William Haney, Father Of Devin Haney, Details Sparring Session Between His Son And Floyd Mayweather: “Floyd Didn’t Touch Him And Devin Touched Floyd Up”
By: Hans Themistode
The clips have become legendary. A jam-packed boxing gym crowded around one singular sparring session. They hoot, holler and bang on the ring apron as two fighters battle it out for what seems like forever.
It’s the dog house in the Mayweather boxing gym. Under normal sparring sessions rules, the two boxers are timed, receive water breaks and instructions from their coaching staff. Those rules however, are thrown completely out of the window in Mayweather’s home away from home.
No matter who enters the ring, one thing is clear, Mayweather is the king of the ring. Nevertheless, his aforementioned crown was ripped away from him the moment he sparred with WBC lightweight belt holder Devin Haney.
“He was in there with Floyd,” said William Haney, father of Devin Haney, as he described a supposed sparring match between the two on Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast hosted by rapper Gillie Da King. “Nobody wanna talk about it but it was right before the Conor McGregor fight, he was like 17 or 18 and Floyd couldn’t touch him. Listen, Floyd didn’t touch him and Devin touched Floyd up.”
For Mayweather, he’s not only become known for the zero plastered on the loss column of his 50 fight career, but he’s also known for handing his opponents in sparring sessions a one-sided beating. Due to the secrecy always affiliated with sparring, fighters often refrain from speaking upon it. Phrases such as “it was good work,” or “he helped me get better,” permeate throughout boxing circles.
With that being said, there are moments where sparring sessions are glorified and discussed openly. In early 2013, current unified welterweight champion in Errol Spence Jr. was given the opportunity to face Mayweather.
At the time, Spence Jr. was nothing more than a prospect with a 4-0 record with a ton of potential. Rumors of the two going tit for tat during their session have been widely told. From what has been reported on numerous occasions, Spence Jr. gained Mayweather’s respect with how well he performed.
At times, Spence Jr. supposedly got the better of the former pound for pound star, however, Mayweather of course, left a lasting impression of his own. In the case of his sparring encounter with Haney however, William mentions that it was completely one-sided.
In most cases, sparring is nothing more than a way for both fighters to get better. Nothing more, nothing less. Yet according to William, his son’s time in the ring with Mayweather wasn’t simply about them working on their craft. No, for the Haney’s it was a passing of the torch.
“When Errol Spence got out on Floyd, Floyd called him back and Floyd got back out on him. Now, whether it be due to age or whatever, that was a defining moment in both Devin and Floyd to understand that there was a real changing and passing of the guard. On that particular night, in the dog house, it was like Devin had graduated.”
For Devin Haney, he won’t dispute anything that his father spewed. Instead, he merely was appreciative of the time spent in the ring with the newly elected hall of famer.
“For me personally, I just thank Floyd for even giving me the opportunity to say that I’ve been in the ring with him,” explained Devin Haney. “Even though it was at the end of his career, just for me to be able to say I sparred Floyd. He didn’t have to do that. I was a young kid and he was somebody that I always looked up to and someone that I always watched.”
The experience that Devin received from Mayweather is something that William cherishes as well. Nonetheless, the long time trainer watched the career of Mayweather unfold for years and at no point has he allowed anyone to receive the upper hand on him. In the case of his sparring session with Haney though, William believes that Mayweather could do nothing but sit back and accept the punishment that his son dished out to him on that faithful day.
“I know he would’ve whipped your ass if he could. Floyd is no punk and no sucker so he’s not letting nobody do what I saw you do to him.”
Devin Haney Questions Vasiliy Lomachenko: “Do You Deserve A Shot Right Now? I Don’t Know How He’s Still On The Pound For Pound List”
By: Hans Themistode
Vasiliy Lomachenko is currently pounding away at the heavy bag and working on his craft. The former unified lightweight titlist is still disappointed in the outcome of his undisputed showdown with Teofimo Lopez but he is attempting to work his way back to the number one spot in the division.
On numerous occasions, Lopez has regurgitated that he will not give Lomachenko a rematch. With the possibility of regaining his world titles off the table, current WBC belt holder Devin Haney could become a target. However, it seems as though Haney is holding onto a grudge that he has with the Ukrainian and isn’t fully ready to let it go.
“I remember a time when Loma wouldn’t even say my name,” said Haney on the Ak and Barak Show. “I was his mandatory and he wouldn’t say my name and would act like I didn’t exist. So it’s like do I even want to give you a shot right now? Or do I want to fight one of these young guys that are actually speaking my name and throwing my name in the hat. At one point, Loma wouldn’t even throw me in the hat of guys.”
For 22-year-old Haney, he was in fact the mandatory challenger to Lomachenko’s WBC crown. Despite that, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman introduced the term “Franchise Champion.” That in turn would elevate Haney to full belt holder. While he appreciated his first world title, it wasn’t the way he envisioned it would happen.
With Lomachenko now beltless, Haney believes the chips are now stacked in his favor. As far as how he views the former multiple division champion, unlike most, Haney doesn’t have him pegged anywhere near his pound for pound list. With that said, the Las Vegas, resident has several questions he would love the Ukrainian to answer.
