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.
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.”