Devin Haney edges ever closer to a decision as to how his career will look in his next bout – champion or challenger.
The 24-year-old is currently undisputed lightweight champion, having won all the belts against George Kambosos Jr, retained them in a rematch and successfully defended them against Vasily Lomachenko this year.
He now faces calls to give the Ukrainian a second fight due to the competitiveness in the fight, as well as a mandatory challenger in Shakur Stevenson.
Neither look likely to get their shot, as Haney looks like he will fulfil a longterm promise of moving up in weight in attempts to become a two-division world champion.
It’s no secret the American has been tight at the 135 limit for some time, and the champions in the 140 ranks – particularly Regis Prograis of the WBC and Teofimo Lopez of the WBO – have welcomed his challenge.
Both sanctioning bodies have ordered Haney to make a decision, and the clock is ticking. The WBC has said Haney can either fight Stevenson at lightweight or Prograis one division up.
Frank Smith, who represents Prograis under the Matchroom banner and previously worked with Haney, told Boxing Social that discussions were ongoing and looking good.
“It’s the fight we want to deliver. There may be a little bit of time [on the deadline] but we’re working hard on it. It’s not done, at all, but I believe it will get done. I believe we’ll get it over the line. It’s a brilliant fight.
The hate Devin Haney gets from people saying you’re shying away, but what he’s done in the sport is quite amazing. People will say ‘he’s not going to rematch Loma’ or ‘he’s not fighting Shakur’ but he’s going up to 140 if he makes this decision to fight Prograis.
You just have to respect what he’s done and what he continues to do. 100% that’s the aim for us.”
Smith said Matchroom would aim to put the fight on around ‘October-time’ in Las Vegas.
Not long after, the WBC’s President, Mauricio Sulaiman, confirmed that there would be a one week pushback on the deadline for the decision, as requested by both Haney and Prograis. He now has until July 27.
— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) July 21, 2023
A delay, but movement nonetheless for Haney, who has found himself to be one of the most sought-after fighters in the sport.