“He would act like I didn’t even exist. So do I really want to give you a shot? Do you deserve a shot right now and I don’t know how he’s still on the pound for pound list.”
Teofimo Lopez: “We Talking About Devin Haney Next”
By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez walks past his trophy collection every day. While inside may hold four major world titles, one of those aforementioned titles has brought about confusion.
When Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) dethroned former unified lightweight titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko in mid-October of 2020, the Brooklyn native was officially tagged as an undisputed world champion. Be that as it may, with Lomachenko in possession of the WBC “Franchise” title, as opposed to the full title held by Devin Haney, fans have called for the pair to end the confusion and face each other in the ring.
While Lopez believes he is clearly the undisputed king of the lightweight division, he’s heard the calls from the fans and is willing to give them what they want.
“You know I’m undisputed already,” said Lopez during an Instagram live video. “But if y’all wanna see that we gonna give it to y’all.”
Haney, 22, has called the undisputed title reign of Lopez a fraudulent one. With that said, many have pointed to how the Las Vegas resident actually acquired his championship status. After making quick work of previously undefeated Zaur Abdullaev via fourth-round stoppage in early 2019, Haney picked up the WBC interim title for his efforts.
All along, Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) planned on using his newly won trinket as a tool to lure then full champion Vasiliy Lomachenko into a mandated contest against him. Those plans though, were immediately thrown out of the window as WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman designated Lomachenko as the newly appointed “Franchise,” champion. A designation he would then lose the moment he lost to Lopez.
Haney on the other hand, was elevated to full champion status via email. It wasn’t exactly how the 22-year-old pictured winning his first world title, but he has since defended his crown twice and wears it proudly.
While Haney firmly believes that he is in fact the WBC champion, he has offered to face Lopez to end any confusion.
At first, a bout between the pair seemed unrealistic. With Haney needing to deal with not one, but two mandatory challengers in Ryan Garcia and Javier Fortuna, along with Lopez having his own obligations in George Kambosos Jr., their highly anticipated showdown was thought to be nothing more than a pipe dream.
Ultimately, the road to their undisputed matchup might be covered with mandatories left and right, but for Lopez, he is currently attempting to bypass his imperative title defense against Kamsosos Jr., and forge straight ahead to a matchup with Haney.
“We talking about Devin Haney next. As long as we get everything sorted out with my mandatory, move that to the side then we can get Devin Haney next.”
Gary Russell Jr On Devin Haney’s Recent Performance: “Jump In That Water With Me And You Will Get Eaten Alive”
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.”
Devin Haney On Yuriorkis Gamboa Performance: “The Other Guys Fought Him And Look At Their Face And Look At Mines”
By: Hans Themistode
WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney has watched his contemporaries take center stage over the last few weeks.
Last month the California native witnessed history as Teofimo Lopez outboxed Vasiliy Lomachenko to become the youngest undisputed champion of all time. Two weeks later, Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) jumped out of his seat as he watched Gervonta Davis score a one punch knockout over Leo Santa Cruz on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
With those two out of the way, the boxing world was fixated on his own lightweight contest against Yuriorkis Gamboa this past Saturday night. Haney may have won virtually every round according to the judge’s scorecards, but he left a box unchecked on the night.
“I wanted to knock him out,” said Haney to Fight Hype following his victory. “I knew that he was durable and that he would try to survive but that mother fucker is scrappy. The key was getting the knockout but it was a good experience for me.”
Haney, 21, issued threat after threat in the direction of Gamboa during much of their build up. The WBC lightweight titlist believed that his soon to be 39 year old opponent would either lose every round or succumb to a knockout loss. Although the latter never presented itself, Haney has quickly moved on from his performance.
He’ll take the win, but with other notable fights in his division, he never wanted to face Gamboa to begin with.
“I wanna make the big fights happen. Gamboa was someone to fill in the space but that’s not the fight that I want. I want to make the big fights happen.”
Throughout the 13 year career of Gamboa, the former Olympic gold medalist has fallen short on the biggest of stages. His failures however, haven’t come without clear resistance. In June of 2014, Gamboa picked up the first loss of his career against Terence Crawford but not before outboxing him during the first few rounds and rocking him several times throughout the night. Just last year, Gamboa pushed two division world titlist Gervonta Davis to the 12th round for the first time in his career before ultimately getting stopped in the final minute of their contest.
While many elite fighters have struggled with Gamboa over the years, Haney sent a message to anyone who wants to juxtapose his performance to his peers.
“The other guys fought him and look at their face and look at mines.”
In terms of what the immediate future holds for the 21 year old, that picture could become crystal clear next month. Multiple time title challenger Luke Campbell and undefeated contender Ryan Garcia meet on December 5th, with the WBC interim championship on the line. The winner of their contest promptly becomes the mandatory challenger to Haney’s title.
Regardless of those factors, Haney could care less who wins between them. At the moment, he’s turned his attention to one thing, and one thing only.
“I’m looking forward to the title holders, I want all the belts.”
