DALLAS–The only history of interest to Devin Haney is that type that doesn’t repeat itself.
Las Vegas’ Haney was an interested ringside observer for Ryan Garcia’s off-the-canvas 7th round knockout of England’s Luke Campbell in their DAZN headliner at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Garcia picked up an interim version of the WBC lightweight title in the process, following a mandate from the sanctioning body calling for Saturday’s winner to become the mandatory challenger for the World title.
That version is currently in the possession of Haney (25-0, 15KOs), though pre-fight claims and post-fight talk from his fellow unbeaten lightweight suggests a different route being pursued.
“I want to be a man of my word. I want Gervonta “Tank” Davis,” Garcia told DAZN’s Chris Mannix after the fight. “I am ready. People are worried about that one but… I want Tank Davis.
“I would also fight Devin Haney, too.”
The latter fight is seemingly far more realistic. Both are aligned with DAZN—Haney through Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, Garcia as the new face of Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions—and are in position to be bound to such a showdown once the WBC formally calls for negotiations to begin.
Of course, it shouldn’t have to come to that.
“Our plan is to press for the fight next,” Haney told BoxingScene.com immediately after the fight. “I want to get back in the ring as soon as possible and for Ryan Garcia to be my next fight.”
Sanctioning body-ordered bouts haven’t always panned out for Haney, particularly with the WBC.
The unbeaten lightweight saw a propose four-man tournament in 2019 instead become a straightaway interim title fight after Top Rank elected to move Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12KOs) in a different direction. The same approach was taken with Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-2, 10KOs), who abandoned his WBC title reign in exchange for the sanctioning body’s “Franchise” title status.
Haney was upgraded from interim to WBC “World” titlist soon thereafter, though still actively in search of big fights with the division’s other unbeaten young guns. From the moment he wrapped up a 12-round shutout of Yuriorkis Gamboa in his most recent start last November, the unbeaten 22-year old has targeted the most logical next step which is a mandatory title fight with Garcia.
All it should take is the cooperation of the involved parties who’ve positioned both young rising stars to this very point.
“It shouldn’t be much pressure to put on the WBC to make this fight,” Haney believes. “I shouldn’t have to force them, or force (Garcia) to fight me. I mean, he’s my mandatory—they should be putting pressure on me to fight him! We just gotta see.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox