Bill Haney, the father and trainer of Devin Haney, believes it is important for his son to maintain his independence in boxing in order to make the big fights.
Devin, the WBC lightweight titleholder, is currently a network free agent after his multi-fight deal with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing expired earlier in May, with Haney's points win over Jorge Linares.
Given the fragmented nature of the business, Bill understandably thinks that his son will be barred from certain fights, such as those that involve ace talents like Gervonta Davis, who is aligned with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, and Teofimo Lopez, who is backed by Bob Arum’s Top Rank. At least as a free agent, Bill says, his son will be freed from the public perception that his promoter and network are preventing him from linking up with opponents from rival factions.
“Devin owns his own company, he’s signed to his company,” the elder Haney told FightHype.com in a recent interview. “Devin Haney Promotions has the ability -- even though we had a great co-promotional agreement with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom boxing -- we always had the ability to make the best fights happen.
“With Eddie Hearn’s allegiance to Matchroom and more importantly to DAZN may have discouraged some of these fights from happening, publicly. What we wanted to do was kill that notion that Devin wasn’t and isn’t the kind of fighter that can make the best fight happen on whatever network is available.”
Something of the odd man out in the lightweight division, Haney has lately expressed his frustration at the way his peers, in his view, are avoiding him. Although he has two mandatory defenses in Ryan Garcia and Joseph Diaz, both fighters are going to face each other, instead of Haney. Hearn recently called out the absurdity of that situation.
“It’s ridiculous,” Hearn told Pro Boxing Fans. “What’s the point of having a final eliminator if you’re not going to order that against a champion? And then two guys [Garcia and Diaz] duck Devin Haney, and then you make them fight each other. It’s a duck-off.”
Haney, 22, signed with Hearn in 2019, making his debut under the Matchroom banner against Antonio Moran at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Still, Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) is expected to work with Hearn and DAZN on his future fights, at least in the near term.
“Of course, having DAZN like Eddie has talked about is great,” continued Bill, “because you have the security that the network will buy the fight, will put up the money, so, it’s good for both fighters, because the company that puts up the most money is what either fighter would want to be on. Whether it’s DAZN or it’s Showtime, whatever the network. And that’s according to Eddie Hearn as well. That’s from his own mouth.”