SAN FRANCISCO – Devin Haney views a showdown with Gervonta Davis as the biggest fight in boxing.
The newly crowned WBC super lightweight champion also realizes that it is much more likely that he could fight another rival Davis knocked out in 2024 than Davis himself. Haney called what would also be a lucrative fight against Ryan Garcia “a possibility” during his post-fight press conference Saturday night, yet he was pessimistic about battling Davis, one of boxing’s biggest stars, because he feels Davis does nothing but disparage him.
“Tank don’t wanna fight because if he really wanted to fight,” Haney said, “then he would be trying to build up the fight, instead of trying to, you know, knock it down or, you know, try to, you know, say I’m only selling cuz of this or cuz of that.
“If he really wanted to fight me, you know, he would really be making that, you know, it’s a big fight and, you know, it’s the best fight for boxing. But, you know, he only talk down on the fight. But, like I said many times, they say everything, but let’s fight.”
Davis’ seventh-round knockout of Garcia was boxing’s most financially successful event of 2023 in the United States. Their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event reportedly drew approximately 1.2 million buys and it generated an estimated $22.8 million in ticket sales.
Haney (31-0, 15 KOs), who became a champion in a second division, demonstrated drawing power of his own Saturday night. The DAZN Pay-Per-View card headlined by his dominant 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Regis Prograis (29-2, 24 KOs) attracted a crowd in excess of 16,000 to Chase Center, the home arena of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
“Nobody has out-did Devin, you know, in terms of Tank’s dance partners,” Bill Haney, Devin’s father and trainer, said. “You know, you don’t have to down the other fighter to validate what you are and what you bring to the table. Tank and his team have consistently lied to the people. They created this narrative that because you make money or cuz you charge the people some astronomical money for a fight that you know that the guy’s gonna lose … the message to all the fans – stop letting Tank and his team piss on your head and tell you it’s rain with these fights, these insignificant fights. You know what I mean? And saying it’s for the culture. Devin represents the culture and represents boxing, and what boxing should be and what boxing is.”
A bout between Haney and Davis would require Davis to fight above the lightweight limit of 135 pounds. Haney was boxing’s undisputed lightweight champion prior to opposing Prograis in his 140-pound debut, but the Henderson, Nevada resident gave up the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO belts late last month because he realized that he can no longer squeeze his 5-foot-9 frame down to the lightweight limit.
Baltimore’s Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) has fought at the junior welterweight maximum of 140 pounds once. He dropped former WBA secondary super lightweight champ Mario Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs) three times in that bout, which Davis won by 11th-round technical knockout in June 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.