By Jim Calfa: Devin Haney says he will make his opponent Vasily Lomachenko pay this Saturday night for all the years that he’s been waiting to get a fight against him.

Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) is still resentful for being ignored & shut out by the former WBA, WBO & Ring Magazine lightweight champion Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) in 2019 when he repeatedly asked him for a fight.

In fairness to Lomachenko, he and his management saw no point in fighting Haney because he’d never won a true world title until last year when he beat what many boxing fans viewed as the weakest of belt holders in George Kambosos Jr.

Before that, the sanctioning body had elevated Haney outside of the ring to WBC lightweight champion. Haney didn’t win his WBC 135-lb. He was promoted to that status. Hence, the label ‘email champion’ that Haney was saddled with by fans and fighters until his win over Kambosos Jr.

In other words, there was no reason for Lomachenko to fight Haney because his professional record was filled with fluff wins, and he’d done nothing as an amateur. He didn’t win gold medals or establish himself in the amateur ranks before turning professional in 2015.

Haney was just a guy that was maneuvered carefully into a world title, and that’s why some fans view Haney as a ‘Manufactured fighter,’ one small step above Instagram star Ryan Garcia.

These new fighters take the backdoor route to stardom rather than going through the front door by fighting and beating the best.

In Haney’s case, what’s telling is that he’s shown no interest in fighting Shakur Stevenson, and that further cement the view that he’s a manufactured guy who focuses on fighting old guys and/or paper champions.

“It was personal for me. One, I generally do not like the dude. I think he’s someone who isn’t who he portrays to be,” said Devin Haney to the Pivot Podcast about Vasily Lomachenko. “He’s very arrogant.”

Haney’s best career wins:

  • Jorge Linares – 35 years old
  • George Kambosos Jr
  • Yuriorkis Gamboa – 38-year-old
  • Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz

“Behind closed doors, he’s not the person he’s perceived to be, and I wanted that fight then [four years ago when Lomachenko was at the top of his game. They went a different route [towards fighting Teofimo Lopez].

“They said I was an e-mail champion. They said I was this; they said I was that. They said I didn’t have a real belt. Now it’s like, I want to prove to y’all how many levels above him I am.

“This is a guy y’all chose; this is a guy that you said was #1. He was pound-for-pound; he was this, he was that. Well, now I’m that guy. So I’m going to make him pay for what he put me through.

“Once you win a belt, you get to keep your belt forever. It’s like a ring in football [or a symbolic trophy]. It’s forever your belt, but sanctioning as a champion, you can lose your belt, or you can retire, and it’s gone,” said Haney.

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