The year is of course not over yet, and there could be some special performances from some special fighters still to come (Naoya Inoue against Marlon Tapales, Bam Rodriguez against Sunny Edwards, and one or two other big fights). But as far as who should be handed the prestigious Fighter of the Year award for 2023, Devin Haney feels he has it all sewn up. Not only that, but Haney believes his father, Bill, should be awarded The Trainer of the Year trophy.
Speaking after his nothing short of brilliant winning performance against a proven fighter in Regis Prograis, Haney made it clear he feels his dad is not getting, and has not got, the credit he deserves as a boxing coach.
“I feel like at this point that I should be Fighter of the Year. They don’t want to give my dad credit but I think he should be Trainer of the Year,” Haney said. “When they mention the best trainers in boxing, I don’t understand, because they never mention my dad. But he is the best trainer in boxing and it shows. We just went up in weight and fought arguably the best at 140, and didn’t get hit with anything. My dad deserves Trainer of the Year, and I deserve Fighter of the Year.”
Again, the year ain’t over yet, and we do have a few fights to come in which fighter and trainer alike could cover themselves in glory. But Haney has to be looked at as a strong frontrunner to pick up the FOTY award, and Devin does make a good case for his dad as best trainer of the year. We have seen some fine examples of training from boxing coaches this year – BoMac McIntyre springs to mind, for the work he did with Terence Crawford ahead of his big fight with Errol Spence; “Bud” himself a strong contender for 2023 Fighter of the Year – but Bill Haney has done a magnificent job with his son, no doubt about it.
And the exciting things for we fight fans is the fact that this double act will only go from strength to strength. Often in the sport of boxing, father and son partnerships fail, but this one looks set to carry on winning.
It really will be interesting to see which fighter picks up the Fighter of the Year gong this year, as it will be interesting to see which trainer gets the ultimate recognition as far as 2023 is concerned.