Devin Haney let WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko that he’s coming for him next after beating Zaur Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KOs) by a fourth round knockout on Friday night to earn the WBC mandatory position on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York. Haney (23-0, 15 KOs) is now both the mandatory AND the WBC interim lightweight champion.
His promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing plans on exerting pressure with the WBC to have them order Lomachenko to defend against Haney next if he intends on fighting again this year.
Hearn can’t do anything top Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) in facing IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey net if he gets passed Teofimo Lopez, but he can potentially stop Loma from taking a voluntary defense of his WBC belt in December.
“Lomachenko, this guy doesn’t want to fight me,” said Haney. “I’m ready to fight. Lomachenko should be fighting me.”
If Lomachenko wasn’t taking the 20-year-old Haney serious before his fight with Abdullaev last Friday, he surely is viewing him as a serious threat now. Haney pounded the Russian Abdullaev with stinging jabs, and hard lefts and rights until the fight was stopped.
Finally, the ringside doctor stopped the fight before the 5th round for a suspected broken cheekbone for Abdullaev. His cheek looked in bad shape, and his nose was swollen and bleeding. Abdullaev was supposed to be competitive with Haney, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.
Lomachenko has bigger fish to fry right now, as he’s interested in winning the last title now in his possession at lightweight in going after the IBF belt. That title is held by IBF champion Richard Commey. However, even if Lomachenko were already the unified champion at lightweight, he’s not likely to fight Haney. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has already said Lomachenko won’t fight Haney in 2019 or 2020. Haney is a bad risk for Lomachenko, and right now the 2-time Olympic gold medalist is more interested in winning titles. Lomachenko can’t wait too much longer before he faces Haney, because it’s going to be a really hard fight for him.
The way that Lomachenko fought against Luke Campbell, he could lose to Haney if he fought the same way. Haney would likely destroy Campbell, and Lomachenko had all he could handle against him.
Michael Hunter shines in beating Sergey Kuzmin
Heavyweight Michael Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs) put on an impressive performance in beating the much bigger Sergey Kuzmin by a 12 round unanimous decision. Hunter knocked Kuzmin down with a left hook in the fifth round. It was a flash knockdown. Hunter was giving away 37 pounds to the bigger and stronger Kuzmin.
Hunter’s awkwardness made it next to impossible for Kuzmin. It was that and the fact that Hunter was jabbing Kuzmin all night long, and keeping him from getting near enough to land his big power shots on a frequent basis. Hunter was smart to use movement to keep Kuzmin from having a stationary target.