Devin Haney drained his body so badly before one of his lightweight fights last year that he fainted while walking to the weigh-in.
According to Haney, plenty of people witnessed this alarming episode prior to his fight against Xolisani Ndongeni in January 2019 in Shreveport, Louisiana. That scary incident didn’t impact the skillful Haney’s performance, as he easily out-boxed the previously unbeaten South African and won their 10-round bout by huge margins on all three scorecards.
Sixteen months later, though, the 21-year-old Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) doesn’t think he’ll be able to make the lightweight limit much longer. There are a lot of lightweight fights that appeal to the Las Vegas native, but the 5-feet-9 Haney feels he is rapidly out-growing that division.
“Honestly, I don’t know how much longer I will be at 135,” Haney told host Chris Algieri during an episode of “The Rounds” on Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel. “As long as I’m here, you know, I wanna make [as many of] the biggest fights happen as possible. If I can’t make the big fights happen at 135, then I’ll look to go up to 140. But hopefully, I can stay at 135 for about maybe, at the most, maybe a year. That would be, you know, perfect for me. But if not, then, you know, I’ll move up to 140.”
Haney has been ordered to face the winner of a WBC-mandated match between its number one contender, Javier Fortuna, and second-ranked Luke Campbell. The Dominican Republic’s Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) and England’s Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) were supposed to fight for the WBC lightweight title April 17 at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused an indefinite postponement.
The WBC had relegated Haney to its lightweight champion in recess following his shoulder surgery in December, but that sanctioning organization since has reinstituted him as its 135-pound world champion. Haney will be allowed to defend his title against an optional opponent in his first fight following the coronavirus crisis.
While the 140-pound division obviously will be his next stop, Haney envisions eventually topping out two weight classes higher than that.
“I see myself, you know, going up to maybe about 154,” Haney said. “Floyd [Mayweather] thinks that I’m gonna be a 160-pounder, but I don’t know. That’s gonna be kinda tough.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.