By Matt Lieberman: Shakur Stevenson was angry last Saturday night with the way that Devin Haney “ran out of the ring” moments after his controversial 12 round unanimous decision win over Vasyl Lomachenko at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
In most people’s eyes, Devin was lucky to win last Saturday because he was outboxed for most of the fight by Lomachenko.
Haney didn’t follow the script
It appears that the idea was for Shakur (20-0, 10 KO) to enter the ring after the fight, which he did, and call out Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) with the lights & camera on them to begin promoting a mega-fight for later that year. But instead of Haney going along with the program, he fled the ring, indicating that he’s not on board with fighting Shakur next.
It’s safe to say that Haney wants no part of Shakur Stevenson, which probably won’t make Top Rank happy. If they extend Haney’s contract, they need to try and get an agreement of him fighting Shakur written in as part of the contract language. Without that, Haney will focus on fighting Gervonta, a fight that might not happen.
If it does, it won’t help Top Rank for Haney to get beaten up by Gervonta because he’s not signed with them. Haney will likely get destroyed, and Top Rank would be stuck with damaged goods, needing to put him in rebuilding fights instead of ones that help their company.
Haney shows no interest in fighting Shakur
At the post-fight press conference, Haney clarified who he wants to fight next by calling out Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, saying they’ll fight “sooner or later.”
It was a weak way for Haney to call out Tank, but Devin lacks charisma and is not good at calling out fighters and building interest in fights.
That’s why we saw him use the clumsy approach to promoting his fight with Lomachenko by focusing on him repeatedly calling him a “dirty fighter.” It was poorly thought out by Haney, showing that he badly needs a public relations person to work with him to brainstorm ideas to promote his fights.
“Lomachenko should be undisputed champion. He won. He won that fight,” said Shakur Stevenson to Top Rank Boxing moments after Vasyl Lomachenko’s controversial loss to Devin Haney.
“He landed the cleaner punches on Dev and pushed the pace. Let’s make that happen. It should happen next. Devin is out of my level, and I’m going to show it,” said Shakur when asked if he wanted to fight Haney for his undisputed championship.
“I feel like he’s [Haney] a tough fighter, but it’s high skill level within me, and I feel like he’s not on my level. Bill [Haney] called me out afteer my last fight. I’m here, and they ran out of the ring.
“They [Devin & Bill] seen me just now. They ran out of the ring and got scared. I can’t wait,” said Shakur.
Kambosos wants Lomachenko next
“Lomachenko came back later in the fight like a true champion. It was a close fight. I don’t think we should ruin such a good high-tech fight by saying, ‘It’s a robbery’ and whatever everyone is saying,” said former unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr to Fight Hub TV.
“He’s got a big, big stadium fight in Australia in Australia with Kambosos, which is what he was meant to do,” said Kambosos Jr when asked where Lomachenko goes from here.
“Loma is a true champion. I’ve always liked Loma. We’ll make the fight. If it makes sense and makes dollars, me and him can get it on.
“7-5, I’m happy with 7-5. It could have been a draw. It’s what angle you’re seeing the fight. Devin is the champion, so the close rounds are going to go to Devin. But then again, Loma is a warrior, and it could have gone his way as well.
“It was so hard to score every round. ‘What do you think? What do you think? It could have gone that way.’ That’s why it was such a close fight,” said Kambosos.