By Jake Donovan
For the duration of this young 2019 year, Devin Haney has sought the best means to take his career to the next level.
It appears as if he has all of the information he needs and is ready to make his decision.
The unbeaten lightweight contender is reportedly closing in on a multi-fight deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA promotional outfit and sports streaming service DAZN-USA BoxingScene.com has learned through two sources with knowledge of such talks.
Boxing scribe Sean Nam was the first to report this development.
Haney (21-0, 13KOs) has been self-promoted since turning pro in 2015. His Devin Haney Promotions banner has been prominently featured in his past couple of appearances on Showtime’s ShoBox series, including a 10-round shutout over previously unbeaten Xolisani Ndongeni in January.
While his company has proven to be a real promotional outfit rather than just a shell company, the 20-year old Las Vegas resident has sought to secure a TV deal befitting his transition from rising prospect to aspiring world title contender.
Several offers have been fielded, including having talked shop with Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) outfi. The sense, however, is that he would ultimately land at DAZN. Haney flew into Philadelphia in March, where he attended a Matchroom Boxing card in town (headlined by 130-pound titlist Tevin Farmer) after talking shop with Hearn.
The location was convenient—aside from the boxer having to fly cross-country—in that the show’s undercard included England’s Luke Campbell in an intended stay-busy bout. The 2012 Olympic Gold medalist sought to remain active while awaiting word on his owed shot at the World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight title currently held by Mikey Garcia, who fought and lost to Errol Spence the following evening in a welterweight title fight.
Haney is the number-three rated contender, with Russia’s Zaur Abdullaev sandwiched between Campbell and Haney in the number-two spot.
Regardless of whatever decision is made by Garcia whether to drop back down in weight or to fight at 140 or 147, Campbell is next in line for the title. A showdown with the Brit and as a bonus for the WBC strap would be right in Haney’s wheelhouse, although one he’s realized won’t come entirely on his own terms.
“He won’t be getting shows outside of his own (fights),” Hearn said in March when discussing Haney’s intention to sign directly with DAZN. The veteran promoter and primary boxing content provider for the streaming service expressed a willingness to allow fights under such a deal to come in association with Devin Haney Promotions and even acknowledged the possibility of his one day facing Campbell in a title fight.
For now, the next step calls for Haney—should he pull the trigger and execute the deal—to tentatively make his DAZN debut on May 25 in Oxon Hill, Md. His bout would come in supporting capacity to that of World cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, the 2018 Fighter of the Year who will face Carlos Takam in his heavyweight debut.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox