By: Hans Themistode
An epiphany of sorts suddenly hit Devin Haney this past weekend.
Coming off the biggest win of his career against former multiple division champion Jorge Linares on May 29th, the WBC lightweight titlist is anxious to get back in the ring. With that said, he believes the feeling isn’t exactly mutual for many of the division’s top names.
“I’m the most avoided fighter in boxing today,” said Haney on his social media account.
Haney’s belief that many fighters are hesitant to step into the ring with him stems from what he deems is a guaranteed title shot, when it’s their turn in the pecking order.
For starters, former WBC lightweight interim champion Ryan Garcia was appointed as the mandatory challenger to Haney’s title. While the undefeated California native could have taken him on, he opted to face Luke Campbell instead, stopping him in the 7th round earlier this year. Garcia’s reasoning behind moving away from a fight with Haney was that he believed their contest should be given more time to build into a mega event.
Recently, Joseph Diaz, a former titleholder at 130 pounds, moved up in weight to challenge Javier Fortuna. With their contest listed as a title eliminator, Diaz took hold of the WBC interim crown once he was announced the winner on July 9th. Since then, the newly turned 135-pound contender has openly called for a showdown with Haney.
With that said, rumors have surfaced that Diaz could be a potential opponent for either Garcia, or multiple division champion, Gervonta Davis.
News of yet another mandatory challenger possibly heading in another direction has prompted Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) to simply shake his head. In short, the Las Vegas resident can’t recall anything even remotely close to this happening in the history of boxing.
“These fighters need to stop with the excuses,” continued Haney. “If you don’t wanna fight me just say that. This will be the first time in history that you see two mandatories opt-out to fight the champion.”
While Haney has grown irritated with what he feels is a lack of opponents stepping up to the plate, he remains hopeful that he’ll draw a big name for his next ring outing. Until then, the 22-year-old will continue to publicly castigate those who fail to face him.