Paulie Malignaggi says undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney will vacate his belts to avoid a risky fight that he’ll surely lose against Vasyl Lomachenko.
It’s a bad deal for Top Rank if Haney chooses to vacate his titles rather than fight Lomachenko because they’ve given him two easy fights against George Kambosos as part of his three-fight contract.
It makes sense for Top Rank to want Haney to fight a quality guy for the third fight of his contract rather than another gimme opponent.
Ideally, Top Rank should have had Lomachenko written into the contract for Haney’s third fight because then he could weasel out of fighting him like Malignaggi is predicting he will do.
According to Malignaggi, Haney is a business-savvy guy, and it’s a better move for him to vacate his four lightweight titles to swerve Lomachenko to stay unbeaten.
What reinforces what Malignaggi is saying is the fact that Haney didn’t mention Lomachenko’s name at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night after defeating the hapless George Kambosos Jr for the second time.
In the past, when Haney was excited about fighting somebody, he would mention their name, but in the case of Lomachenko, he didn’t say a word about him.
Malignaggi is predicting that Haney (29-0, 15 KOs), who just completed the second fight of his three-fight contract with Top Rank, would rather move up to 140 now as an undefeated fighter rather than face Lomachenko and get beaten.
Malignaggi says Haney will vacate, and Top Rank will offer him a match with Teofimo Lopez at 140 for the third fight of his contract. If Haney re-signs with Top Rank, they’ll give him a “winnable” fight against somebody at 140.
“I said from the start that Haney isn’t going to want to fight Lomachenko. He’s going to beat Kambosos because those are easy fights. Then he’s going to vacate those titles and move up to 140 pounds,” said Paulie Malignaggi to Paulie TV.
“No matter what, he’s going to duck Lomachenko. I’ve predicted from the start Haney wouldn’t fight Lomachenko. I predicted that he would vacate his titles because it’s better off business-wise for him to leave those titles and remain undefeated.
“I don’t think Lomachenko and Haney is a close fight. I think Lomachenko dominates Haney,” said Malignaggi.
If Haney moves up to 140, he’ll likely be carefully maneuvered, keeping him away from killers like Regis Prograis, Jose Ramirez, and Jose Zepeda.
Devin Haney fires back at Malignaggi
“I’m everything Paulie wishes he was. He has been hating on me since the beginning! I’m not ducking or dodging nobody. I have been wanting to fight Loma since I was his MANDATORY! Now Paulina, get my D**k out your mouth,” said Haney on Twitter, responding to Malignaggi saying he’s going to duck Lomachenko.
It’s up to Haney to prove that Malignaggi is wrong by agreeing to fight Lomachenko because it’s quite possible he will vacate to avoid a near-certain loss.