08 November 2020 14:31

Rances Barthelemy Robert Easter Jr. Boxing

“That Mother***er Stopped Me” – Devin Haney Reveals Why He Couldn’t Knock Out Yuriorkis Gamboa

The two faced each other, with Haney defending his WBC lightweight title against the 38-year-old live on DAZN. Haney said this just the stepping stone, and there is more to come; he wants to make all the big fights happen. He's in the right weight class now, too, as lightweight has exploded in interest thanks to Teofimo Lopez upsetting Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta "Tank" Davis scoring a wicked KO of Leo Santa Cruz (even though that fight was at 130), and Ryan Garcia redefining how fighters can promote themselves through social media, attaining a big fan base even without, to date, big opponents. Devin Haney's best win to date is probably Zaur Abdullaev, the man he beat for the interim WBC lightweight title in 2019, before Vasiliy Lomachenko vacated the full WBC belt, and Haney was then promoted to full champion status. Last night in Florida, Yuriorkis Gamboa proved, to little surprise, to be the old, under-sized fighter critics said he was when the fight was signed, as Haney routed the Cuban over 12 rounds, but still didn't really impress.

Promoter/network pushes, a lot of media compliance with those pushes, and sanctioning bodies doling out belts like my bank giving me a cheap tool set when I signed up for my first checking account decades ago have made it so that quite often, people can get a little impatient with the step-by-step progress of young fighters, when there's a really good argument that they're progressing exactly as they should. The 23-year-old is one of the hottest names in boxing today, owing to his Oct. 17 upset of Vasiliy Lomachenko, which saw Lopez add the WBA and WBO lightweight belts to the IBF title he successfully defended. I won't launch into the issues of the WBC title or Lopez's claim to being undisputed champion, because it's all technicality mumbo-jumbo, really, and I fundamentally agree with most of you: Lopez is The Man at 135, he's the guy to beat. And at any rate, no matter how you look at the issue or whatever reasoning you have to get there, Lopez-Haney would be an undisputed title fight. It might seem obvious that it's ESPN — bigger audience, and their guy is "the guy" — but DAZN and Matchroom are paying Haney enough that he's also bragged about being the highest-paid lightweight champion in the game right now.

But ESPN and Top Rank are not going to send Lopez to DAZN to fight Haney, not because of worry over favoritism or whatever, it's not that, it's just not worth it for them, because their guy is the bigger star, and by quite a bit. Garcia has said that the Haney fight doesn't excite him, but he'll run into the same issues trying to make a fight with Lopez or Davis that Haney would. If it's Campbell after Dec. 5, then you've got Campbell coming off his biggest pro win by quite a bit, as hot as he's going to get right now, a former Olympic gold medalist and a very credible step-up foe for Haney. Mendy (45-5-1, 22 KO) is a 35-year-old French fighter who has stayed in his territorial lane after his 2018 rematch loss to Campbell, whom he'd beaten in 2015, and he also followed that up by fighting exclusively in France. Some might wonder how you could even make a world title fight where the challenger is coming off of an unrelated loss, but the WBC just did it with Haney-Gamboa, so that's not really an issue.

Commey will fight anyone, but it's not a great look to fight two straight guys coming off of losses to dudes who have more name value, especially when the first time you failed to deliver your promised sensational domination that was going to top what The Other Guy did. I think both have a much better chance at actually competing with Haney than Gamboa did, both are at least not old featherweights, but we all know qualifications to be competitive are often not a big reason fights get made. DEVIN HANEY, an emerging fighter of immense promise, scored a 12-round whitewash over an accomplished but faded former champion in 38-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa. One: Haney won at a canter on this but never really looked like stopping a fighter 17 years his senior. Four: Haney's performance – while mature, controlled and dominant – came three weeks after Teofimo Lopez defeated Vasiliy Lomachenko in an upset victory over an existing, established and genuine world champion, and one week after another of Haney's potential lightweight rivals, Gervonta Davis, delivered a KO of the ages while flattening Leo Santa Cruz.

Five: Haney has been calling out Davis and promised to improve on Gervonta's 12th round stoppage of Gamboa in December last year. He was widely expected to do 'a number' on a 38-year-old who had done even less to merit a shot at the WBC lightweight belt than Haney had to actually hold it. And in truth, the time to really judge Haney is when he's fighting at the same level where Lopez and Davis currently sit. Instead, last night in his first fight in a year, after having undergone shoulder surgery, the unbeaten 21 year old had to make do with a lopsided decision win over Yuriorkis Gamboa, now 30-4(18). Haney, who referred to 38 year old Gamboa as a "stepping stone," won every round on two cards and he is now 25-0(15). So who next for "The Dream?" The WBC may or may not order Haney to defend his WBC lightweight title against the winner of the upcoming Ryan Garcia-Luke Campbell fight. Undefeated Devin Haney easily beat former titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa by a unanimous decision on Saturday night to defend his World Boxing Council lightweight belt in Florida. Haney, who was fighting for the first time since last November after having shoulder surgery, cruised to victory over Cuba's Gamboa in the 12-round bout. The 38-year-old Gamboa looked Saturday to be in the twilight of his boxing career which at one time included winning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics.