Devin Haney revealed on Tuesday that he plans on returning to the ring on April 3rd, hopefully against one of the three kings in the lightweight division.
He says he’d like to face his WBC mandatory Ryan Garcia if possible, and if not him, Teofimo Lopez, or Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.
Unfortunately for Haney (25-0, 15 KOs), he has very little chance of getting any of those three to face him.
He says he’ll go down the ladder in the World Boxing Council rankings, beginning with #2 WBC Javier Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs).
Fortuna isn’t a super talent, but he’s clearly a step above Haney’s last opponent, 38-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa, who he beat by a 12 round decision last November. That was a fight that many boxing fans felt was painfully boring to watch.
If Haney wants to be as popular as the other three kings in the lightweight division, he’ll need to work on his power game to be more watchable.
Haney insists Teofimo isn’t undisputed champion
“I don’t really care what Teofimo says, or the casual fans have to say,” said Devin Haney to the Pug and Copp Boxing Show when told that Teofimo doesn’t view him as a champion.
“How it happened, Loma went the Franchise route, and I got elevated to [WBC lightweight] champion. Teofimo knows the truth.
“People are disputing it [Teofimo being the undisputed champion], right? You can’t be undisputed.
“There’s a lot of good fights. The fight that I would love is with Teo for all the belts, of course. But I would love a fight with Ryan; I would love a fight with Tank.
“Any one of those guys would be a great fight. We’d each be each other’s biggest fights. However you mix it or however you match it, we would all be each other’s biggest fights.
“It doesn’t matter which one, as long as I can get any one of them in the ring with me. They’re comparing us to the ‘Four Kings’ in the great area of boxing with Sugar Ray, Robert Duran, Marvin Hagler, and Tommy Hearns.
“I think my style is more like [Sugar Ray Leonard]. I can box, I can bang, and I’ve got ring generalship and IQ.
“I just think that I have more in my toolbox, more in my arsenal than all those other guys. I’m definitely getting paid well.
“Of course, it’s important, but of course, I want to earn money to take care of my family and my loved ones. I want belts.
“If I made a ton of money today, and I never won another belt, I would be upset. I’m in this game to win belts and go into the history books,” said Haney.
The WBC says Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is the undisputed lightweight champion, and the fans overall recognize him as the top guy.
WBC lightweight champion Haney has to face the cold reality that he now holds the diminished, less-prestigious WBC title. Haney is the equivalent of a subordinate, lower-ranking WBC champion.
Sadly, the WBC created the Franchise tag because they not only watered down their rankings at 135, but they made their regular WBC champion look like he’s holding the inferior belt.
You can argue that Haney should vacate the WBC title and fight for one of the other organization’s titles, preferably the IBF or WBO.
If Haney fights for the WBA title, he’ll be dealing with the same kind of a two-title mess that he’s experiencing with the WBC
Devin fighting on April 3rd
“We’re looking to get back in the ring on April 3rd; that’s my date,” said Haney. “Hopefully, we can do it in Vegas. I want to fight in Vegas.
“We all got to mix it up and give the fans the fights they want to see and let the world know who the king is in the division,” said Haney.
“I think that would be a good fight for me [Javier Fortuna], but my main focus is to fight one of those other three to make a huge fight.
“Of course, if I can’t get those guys, I’ll get the next in line, which is Javier Fortuna or a guy like Jorge Linares.
“I would keep going down the ladder to the next available guy like I’ve been doing.
“If the top guys keep ducking me, I’ll fight the next available guy. It’s going to be the same process with my next fight,” said Haney.
If Fortuna doesn’t take the fight, then the next highest-ranked opponent would be #3 WBC Jorge Linares. That would be a tough fight for Haney, as Linares has faster hands and better power. Linares also has a lot of experience.
Haney doubts he’ll fight the other three kings
“I don’t think it’s possible for me to fight all three,” said Haney about the other top three lions at 135, Ryan Garcia, Tank Davis, and Teofimo.
“Some of them are going to lose, and I don’t think we’re going to be able to fight each other. If I do fight all three, it would be great for my legacy and for the fans.
I’m the best fighter in the world. I wouldn’t say I was that impressed because I felt that he was going to blow Luke Campbell out of the water,” said Haney about Ryan Garcia’s last match on January 2nd.
“I said it before the fight that he [Campbell] wouldn’t be any kind of competition. So when he [Ryan] got dropped, it surprised me.
“I wouldn’t say I was too impressed, but I was impressed with the heart and grit he showed in getting up from the knockdown from that shot.
“That surprised me more than his performance. I got to keep doing what I’m doing and the sky is the limit.
“I feel like I could have been in Alaska and I’d still be here. I was born to be here,” said Haney in explaining that his environment he’s come from is less important than who he is for the reason behind his success.
If IBF/WBA/WBC Franchise/WBO champion Teofimo gets past his next fight against George Kambosos, he says he’ll take on Haney next.
Of course, Teofimo’s promoter Bob Arum will have a lot to say about that because he’s interested in matching him against Ryan Garcia. The winner o the light-welterweight clash between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez.