By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Devin Haney has a message for any of the established lightweights who are considering fighting him.
“One thing I can say is I’m far from my prime, so you know, you guys better get me now,” Haney said during a recent press conference at MGM Grand. “Those guys better fight me now because that’s gonna be their best chance.”
Las Vegas’ Haney is just 20, yet he already is 21-0 because he turned pro when he was just 17. He has taken incremental steps up in competition, but Haney is confident he is ready to take on elite lightweights after facing Mexican veteran Antonio Moran (24-3, 17 KOs) in his DAZN debut Saturday night in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Haney was willing to face England’s Luke Campbell in his next bout, but the WBC ordered Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs) to box WBA/WBO lightweight champ Vasiliy Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) next for the vacant WBC 135-pound championship Mikey Garcia gave up last month. Haney wants to fight the Lomachenko-Campbell winner later this year or any other top lightweight willing to get in the ring with him.
The skillful Haney hopes top lightweights will agree to fight him because they’ll see him as too young or inexperienced against top opposition.
“You know, I’m only 20 years old,” Haney said. “My body’s still maturing. You know, I’m only gonna get stronger, I’m only gonna get better. So, the guys better fight me now.”
Signing with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and DAZN should afford Haney plenty of opportunities sooner rather than later. While awaiting those championship chances, Haney has assured Hearn he’ll remain completely focused on the tasks at hand.
“Boxing is something that I love to do,” Haney said. “It’s not a job to me. It’s something that I genuinely love to do, so you know, it’s not hard to stay focused. … I wanna go in the history books. I want my name to be mentioned with the greats when I’m done. So, I’m not gonna stop until the whole job is done. So, boxing is my hundred-percent focus.”
The Haney-Moran match will headline DAZN’s stream from MGM National Harbor on Saturday night.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.