Although Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko both have unfinished business ahead of them by way of separate opponents, the 21-year-old Haney is still looking forward to testing himself against one of the sport’s pound-for-pound greats.
The WBC lightweight champion Haney recently showed Fight Hype’s Sean Zittel a direct message thread on Instagram with Lomachenko dating back to August, saying Lomachenko finally responded to him.
In response to an advance Haney made on social media, the WBA, WBO and WBC Franchise lightweight crownholder Lomachenko wrote: “Contact my manager [Egis Klimas]. He will help you. I need you all, but in turn.”
Haney responded: "Lomachenko vs Haney PPV $$$$$. I'm available."
Lomachenko replied, "I will keep it in mind!"
Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) went on to further elaborate with Zittel on his exchange with the two-time Ukrainian Olympics gold medalist Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs).
“I think honestly that Loma wants the fight, but I think his team doesn’t think it’s in his best interest. I think Loma is a true champion. He showed that he’s willing to face the best, but I don’t think that his team [wants it],” said Haney. “I don’t want to say the wrong thing [to mess up the Lomachenko fight], and then the fight doesn’t happen. I say one thing, and then they say the opposite. I’ll do anything to make the fight happen.”
Haney then quickly switched gears to another potential future foe in Gervonta Davis, and the sentiment he shared can be applied to Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia and every other 135 pounder calling each other out in recent months.
“We’re going to have to fight each other whether they like it or not or whether they want to or not,” said Haney. “The best will have to fight the best whether we like it or not and whether we feel they deserve money or if it doesn’t want to see them with money. It is what it is.”
Haney and Lomachenko having cordial exchanges is a welcome development.
In April, Haney got himself in a bit of hot water commenting on a potential Lomachenko fight, saying: "I can tell you this — I will never lose to a white boy in my life. I don't care what nobody got to say. Listen, can't no white boy beat me, I don't care, on any day of the week. I fight a white boy like 10 times, I'm gonna beat him 10 times."
Haney immediately clarified his comments afterward.
"I’m not racist and I never will be a racist. I’m chasing greatness," Haney said at the time. "I just had a very positive conversation with Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC and confirmed to him directly my commitment to be a role model and my absolute rejection of discrimination of any kind!"
Haney is not losing focus for his next fight at hand, which comes against Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) on Nov. 7 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida on DAZN.
Haney said Gamboa will be the toughest test of his five-year pro career.
“I’ve got Gamboa ahead of me, but after that fight, I’d like to make [the match with Lomachenko] that fight or any other fight that’s possible. My focus is on Gamboa. I can’t look past him,” said Haney. “I know [Gamboa] is going to come to fight and bring his all, and I’m going to go in there and showcase my skills. I’m going to show the world I am the best lightweight. No one beats Gamboa like I will.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.