NEWARK, New Jersey – Shakur Stevenson understandably believes he’d dethrone Devin Haney if he receives the opportunity to dethrone the undefeated, fully unified lightweight champion.
Stevenson doesn’t dispute Haney’s status as the best lightweight in boxing, though. It’s inarguable, according to Stevenson, that Haney has earned that distinction by beating George Kambosos Jr. thoroughly three months ago.
“Devin Haney is clearly the top guy at 135,” Stevenson said during his post-fight press conference at Prudential Center. “He got all the belts. And anybody that say otherwise is definitely hatin’ on him.”
There are factions of fans and media that think Vasiliy Lomachenko, Stevenson, Gervonta Davis and/or Ryan Garcia would beat Haney if given the chance. Naturally, the 25-year-old Stevenson has doubters, too, particularly after he missed weight Thursday and surrendered his WBC and WBO 130-pound championships at the scale the day before he easily beat Brazil’s Robson Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs) on points Friday night at Prudential Center in Stevenson’s hometown of Newark.
The left-handed Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) has won world titles in two weight classes less than 20 fights into his professional career. The former WBO featherweight titleholder wants to become a three-division champion by beating Haney (28-0, 15 KOs), who is scheduled to square off against Australia’s Kambosos (20-1, 10 KOs) in an immediate 12-round rematch October 16 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
“We gotta fight the champ,” Stevenson told ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna in the ring following his defeat of Conceicao. “Set it up. Me and Devin, we can lock in. After he fight Kambosos, let’s get it on. I’ll fight Lomachenko, too.”
Though neither Haney nor Lomachenko has agreed to anything beyond their next fights, they are expected to meet early in 2023 if they win their upcoming matches next month. Two weeks after the 23-year-old Haney, of Henderson, Nevada, boxes Kambosos in the former champion’s home country again, Ukraine’s Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) is scheduled to meet Jermaine Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KOs), of Worcester, Massachusetts, in a 12-round lightweight main event ESPN+ will stream from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York.
ESPN also will air the Haney-Kambosos rematch the night of October 15 in the United States.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.