Devin Haney (23-0, 15 KOs) beat previously undefeated Zaur Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KOs) by a fourth round on Friday night to win the interim WBC lightweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York. Abdullaev suffered a cheek and nose injury that led to the fight being hated after round 4.
It was wise for Abdullaev’s training team to stop the fight, because he was getting battered by the 20-year-old Haney. If they had let the fight go on much further, Haney would have knocked Abdullaev out in the clinical fashion. Haney was throwing jabs that were catching Abdullaev clean.
When Abdullaev did try and throw shots back, Haney would counter him with lightning fast shots. This led to Abdullaev being overly cautious, and not throwing much of anything. Not letting his hands go was perhaps the worst thing that Abdullaev could do, because it enabled Haney to hit him at will. Abdullaev’s best round came in the 3rd round when he landed a few good shot.
Haney answered back with left hooks, right hands and uppercuts. In between rounds, Abdullaev’s training team asked him what was wrong, because he wasn’t throwing anything. He couldn’t say anything. He looked like he wasn’t with it mentally. Abdullaev’s training team could have stopped the fight after the 2nd rond, and few fans would have argued with that move.
With the huge shots that Haney was hitting the 25-year-old Russian Abdullaev with in the 4th round, it’s not surprising that the contest was stopped after the 4th. He was getting hit flush throughout the fight, and the fight got out of control in the 4th.
The victory for Haney, 20, made him the mandatory for WBC lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Haney called Loma out after the fight, and hopes he’ll take the fight with him. Devin says he has a new name for Lomachenko, calling him “No-Manchenko.” It’s unclear whether Lomachenko, 31, will be too bothered at hearing Haney’s name for him, because he’s focused on fighting the Teofimo Lopez vs. Richard Commey winner.
“I felt I put on a great performance,” said Haney. “And, I wasn’t done beating him. I was just warming up. That was my dad’s favorite shout. So I hit him with it. I figured him out immediately. Its Nomenchecko, because he doesn’t want to fight me. Nomenchenko, let’s get this fight going If I’m so easy, Nomenchenko should just fight me and get me out of the way. I’ve been talking with my promoter Eddie Hearn to fight on November 9th,” said Haney.
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