Devin Haney Wins One Sided Snooze Fest Against Yuriorkis Gamboa
Devin Haney vs Yuriorkis Gamboa
It wasn’t the performance that WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney was hoping for but the 21 year old got the job done.
In the main event slot at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) cruised to a one-sided win.
During the build up of their contest, the California native was adamant in his desire to punish Gamboa before ultimately stopping him. Yet, the soon to be 39 year proved that he was much more difficult to deal with then expected.
Still, he may not have gotten the stoppage victory but as indicated by the judges, their contest was one way traffic.
The final scorecards were as followed: 118-109 and two scores of 120-107 for the remaining two judges.
Rydell Booker vs Filip Hrgovic
Knockout win number ten in the career of Filip Hrgovic came in particularly explosive fashion.
Heavyweight journeymen in Rydell Booker (26-4, 13 KOs) came into his contest against Hrgovic (12-0, 10 KOs) with a sly smile on his face as he believed the heavyweight prospect was biting off more then he can chew. With that being said, Hrgovic wiped the smile away from his face with a one sided beating.
With four one sided rounds already in the bank, including a second round knockdown, the referee mercifully stepped in to stop their contest as a lethargic Booker sulked back to his corner following the decision.
Zhilei Zhang vs Devin Vargas
Zhilei Zhang (22-0, 17 KOs) may be long in the tooth at 37, but it appears as though he won’t be going anywhere, anytime soon. The Chinese native brought the heat right to his opponent in Devin Vargas (22-7, 9 KOs) from the opening bell.
The six feet six Zhang landed punches in bunches within the first few seconds as his opponent retreated. Although the rounds ticked by, they all looked the same as Zhang was dominant. In the fourth round however, a left, right combination ended the night as Vargas fell flat on his back. He immediately pointed to his knee as he was counted out.
With the win, promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping to match Zhang with fringe contender Dereck Chisora in 2021.
Reshat Mati vs Marcos Mojica
Make that four straight knockout wins for welterweight prospect Reshat Mati (8-0, 6 KOs). The 22 year old from Staten Island New York, wasted little time in attacking Marcos Mojica (17-6-2, 13 KOs) at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
A three punch combination from Mati was punctuated with a left hook that sent his man to the ground in the opening round. The 35 year old shrugged off the hit and climbed back to his feet and finished the round. Yet, his resiliency pushed beyond its limits in the following round as Mati landed a left uppercut that ended their contest soon after.
Raymond Ford vs Rafael Reyes
The young career of undefeated featherweight prospect Raymond Ford (7-0, 3 KOs) is going exactly how he hoped. The 21 year old made an immediate statement against fringe contender Rafael Reyes (19-11, 10 KOs) at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
After a first round knockdown, Reyes regrouped in the second. However, he once again found himself on the canvas in the third round. Although he was able to beat the count, it didn’t take long for the referee to step in and call a halt to their contest soon after.
Devin Haney On Teofimo Lopez: “He Knows That He’s Not Undisputed Without Fighting Me”
By: Hans Themistode
The fans, media and even other boxers around the world may call Teofimo Lopez an undisputed lightweight champion, but Devin Haney believes it’s all phony.
The 21 year old WBC belt holder sat in his palatial estate and watched Lopez unseat former unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. During much of their build up, not only was the disdain between Lopez and Lomachenko highlighted, but a specific emphasis was placed on their contest having all of the lightweight marbles on the line.
Yet, as Haney looks at himself in the mirror, he still sees an undefeated record and a world title draped over his shoulder. So while most of the world continues to call Lopez an undisputed world champion, Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) is under the impression that the road to that distinction runs through him.
“At the end of the day he said he was willing to fight me,” said Haney during a recent Zoom press conference. “He knows that he doesn’t feel right without fighting me for the real undisputed. He knows that he’s not undisputed without fighting me.”
The confusion over Lopez’s undisputed status stems from Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC. Shortly after Lomachenko won the WBC title in August of 2019 against Luke Campbell, Sulaiman relieved him of his title and instead, handed him the WBC Franchise title. That in turn pushed Haney, who won the WBC interim title one month later, to full title holder.
Sulaiman would go on to say that the Franchise belt isn’t an actual belt per se, but more so a designation that is bestowed to special individual fighters who fight across multiple weight classes. The Franchise title forgoes any mandatory challengers and cannot be won in the ring.
With that being said, before Lopez vs Lomachenko took place, team Lopez petitioned to have the WBC Franchise title on the line. Sulaiman approved his petition and with the win, Lopez is now in possession of that very title.
For Haney, he has continually spoken of how he simply wants to win world titles. However, the Franchise title isn’t something he currently has his eyes on.
“I’m not interested in winning a Franchise title, that’s not something that I really want to do but I am willing to fight for all the belts against Teofimo.”
As much as Haney would love to face off against Lopez, he currently has his focus locked in on former multiple division titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa. The two are set to face off this weekend in the main event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Although he isn’t looking past the soon to be 39 year old, he does believe that he’ll pick up the win in dominant fashion.
