From October 2019 to January 2021, lightweights Teofimo Lopez Jr., Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia were each victorious in their respective fights.

In that span, each of the 135-pound fighters have been playing a round-robin game of verbal combat.

The back and forth banter has been great to see for what a potential promotion could like, but neither fighter seems to be in too much of a hurry to put pen to paper and start actually fighting.

The WBC lightweight champion Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) argues that his potential counterparts are more interested in engaging in dodgeball instead of boxing.

“I just feel like I’m getting ducked,” Haney told Behind The Gloves. “They’re showing me that they’re not quick to call me out. If guys were quick to say, ‘Give me Haney,’ then I would feel like I got to prove something … The fans know I’m the real WBC champion, and if you want the real undisputed champion and you want the world not to question you because that’s what it’s about.

“I still feel like I have to prove something, but I feel like I would have to prove something more. The only guy that has been calling my name out is Rolly [Rolando Romero], and what do I have to gain from Rolly?”

Haney has a pair of mandatories lined up in Garcia and Javier Fortuna, with the latter fighter being the more feasible match to make for now.

“We’re not in negotiations at all,” Haney said of Garcia. “He hasn’t shown any interest in fighting me, and Golden Boy hasn’t shown any interest in pursuing a fight.”

Haney knows that to be compared to the “Four Kings” of the 1980s in Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler, he and his cohorts need to operate with a “less talk, more action” mantra.

“It’s great to be compared to a legendary era in boxing,” said Haney. “But we got to fight each other to make it set in stone that we are the new era, we are the new guys, we are the new four kings. We got to fight each other to make exciting fights, and show the world that we’re the truth.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on