By Craig Daly: Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn says he would like to see Devin Haney, who he believes is a promotional free agent, move up to 140 for his next fight and take on WBA light welterweight champion Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero for his newly won belt.
Hearn says he thinks the Rolly fight is one that Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) can win at 140.
The way Haney struggled against 35-year-old Vasyl Lomachenko last Saturday, he needs to focus on cashing out against Gervonta Davis at 135 or move up to 140.
He’ll lose if he stays at 135 and defends his undisputed championship against contenders like Shakur Stevenson, Frank Martin, and Keyshawn Davis. Haney lacks the power and stamina to beat those fighters.
For obvious reasons, Hearn doesn’t think it’s a good idea for Haney to take on WBC 140-lb champion Regis Prograis because he feels that would be a very tough fight for him to try and win.
Prograis has the kind of power where he wouldn’t allow the judges to take a win away from him in a fight against Haney. Hearn also thinks Haney shouldn’t fight Shakur Stevenson because that would be a risky match for him, and it wouldn’t pay much.
Rolly (15-1, 13 KOs) comes from what many boxing fans believe to be an early ninth round knockout win against 40-year-old Ismael Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KO) on May 13th.
The 27-year-old Rolly was behind on the scorecards going into the ninth round but was saved by the referee stepping in and stopping the fight after he threw a wild flurry of punches, with virtually all of them badly missing.
Interestingly, Hearn said that Haney is still a promotional free agent despite the reports of Top Rank signing him for a two-fight extension to his contract. Hearn stated that Haney is “very expensive,” which was a hint from him that he won’t attempt to re-sign him to his Matchroom Boxing company.
Haney should fight Rolly Romero next
“It looks like to me a really close fight. I guess 116-112. Most people thought that was a wide card,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about Devin Haney’s victory last Saturday night against a surprisingly good Vasyl Lomachenko.
“If I’m him, I want to fight Rolly Romero for the WBA 140 title because he’ll just fancy that fight, and he’ll smash Rolly Romero. He’s NOT going to be wanting the Shakur Stevenson fight because it’s not that big, and it’s a huge risk fight.
“I would think that he would fancy the Tankf fight, and I think he has a great chance in that fight. I think he’d love the Ryan Garcia fight. I’m not sure about Regis Prograis. That’s a tough fight, but Devin is capable of winning or being competitive in most of those fights.
“I think he has a big future. He just beat Lomachenko. Whether you think it was close or not, he has, but you need to give him the respect.
“I thought it was quite funny [Top Rank promoter Bob] Arum going up to Lomachenkoo the stage. Obviously, he didn’t know the mics were on, but I love Bob. He doesn’t care. He was, ‘You were robbed. You won that fight easy.’
“I also thought was funny when he said, ‘I don’t understand why we have three American judges here for an American vs. Ukrainian.’ He knows that anytime you stage a fight in Nevada, that’s what they insist on. Three Nevada judges. So that’s probably not fair, either.
“I’m pleased for Devin. They called him the ’email champion.’ He’s gone out to Australia and fought [George] Kambosos twice and beat him comfortably and now beaten Lomachenko. There are some big fights ahead for him.
“I don’t believe he’s signed a new two-fight contract with Top Rank. [Mike] Coppinger has come out and said that’s not the case. Devin is very expensive; he always has been. He’s done a great job in that respect.
“I think in the past, his purses haven’t necessarily reflected his commercial value, but now when you look at what he’s done, he’s kind of earned the right for those numbers,” said Hearn.
Top Rank options for Haney
“If we go to Devin Haney now, we go to him with the Regis Prograis fight,” continued Hearn.”Obviously, you’ve got the Ryan Garcia fight with Golden Boy and DAZN. If you’re Top Rank, you’re going to him and saying, ‘We got Shakur Stevenson. We got the winner of [Teofimo] Lopez against [Josh] Taylor, perhaps.’
“If you’re PBC, you’re saying, ‘We got Gervonta Davis, Rolly Romero.’ If I’m Devin Haney, I’m probably leaning toward free agency. It’s a bit dangerous because he’s undisputed at 135. If he moves up to 140, he’s beltless.
“How it works in this game. They’re [promotional company] going to want to tie you in. So if they’re giving you a shot, they’re going to want you to sign a five-fight deal. I think he should limit himself to two-fight deals because, really, there are so many fights he could take,” said Hearn.