“He’s been in there with a lot of top guys and given them the toughest fight of their careers. I’m going to go in there and beat him worst than anybody ever has.”
Predictions aren’t exactly a thing for Haney. The WBC belt holder struggles to give an exact indication as to how any of his contests will play out beforehand. But just as he’s figured out a way to win every single time he’s stepped foot inside of the ring, he believes he’ll have his hand raised against Gamboa or more importantly, Teofimo Lopez.
“I do know I would be victorious against Teofimo. I’m not sure how the fight would play out but I know that I would be victorious against him.”
Eddie Hearn: “Devin Haney Would Have Beaten Vasiliy Lomachenko”
By: Hans Themistode
From the moment Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez was made, promoter Eddie Hearn believed that their contest would be one way traffic.
It was never meant to be a slight to the boxing ability of Lopez, but more so a compliment to how great of a fighter Lomachenko is. Yet, following a timid first half, the former three division world titlist found himself digging out of a major hole during the second half of their contest. Despite his rally, his efforts were not rewarded as he lost via unanimous decision.
Even with their contest taking place several weeks ago, Hearn can’t help but poke fun at himself over his prediction.
“I rate Lomachenko so highly,” said Hearn during a recent Zoom press conference. “I think he’s a great fighter. I gave a great prediction for that Lomachenko vs Lopez fight when I said Lomachenko would win every round. How wrong was I? I woke up on Sunday and checked my phone and couldn’t believe what I saw.”
Although Hearn gives Lopez all of the credit in the world, apart of him believes that his fighter in WBC lightweight belt holder Devin Haney missed the boat. Before Lopez vs Lomachenko was ever signed, the 21 year old and his promoter threw their name into the mix for a possible showdown.
In September of 2019, Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) ran over Zaur Abdullaev to the tune of a fourth round stoppage win. The victory netted the Las Vegas, resident the WBC interim title and placed him at the head of the line for a shot at Lomachenko.
Those dreams however, were immediately crushed as President of the WBC Mauricio Sulaiman pushed Lomachenko to Franchise status. As a result, Haney was subsequently made full champion.
For Hearn, he never wanted his fighter to win his world title that way. So while he gives a round of applause to team Lopez for what they were able to accomplish, he firmly believes that Haney would have done the exact same.
“Bill Haney and Devin Haney believed that they were the one’s that could beat Lomachenko. It’s easy for me now to say yeah Devin would have done exactly what Teofimo did but on that night, I think for sure Devin Haney would have beaten Vasiliy Lomachenko.”
What’s Next For Vasiliy Lomachenko?
By: Hans Themistode
Things couldn’t have gone any worse for Vasiliy Lomachenko. Not only did the former unified lightweight champion lose every single one of his belts to Teofimo Lopez last night, but with no rematch clause in their contract and team Lopez showing no desire to run it back, the 32 year old is left with an uncertain future.
Mostly everyone, including Lomachenko, believes that his real weight class and future are at 130 pounds. With that being said, the Ukrainian native is a proud fighter and will have a difficult time being forced out of the 135 pound division.
There are no clear options in terms of his next contest, but we’ve put together a list giving him the best of both worlds in the 130 and 135 pound divisions.
The end isn’t coming anytime soon for the multiple time champion, so check out who he should be eyeing for his next ring appearance.
Look, no matter how badly Lomachenko wants to get his hands back on Lopez, it simply isn’t going to happen next. His best bet is to make a statement.
Despite the undisputed tag that was associated with Lomachenko and Lopez’s contest, the fact remains that Devin Haney is still a legitimate world champion. The 21 year old still has to take care of business in the form of multiple time champion Yuriorkis Gamboa on November 7th. But with his 39th birthday coming sooner rather than later, many believe Haney will walk right through the former champion.
If things do in fact play out that way, then Lomachenko should have an eye on him. A win over Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) would do a lot for him right now. Not only would he be handed another world title, but it would also entice Lopez to run things back one more time.
Vasiliy Lomachenko is in the title business. Meaning, the 32 year old doesn’t have the time or patience to work his way back from the ground up. Staying at 135 pounds was never his long term plan, so instead, a drop in weight seems like the most sensible option.
At the moment, most of the title holders at 130 pounds are pre-occupied. But in the case of Joseph Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs), his schedule appears to be wide open. The IBF belt holder is fresh off an upset victory over former titlist Tevin Farmer earlier this year. So while he isn’t the sexiest pick, he is a current world champion and an easy fight to make.
Gary Russell Jr
Moving back down to 126 pounds may seem like hitting rock bottom for the back to back Olympic gold medalist, but it could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Lomachenko started off his career at the featherweight division, and while it was short, it was extremely successful.
In just his third pro fight, Lomachenko picked up the first world title of his career. The loser on the night in Gary Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KOs) has proved his own dominance shortly after as he’s held a world title for the past five years. His title run however, was never quite satisfying as the Maryland native simply couldn’t get the bitter taste of defeat off his tastebuds.
On several occasions he’s called for a rematch to avenge his lone defeat. His pleas were never met with enthusiasm on the side of Lomachenko, but with his waist now absent of gold, now could be the perfect time for him to revisit a possible showdown.
