Devin Haney is not a big name in boxing for the moment. He does have an impressive resume as a rising lightweight with superstar potential. Undefeated, (22-0, 14 KOs) he headlines a DAZN Matchroom USA fight card Friday night in the Hulu Arena at Madison Square Garden.
It’s the beginning of boxing season and the 20-year old Haney has that opportunity to showcase what many don’t know against the undefeated Zaur Abdullaev, (11-0, 7 KOs), for the interim WBC World Lightweight title. Those who don’t know will see a good puncher and a fighter that knows something about being technical.
In other words, Haney is known and those that are aware have seen the skills on ShowBox where upcoming fighters get their start to stardom. But this is the big time now, DAZN, the streaming network that holds rights to world champion Canelo Alvarez and former champion Gennady Golovkin.
And he is fighting at Madison Square Garden, which has also become a been a venue of good for Matchroom USA and managing Director Ed Hearn.
So who is Devin Haney? Athletic, strong, and once looking at an aspiring career as an NFL running back, at 17 years of age in Las Vegas he chose boxing. Football is a team sport but boxing as he says is all you and everything.
Different sport but the mentality is the same. Train hard, dediciation, and listen as he has done well with his father who also trains him for these opportunities.
“I had a great training camp and come Friday night I’ll show the world who Devin Haney is and I;m ready for the top dog, he said Friday afternoon after making weight at a perfect 134.6.
The top dog is the unified champion, Vasiliy Lomachenko, considered the top pound-for-pound best in boxing. Haney wins this fight and he will get the top dog who holds three of the four titles in the division.
However, because boxing is a sport that tends to make big fights difficult. Haney will still have to wait. Lomachenko has plans to fight the winner of fellow title holder Richard Commey who opposes Teofimo Lopez Jr. on December 14th that will be televised on ESPN.
So here is what you can expect Friday night. Haney is a quick worker, meaning he will be looking for that early knockout, though his 25- year old opponent, from Russia, with 11 pro fights, is considered to be a viable contender.
And this is what makes boxing what it is. More than the intrigue of Deven Haney and what to expect, there is no talk about an upset and DAZN has a rising superstar they can market in a division that has become one of the focal parts of the sport.
“This is one step further where I want to be,” Haney says. “The WBC Interim World Championship means a lot to me. Some people kept labeling me a prospect when I knew I was so much more. I know Abdullaev is focused, he;s been at the top of the rankings for for a while now so I know he’s ready to fight.”
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Comment: Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso