By Francisco Salazar
At the age of 19, Devin Haney is proud of many things he has accomplished thus far.
Haney has accumulated an unbeaten record, become a ranked fighter, and on Friday night, will become the youngest promoter on record in the United States.
These accomplishments are impressive enough, but Haney is more proud of overcoming a challenge he had to deal with outside the ring: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Haney will face the most difficult challenge to date on paper Friday night when he faces former world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California.
The 12-round bout will headline a three-bout 'ShoBox' telecast on Showtime (9:45 p.m. ET/ 6:45 p.m. PT).
Haney (19-0, 13 knockouts) is coming off an impressive ninth-round knockout victory over former contender Mason Menard on May 11. The Las Vegas resident has displayed more aggression and power over the last several months, stopping eight of his last 10 opponents.
Haney, who will turn 20 on Nov. 17, made his pro debut at the age of 17 in Tijuana, Mexico and has fought for several promoters, including Top Rank and Roy Jones Jr. It was fighting for those different promoters that led Haney to make the decision to promote himself.
"I know I have split my time in recent weeks, but I have a great team that is helping me out behind the scenes with paperwork," Haney told BoxingScene over the phone in a recent interview. "I began researching on my own about being a promoter. When you're a young fighter, you get the impression a lot of the purse, but they become disappointed when they receive their check after a fight and it is less than what they think. So one of the reasons I became a promoter was to receive more of the percentage of my purse."
Haney will have his hands full with Burgos (33-2-2, 21 KOs), who's last high-profile fight was a unanimous decision loss to then-WBO junior lightweight titleholder Mikey Garcia in January of 2014. Since then, Burgos has fought three times against mediocre opposition, winning those fights.
Burgos' last fight occurred on Aug. 19 of last year, but Haney is aware of Tijuana resident and what he brings to the fight.
"He's aggressive and throws a lot of punches," said Haney. "He comes to fight and he's going to be my toughest opponent to date. I'm going to do my best to break him down. I'm going to compete and win rounds."
Haney's run as a fighter has been impressive, but what he has had to overcome outside of the ring not long ago may be more impressive.
Diagnosed with ADHD, Haney would verbally clash with a few teachers in school. The words of a few teachers stung Haney like punches, something he still remembers and what motivates him in the gym during training camp.
"Where I came from (junior and high school), no one thought I was going to be anything. I had a anger issues. I was an angry kid. It wasn't the case though. I had some teachers who would talk down to me, even though they knew about my ADHD. I just focused on those teachers and peers in school who motivated me and told me to out it (life) together and do well in school and boxing."
Haney is ranked number 15 by the IBF, but he is still a ways from becoming an elite fighter. He has not yet hit his ceiling as a fighter, and with knowing the business side of boxing, Haney is in charge of his career and his future.
As for what happens inside the ring, Haney is taking it one fight at a time, but he wants to demonstrate he is the future of the lightweight division.
"I want to make a statement in every fight. I'm a top-level guy. A contender. I want to put on a great performance, especially on (Friday). I want to make a statement and show that I can beat Burgos."