Mickey Bey, Trainer Of Devin Haney On Lomachenko vs Lopez: “The road to undisputed runs through Devin Haney”
By: Hans Themistode
The names associated with this weekend’s contest has everyone around the boxing world excited. So much so, that many observers have a difficult time pinpointing the lie even when its staring directly at them.
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez is currently billed as one of the biggest fights in the sport of boxing. Something many would agree with. It’s also viewed as a grudge match. With all of the derogatory words and threatening messages that have been hurled at one another, there’s no doubt that both men will be throwing shots with a little something extra behind it.
Lastly, and most importantly, their matchup has been promoted as an undisputed lightweight contest. Something that Devin Haney and his trainer Mickey Bey are incredulous too.
“It’s a real big fight but it’s definitely not an undisputed fight,” said Bey to Boxinginsider.com during a recent interview. “Loma is an excellent fighter but Devin Haney is the WBC champion.”
The status of Haney’s title run has become a confusing one. In September of 2019, the Las Vegas resident dished out a one sided beating to then, undefeated contender Zaur Abdullaev. The win resulted in the interim WBC lightweight title and a supposed first class ticket to a showdown with Lomachenko who picked up the full title just one month prior against Luke Campbell.
Haney however, would have his dreams both realized and crushed soon after.
President of the World Boxing Council (WBC) Mauricio Sulaiman elevated Lomachenko’s status from full titlist to franchise champion. That in turn nixed any possible Loma vs Haney matchups, but it did push the 21 year old to full champion status.
Still, even with Haney branded as a world titleholder, Sulaiman made his words clear when discussing his championship run.
“Lomachenko is the WBC lightweight champion,” said Sulaiman during a recent conference call.
Bitterness and resentment would soon follow anyone who is being slighted. But for Bey, the always calm former belt holder understood exactly where Sulaiman was coming from. All he’s asking is that the winner of this weekend’s contest steps up to the plate.
“I don’t think they should be saying that Lomachenko is the WBC lightweight champion. But we know it’s business and they have to sell the fight. We don’t take it personal. I think the winner should step up and face the real WBC champion. The road to undisputed runs through Devin Haney.”
In terms of who travels down said road after Saturday night, Bey believes that although Lopez is a helluva fighter, experience will be the difference.
“If Lopez can fight the right game plan and stick to it then he has a chance. But it’s different from thinking you can do something to a guy like Lomachenko and going in there and actually doing it. Lopez has to hurt him because I don’t see him out boxing Lomachenko. I just don’t think he has the experience to beat a Lomachenko.”
Mauricio Sulaiman On Lomachenko vs Lopez: “For This Fight, The Winner Will Be Designated As The Franchise Champion”
By: Hans Themistode
It turns out that Devin Haney’s title run may have been a hoax.
This coming Saturday night, both Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez will look to settle their differences once and for all. For the past several months, their contest has been promoted as an undisputed title fight. Something that Devin Haney is incredulous too.
The 21 year old California product, currently holds the WBC lightweight title while Lopez is in possession of the IBF belt. Lomachenko on the other hand, has a stranglehold on both the WBA and WBO titles. The 32 year old did at one point have Haney’s world title but it was taken away from him in light of the WBC Franchise title.
Several fans, media members and even boxers are still confused over the exact meaning of the Franchise title. Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC, understands the confusion that the Franchise label gives off whenever it’s mentioned.
In order for either Lomachenko or Lopez to be considered the undisputed lightweight champion, a bout with Haney has to take place first. Or at least, that was the original thought.
Although Haney is technically listed as the full champion, his title reign could be considered a phony one.
“Lomachenko is the WBC lightweight champion,” confirmed Sulaiman during a recent conference call. “He won and petitioned for the Franchise designation. The Franchise is put above any champion in the lightweight category. So, Lomachenko is in fact champion with special attributes.”
Sulaiman went on to further clarify that although many find the Franchise tag a confusing one, without it, Lomachenko vs Lopez would never have taken place. At least, not so soon.
“Lomachenko doesn’t have to face the mandatories that normally come when you win a vacant title. He was named Franchise and he could go ahead and make this fight with Teofimo Lopez. The concept of the Franchise (champion) is to be presented to very fighters who have specific set of attributions, like Canelo (Saul Alvarez) and Lomachenko. They have been fighting in several weight classes. The Franchise designation with Lomachenko permitted him to have this fight with Teofimo Lopez.”
Although Haney would go on to become Interim champion late last year, he was quickly elevated to full champion once Lomachenko was officially Franchised. It appears that a road to undisputed does in fact still run through the Ukrainian Lomachenko and not Haney after all.
As mentioned on previous occasions by Sulaiman, the Franchise title is more of a designation rather than an actual title. It cannot be won regardless if said Franchise champion losses in the ring.
If the hard hitting Lopez manages to take home the win this upcoming weekend, the Brooklyn native would have been extremely unsatisfied with walking out of the ring with only three belts as opposed to four.
With that being said, team Lopez made it their duty that their man won’t be shorted a world title this Saturday night.
