Eddie Hearn understands that trying to sign Devin Haney is an “expensive” undertaking.
Haney, the undisputed lightweight champion from Oakland, Calif., is coming off a banner win over Vasiliy Lomachenko last Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, fending off the Ukrainian over 12 rounds to earn a unanimous decision.
With the win, the 24-year-old Haney is understood now to be a free agent; his last three fights were promoted by Top Rank, and it is not clear if he will sign with the Las Vegas-based company again.
Before his association with Top Rank, however, Haney was backed for several years with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. Haney parted ways with Matchroom and subsequently signed a deal with Top Rank last year, which allowed him to challenge then unified champion George Kambosos Jr. for the undisputed title. Haney would go on to beat Kambosos twice in a row.
Hearn suggested that trying to work with Haney again would take a large financial offer and pointed to his former charge’s history of earning outsize paychecks far and above his actual “commercial value.” Haney has hinted that he could move up to the 140 division after the Lomachenko fight.
“I don’t believe he signed a new contract with Top Rank,” Hearn said of Haney in an interview with iFL TV. “Devin’s 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 haven’t reflected his commercial value. But now if you look at what he’s done, he’s earned the right for those numbers.”
Hearn said that if his company were to pitch Haney on coming back to their fold, he would offer him intriguing fights with WBC 140-pound titlist Regis Prograis and star Ryan Garcia, who Hearn does not handle but, as a Golden Boy-promoted fighter, appears exclusively on DAZN, the streaming platform with which Hearn’s Matchroom has an extensive content deal.
Hearn signed New Orlean’s Prograis to a multi-fight deal earlier this month.
“I think if we go to Devin Haney now we’re going to him with the Regis Prograis fight, obviously you have the Ryan Garcia fight, with DAZN, Golden Boy,” Hearn said. “And if you’re Top Rank, you’re saying we’ve got Shakur Stevenson or [Teofimo Lopez] Lopez or [Josh] Taylor, perhaps. And if you’re PBC, you’re saying we’ve got Gervonta Davis, [Rolando] ‘Rolly’ Romero.
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.