Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn promotes Devin Haney, who has one of the highest ceilings of any young star in the sport.
The 22-year-old Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) has been fighting as a professional since 2015. In April 2019, Haney signed with Hearn, and has since fought the likes of Antonio Moran, Zaur Abdullaev, Alfredo Santiago and Yuriorkis Gamboa under the banner of the British promoter.
Hearn believes that his WBC lightweight champion is the best 135-pounder on the planet, and all that is left is for him to officially stamp his status.
“There were a lot of unanswered questions about Devin Haney,” Hearn told Boxing Social. “I believe Devin Haney is the best 135-pounder in the world, but he has to prove it. And this is the frustrating thing to Devin because he wants [the big fights]. Don’t forget that he went down the WBC to fight [Vasiliy] Lomachenko to become his mandatory, and now we need that breakout fight.”
Haney currently has two mandatory challengers lining up to face him in Ryan Garcia and Javier Fortuna, but the promoter doesn’t believe the latter has the gravitas to get his fighter the name recognition they’re both seeking.
“I don’t feel that breakout fight is Javier Fortuna, who is a good fighter, but we need that breakout high profile fight,” said Hearn. “We were so happy when Ryan Garcia vs. Luke Campbell fight got made because Devin Haney was fighting the winner. Obviously, I wanted Luke to win, but I particularly wanted Luke to win because I knew Luke would fight Devin Haney for the WBC world title.”
Garcia offered his matchmaking two cents on how Haney should proceed with his career.
“Devin Haney has to fight Teofimo Lopez,” Garcia told “Max on Boxing” on ESPN. “Let them go at it. They need to go get that fight, for boxing. For the people. That's the fight that needs to be made. Whoever wins that, then we can get it on. They have to handle their business, and I'm going to handle my business with [Gervonta Davis]. If Devin is smart, he has to fight Lopez ... if they don't get it on, then they are just messing up.”
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]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com