“For this specific fight, we received a request from Teofimo Lopez. For this fight, the winner will be designated as the Franchise champion. We have previously stipulated that this is not normally put on the line. But we are proud to have this event with all of the championships on the line.”
Devin Haney And Yuriorkis Gamboa Agree To Fight Term’s
By: Hans Themistode
Yuriorkis Gamboa’s latest performance may have resulted in a loss, but apparently he showed enough skill and will to earn him another shot on the big stage.
Gamboa, 38, gave undefeated two weight world titlist Gervonta Davis all he could handle in December of 2019. After rupturing his Achilles in the second round and becoming a sitting duck for the hard hitting Davis, Gamboa not only showed tremendous heart for refusing to give up, but he also showed that he was extremely dangerous as he rocked Davis on several occasions.
Despite that, the end resulted in a Gamboa knockout loss.
Immediately following the defeat, the Cuban native had surgery to repair his Achilles and subsequently began working hard in rehab. While doing so, he waited patiently for the phone to ring. Once it did, it was the exact call he was hoping for.
“Yuri always wanted this fight from the beginning,” said Gambia’s manager Jesse Rodriguez to George Ebro. “Other names emerged, but he always insisted on bumping into Haney. Now it’s going to be a reality. I spoke to Haney’s father and he assured me that everything is ready for November 7.”
The target date for their matchup is reportedly November 7th. That would mark just under one year since Gamboa’s Achilles tear. But while some may pause to wonder whether or not the soon to be 39 year old will be physically able to compete, Rodriguez isn’t worried in the slightest.
“He’s totally recovered, everyone will be able to see Gamboa in great physical and mental condition. It’s amazing how Gamboa’s name arouses interest every time it’s mentioned.”
Gamboa’s name may arouse interest considering he was a multiple division champion and former Olympic gold medalist, but for team Haney, he wasn’t their first choice.
Current WBC featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr. made waves about his commitment to moving up two weight classes. Instead of easing his way into a new division, Russell Jr. set his sights on Haney’s world title.
The two sides yelled and argued through social media over contract details and things quickly fell apart.
Fans may be pissed over their fall out, but Gamboa on the other hand, is happy as can be to get another shot at gold.
“Yuri is very excited about this fight, now that he’s healthy and rejuvenated. We are waiting for the contract to be sent to us, but the main issues are resolved.”
Ryan Garcia Wants to “Shock The World”
Ryan Garcia has always had the look of a great prospect.
His YouTube highlights and moments in the ring have shown him to be lightning fast. He also isn’t lacking in power with 17 knockouts in 20 career fights. Last and certainly not least, Garcia has shown to be a needle mover. A crowd of over 10,000 fans paid their hard earned money to watch him leave Francisco Fonseca on his back on Valentine’s Day earlier this year.
In addition to the butts that fill the seats to watch him fight, his 6.6 million Instagram followers ranks him ahead of champions such as Vasiliy Lomachenko, Tyson Fury, Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford combined.
Yet, regardless of the promise he’s shown as a prospect, he’ll get his chance to prove if he’s ready to graduate to contender and eventually champion.
Both Garcia and multiple time title challenger in Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) have recently been ordered by the WBC to face one another. The winner of that contest would not only have the biggest win of their career, but according to the sanctioning body, they would also get a crack at belt holder Devin Haney.
For Campbell, championship losses against Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares left him on the outside looking in. Nevertheless, the 2012 Olympic gold medal winner was on track to face multiple time division titlist Javier Fortuna.
However, Campbell was left at the altar as Fortuna opted to take on former champion Jorge Linares. But when one door closes, another one opens. And standing on the other end of his newly opened door is the undefeated Ryan Garcia.
“I’m excited to beat this lad,” said Campbell to The Mirror. ”He’s an up-and-coming fighter with a lot of hype behind him. He looks big for the weight and he carries power. He has quick hands but that’s all really, I haven’t seen anything else. It’s hard to judge anyone when they haven’t fought anyone. I believe I’m a step too far for him. No-one has seen the best of me yet and it’s coming. If anyone thought I boxed well against Lomachenko, and 90 per cent of the rounds were close and competitive, I can fight miles better than that.”
After partnering with trainer Eddy Reynoso, Garcia has proven that Campbell isn’t the only one who can improve.
With four straight knockout wins since the pairing, the two have been a match made in boxing Heaven.
The thought of becoming a world champion excites Garcia. And although he has never lacked in self confidence, he doesn’t expect all of his 6.6 million Instagram followers to fully believe in him.
He isn’t offended by it. Instead, it’s nothing but motivation.
“Will get my respect!” Said Garcia on his Twitter account. “SHOCK THE WORLD!!”
Devin Haney is WBC Lightweight Champion Once Again
By: Hans Themistode
Devin Haney fought long and hard to be called a champion once again. But this time, he didn’t have to step foot inside of the ring.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines like the rest of the world while the Coronavirus continues to be dealt with by medical officials, Haney took this time off as an opportunity to regain what he never lost in the first place. The WBC Lightweight title.
