Devin Haney fully intends to hit the ground running the moment boxing resumes.
The unbeaten lightweight has been chomping at the bit to bring every dream matchup to fruition. The division is ripe with talent, beginning with titlists Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez and onto rising stars such as Gervonta Davis (also a secondary titlist) and Ryan Garcia, down to mid-level contenders such as Luke Campbell and Javier Fortuna.
“I think there are so many big fights that can be made,” Haney (24-0, 15KOs) noted during a recent interview on the Instagram Live feed of promoter Eddie Hearn. “Campbell, Fortuna. There are so many big fights out there that we need to start making them because big guys like me, like Teofimo are gonna start moving up.
“I’m ready to make it happen. I feel like I’m one of the best fighters in the world. I’m willing to take on whoever the fans want me to fight. I’m ready for it. I believe I’m the real deal.”
Haney saw his star on the rise in 2019, emerging from prospect to contender to interim titlist to full titlist with each ring appearance. The potential breakout year ended in despair, however, as a planned routine title defense resulted in a forgettable performance and a shoulder injury which would put him on the shelf long enough to have to vacate his title.
The process turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the 21-year old, who at one point was already being groomed for a run at junior welterweight within a couple of fights. The power of physical rehabilitation has produced its positive effects, giving Haney plenty of time to carry out all the goals he’s set out to accomplish at lightweight.
“Since I’ve been off, it’s crazy how light I’ve been,” Haney insists. “The weight has gone down. I feel like I can make 135 easier. I’m more motivated. Those mandatories, I’m ready to make that happen; I want my belt back. I’m hungry, I’m motivated.
“I love money and I want to get paid. But really, I want my name to live on longer than I ever will. I want my name mentioned with the greats.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox