacious one, but after watching Haney in the ring this past weekend, Russell Jr. is kicking himself over his choice.
“Y’all knew exactly what y’all was doing by sending that bull shit ass term sheet over. Nobody in their right mind would have signed it but the way that this looks out, I should have signed it just to beat his mother fucking ass. If y’all had sent some correct shit, I would have put you over my knee and spank that ass.”
At the moment, Haney has turned his full attention towards a showdown with undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez. Russell Jr. on the other hand, has quietly looked into the possibility of facing off against WBC Jr lightweight champion Miguel Berchelt.
It’s unclear if either man gets the opponent they seek next. Regardless of their paths heading in different directions, Russell Jr. has no issue with changing course and facing Haney. If their contest does in fact take place, the tactics which Haney utilized against Gamboa would lead to a long night for the 21 year old.
“That shit that you was doing would never fly with a Mr. Gary Russell Jr. Jump in that water with me and you will get eaten alive.”