Haney first won the title with an easy stoppage win over Zaur Abdullaev. It was an interim title at first, but with the WBC handing out more belts than necessary, unified champ Vasiliy Lomachenko went from full title holder to Franchise champion. A distinction many still don’t fully understand.
Haney didn’t want to be simply handed a belt. No, he wanted to fight for it. Nevertheless, he was awarded the belt and made one successful title defense against Alfredo Santiago. From there, Haney was set to take on the biggest test of his career in multiple division champion Javier Fortuna.
While Haney has never turned down an opponent, he was forced to this time with a shoulder injury which led to surgery. Haney was then stripped of his title and made “Champion in Recess.” What that officially means is that once Haney was fully recovered, he could fight for his title immediately.
In the meanwhile, Fortuna was ordered to take on multiple title challenger Luke Campbell for the vacant belt. That contest, along with every other bout on the boxing schedule was forced to cancel due to the Coronavirus.
Never has there been good news that came from the virus, but Haney became the first. He petitioned to have his belt returned to him since boxing is on hold and is now 100 percent healthy.
“I feel like they should reinstate me—I was stripped because they felt I wouldn’t be active to fight my mandatory,” Haney pointed out prior to filing an official petition with the WBC. “But the two (top contenders) never fought.”
“So, what sense does that make? If I’m ready to fight the mandatories… let’s make this happen.”
His petition was heard and granted as he is now the WBC champion once again.
The moment boxing returns to its regular schedule, Fortuna will get his shot at a title. But for Luke Campbell, that effectively leaves him out of the loop.
Shakur Stevenson Gives Boxing Insider Radio His Thoughts on His First Title Defense and Star Filled Future
With Shakur Stevenson preparing himself for the first defense of his WBO Featherweight title, he took some time to stop by and give the crew at Boxing Insider Radio his thoughts on his upcoming contest against Miguel Marriaga and his future plans.
Aside from the normal cast, former undisputed Welterweight champion Zab Judah was also in the house to ask the young champ a few questions as well. To join the conversation simply subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify or on Boxinginsider.com.
An Olympic Silver medal, a Featherweight world title and several wins over high ranking contenders sounds like a pretty good career doesn’t it?
Some of the greatest boxers in the world have gone their entire careers without accomplishing half as much.
Ken Norton, who is universally known to have been one of the best Heavyweights in the world in the 1970s, challenged for the world title on three separate occasions and lost every single time. Through 50 fights, he never managed to attain championship status.
Benny Briscoe spent a 95 fight career without calling himself a champion as well, despite numerous cracks at it.
Briscoe and Norton may have come up short in their championship bids, but at least they were given an opportunity. Heavyweight Sam Langford stepped into the ring 313 times over the course of 24 years. Not once did he even challenge for a world title.
Yes, you read that correctly. Through 313 career ring appearances, Langford was never given the opportunity to call himself a champion. Yet in comparison, Shakur Stevenson did so in just 13 fights.
On Saturday night March 14th, at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, Stevenson places his title on the line against Miguel Marriaga. If the name sounds familiar, there’s a reason. Marriaga has fought just about everyone in the Featherweight and Super Featherweight division including Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oscar Valdez.
Not many are expecting it to be competitive. But even fewer are anticipating a Stevenson loss. Fighters have a tendency to drum up soft up touches as difficult matchups. Wanting the media and the fans to believe that a no hoper has a legitimate shot, but Stevenson isn’t trying to pull wool over anyone’s eyes here. He knows exactly what he’s dealing with.
“It’s a measuring stick sort of fight,” said Stevenson on Boxing Insider Radio. “I’m a beat dude up. I know that he’s tough since he fought Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez and Nicholas Walters so I know he’s tough but shit, tough ain’t enough.”
Stevenson isn’t exactly concerned with whatever Marriaga brings to the table. In fact, the Featherweight champ is already looking right through his opponent and on to his next fight and soon to be future.
“I’m trying to fight Josh Warrington to unify the division in England then I want to move up to 130, cause there isn’t really anybody here at 126. But when I get to 130 I’m hoping Lomachenko comes down so that I can beat up on him.”
Beating up on Lomachenko isn’t something that other fighters usually say so casually. He’s only a two time Olympic gold medalist, three division world champion, current unified Lightweight champ and oh yeah, he also managed to put together an amateur record of 396-1.
Regardless of the accolades that Lomachenko possesses that stretch around the block, there’s a reason why Stevenson wants a matchup with him sooner rather than later. The two may compete in different weight classes at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t shared the ring before. And by all accounts, Stevenson gained a ton of respect.
“I got the chance to spar with Lomachenko a few years and ago and it was good and competitive sparring. I try not to speak too much on sparring but Lomachenko respected me a lot because I was begging to go down there and spar him. They said I could go, but I wasn’t going to get paid but I just said okay no problem. By the first week they gave me a check and wanted to keep me for the whole camp. I sparred him for about 3 weeks straight and I was ready to leave but his team was saying that they wanted to pay me extra to stay so his team respects me and Lomachenko is a helluva fighter, but I think I am going to be the one to expose him.”
