WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney hopes for a defining fight with Teofimo Lopez in 2021 before a move to 140lbs in the not-too-distant future.
The Las Vegas based Haney does not believe a clash with WBC interim title-holder and mandatory challenger Ryan Garcia will take place next, with ‘KingRy’ seemingly preferring a showdown with WBA Regular champ Gervonta Davis.
Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) has instead shifted his attention to undisputed champion Teofimo Lopez, who confusingly holds the WBC’s ‘Franchise’ belt in an overly complex title picture that allows the Mexican organisation to pull in an additional sanctioning fee. But Haney is also toying with a move to super-lightweight as 135lbs becomes increasingly hard to make.
“The main fight I want to be made is with Teofimo Lopez for all the belts, for the real undisputed king,” Haney, 22, told ESPN.com. “135 is not easy for me to make at all. I’ve been saying this for a while now. It’s hard to make weight, but for these big fights I’ll sacrifice and stay there.
“But if I can’t get a big fight with one of the other three [Lopez, Garcia or Davis], I’ll go to 140.”
Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is regarded by most observers as the one true king at 135lbs and the Honduran-American has taken great delight in dubbing Haney ‘the email champion’ after he was awarded his WBC belt rather than winning it in the ring.
“If I’m so much of an email champ or I’m not worthy enough, why not just make the fight happen and we can figure out who is the real WBC champion, who is the real undisputed king?” queried Haney. “If I’m so easy and not credible, why not get me out the way?”
In the meantime, Haney is likely to meet Dominican Javier Fortuna in April, if Garcia opts to face Davis instead, as expected. Should Fortuna not be available on that date, Venezuelan veteran Jorge Linares would be next up to bat in the WBC’s ratings.
Naturally, Haney feels Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) doesn’t fancy a fight with him though most boxing fans would peg the big-punching Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) as a more dangerous proposition.
“It didn’t surprise me [that Garcia prefers a bout with Davis]. I knew that he really didn’t want to fight me and he wasn’t going to fight me,” added a confident Haney. “I knew that he would go a different direction than fighting me.”
Main image: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom USA.