By Adam Baskin: Promoter Eddie Hearn insists that Shakur Stevenson is NOT a big fight for undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney but it would be a “tough” one if he were to go in that direction.
Hearn says Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) is viewed at #1 at 135 without having fought anyone of note. As such, the Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn feels that Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) is better off fighting WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis, an established eleven-year pro well known.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum would likely disagree with Hearn about Shakur not being a good option for Haney, as that’s a guy that is heading toward superstardom, and it would be in Devin’s best interest to fight him if he wants to increase his popularity.
Hardcore boxing fans wanted to see Haney stay at 135 long enough for him to defend against Stevenson, give Vasyl Lomachenko a rematch, and then face Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis in consecutive fights.
Unfortunately, those guys aren’t in Haney’s plans, as he seems to be dialed into wanting to battle Hearn’s fighter Prograis in a fight that few people see him as having much of any chance of winning.
“I said in the build-up of this fight [Vasyl Lomachenko] that Devin Haney was going to win a unanimous decision,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show. “He did. He can’t do that forever. We know how tight he is at 135. He’s been tight for five years,” said Hearn about Haney having problems getting to the 135-lb limit to stay at lightweight.
It looks pathetic for Haney to leave the lightweight division without fighting one of the killers, Shakur or Tank. Haney owes it to those talented fighters to allow them to take his four belts before he moves up to 140.
It’s arguably a selfish move on Haney’s part to vacate his four 135-lb belts and leave the division without letting Shakur and Tank relieve him of those burdensome straps.
“Now that he’s become undisputed at 135, he wants more legacy. He wants to be a two-division world champion. By the way, the reality is, the Shakur Stevenson fight isn’t that big, and it’s a really tough fight,” Hearn continued.
“Shakur Stevenson has established himself, arguably at #1 without really fighting anyone of note in the division yet, but he’s a great talent. Tank can do the fight at 140 anyway.
“He’s just done a fight at 136. I think Tank against Devin Haney is a great fight, but I think he wants to move up and try and become a two-division world champion, and we would be happy for him to try and do that against Regis Prograis,” said Hearn about Haney.