If current IBF Lightweight world titlist and former fellow US Olympic teammate Teofimo Lopez has anything to say about it, Stevenson will never receive his chance. That’s because both Lopez and Lomachenko are slated to face one another this coming Spring.
Stevenson has never been one to follow the crowd, but in terms of this matchup, his thinking falls right in line with mostly everyone else.
“I’m going with Lomachenko. I like Teofimo, don’t get me wrong but he has never been in the ring with that caliber of a fighter before.”
The same could be said about Stevenson. Sure he can officially call himself a world champion, but his resume leaves much to be desired. The lack of names on his ledger isn’t his own doing however. The 22 year old has asked for the biggest names in the division, but they aren’t exactly jumping for joy with the opportunity to face him.
Going up against Miguel Marriaga won’t send his profile through the roof. But just a few days after his contest, another Featherweight contender will step into the ring in Michael Conlan.
Conlan of course, is best known for sticking out his middle finger to the judges during the 2016 Olympic Games. As it stands, both Conlan and Stevenson share a few eerily things in common. For one, Conlan’s record of, 13 wins with zero defeats, with seven of those wins coming via knockout, is exactly the same as Stevenson. Conlan picked up the bronze medal in the 2012 Olympic Games, while Stevenson grabbed the silver in 2016. At 5 feet 8 inches, they even share the same height.
Still, even with so many things in common, Stevenson believes there is no comparison. But don’t expect him to be given the chance to show it inside of the ring anytime soon though.
“Bob Arum already said that we can’t fight cause he’s a small 126 pounder and I’m a big 126 pounder so he doesn’t want to see that fight happen. For this fight I actually asked to fight Michael Conlan because he’s about to be my mandatory for the WBO but Arum just doesn’t want to make it happen.”
Whether it’s a showdown with Conlan, Vasiliy Lomachenko or any of the other top names in or around his division, Stevenson wants them all. With the sort of talent that he possesses, it comes as no surprise that he is already being compared to some of the greatest fighters to ever lace em up.
This is common practice in the sport of boxing, but at this point, it could be considered malpractice as the pressure that is placed on the shoulders of these fighters often times are too much for them to bear.
So who is the historically great fighter that Stevenson has been compared to?
That isn’t too much of a lofty goal for Stevenson. After all, to live up those expectations all he has to do is become a five division world champion, beat some of the best fighters of all-time and go on to have an undefeated career over a 20 year span. Sounds easy enough.
The comparison to Mayweather might seem a bit far fetched, but in actuality, it may not be.
In 1998, a 21 year old Floyd Mayweather cruised to an easy victory over Genaro Hernandez for his first world title. In his most recent ring appearance, Stevenson, 22, made it look easy against Joet Gonzalez to take home his first world title as well. In 1996, Mayweather was forced to take home a bronze medal in the Olympic Games when many believed he was robbed of the gold. Stevenson shares a similar story.
In 2016, Stevenson managed to fight his way to the final contest of the Rio De Janeiro games. Many believed that he did more than enough to take home gold, but came up short against Robeisy Ramirez.
When Mayweather was given the short end of the stick, he vowed to never lose again. Nearly 25 years later and a perfect record of 50-0, Mayweather proved himself right. Now, Stevenson uses the same motivation for himself.
“That motivates me. That was just like one of the worst days of my life, like it felt like somebody important to me died. I had put my all into wanting to win an Olympic gold medal. I was just right there so to lose right there it kind of broke me. But when I decided to turn pro I told myself that I was never going to lose again.”
Through 13 pro fights, Stevenson has kept his promise intact. Gold medal winning Robeisy Ramirez however, hasn’t been so lucky as he lost the first fight of his career.
“It’s not for everybody,” said Zab Judah as he chimed in on why some boxers have more success in the amateurs than the pros. ‘I know a lot of great fighters that had great amateur careers and they were untouchable but when they got to the pros and that headgear came off ohhh man it was like a button that every time they got touched they just kept going down.”
“Yeah it’s not the same level as amateurs,” said Stevenson as he picked up where Zab left off. “You’re fighting with smaller gloves, no headgear. Being in shape and skill plays a major part as well but it’s just a major difference between the pros and the amateurs.”
For now, Stevenson is showing that there is hardly a difference at all. He was dominant in the amateurs and even more so in the pros. It looks as though there isn’t much of a difference at all. At least for him.
But truth be told, there are a number of young fighters who have come onto the scene and have made it look easy. Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, Teofimo Lopez and Chris Colbert are already making major noise as professionals.
Stevenson also notices and see’s them all as future matchups. But there is one name that stands out amongst the rest.
“I want to go up eventually and see all of those guys. Like with Ryan Garcia I beat him in the amateurs so we have a little bit of history. But if I’m being honest I think me and Devin are going to be the last two fighters standing. I just think Devin is a helluva fighter.”
There are those who would advise Stevenson to not overlook Marriaga. 25 knockout wins over 29 overall wins would tell you that he’s dangerous. But the young WBO belt holder simply rolls his eyes.
“Man, he’s got no chance. I’m a beat him up.”