Devin Haney and Bill Haney: The Best Current Double Act In Boxing?



Devin Haney and Bill Haney: The Best Current Double Act In Boxing?

Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney came face-to-face in Las Vegas last week and were close to brawling before their scheduled fight on April 20th for the WBC super-lightweight championship.

A heated, personal, and aggressive confrontation, the bad blood between two rivals who fought six times in the amateur ranks and shared three victories each, was evident.

But since Haney captured his first world title at just 20 years old by outpointing Alfredo Santiago and introducing himself to the boxing world as one of the sport's greatest prospects, it became quite clear he was not just a one-man show.

His father, Bill Haney, is more than just one of his trainers, an adviser or manager. Instead, Bill is part of the Haney brand and is arguably better at promoting upcoming bouts than his son, besides winding up potential opponents.

And whether Bill’s apparent anger towards Garcia during the recent altercation was staged or real, the Haneys are doing what they do best, which is sell their next fight to the fans and give them a reason to tune in.

Because Haney vs Garcia is set to be a massive event and it would be a miracle if it’s not broadcast on DAZN PPV across the globe.

Yet, with larger price tags comes greater responsibilities, and if Haney’s most recent victory against Regis Prograis was a success, an impressive performance against Garcia could take ‘The Dream’ to new heights.

Still, Haney vs Prograis only did 50,000 PPV buys in the US so there is a long way to go before the 25-year-old becomes a superstar. But there has never been a more suitable time for the Devin-Bill double act to commence in full motion.

Of course, Devin and Bill aren’t the only current father-and-son pairing. One of Devin Haney’s biggest rivals, Teofimo Lopez has been coached by his father his whole career, and similar to Bill, Teofimo Lopez Sr is a very vocal character.

Although Devin and Bill are more calculated in their approach, they seem to be the masters of manipulation and downright trolling.

It’s almost musical the way the son does the ass-whooping in the ring while the father makes fun of other fighters on social media and in person.

We saw it with Prograis. Bill and Prograis’ conditioning coach Evin Tobler were arguing so much that their interactions started to detract attention from the Haney-Progais fight itself.

And Haney Sr just can’t help himself, by also recently sending Garcia an image of a ‘Pimp’ book on X and sarcastically tweeting that it will help the young star get his wife back.

Not to mention, numerous occasions where Bill has had choice words for the likes of Gervonta Davis, Lopez, and Shakur Stevenson.

For example, following Haney’s win over Prograis, a fight against Davis seemed to be on the cards and Bill took this opportunity to go back and forth with ‘Tank’ on Instagram until he got blocked.

And it’s difficult to forget when Bill was asked about Stevenson in an interview and simply replied with ‘Who is Shakur?’ or last month when he sent a message to Lopez expressing how he didn’t deserve a bout with Terence Crawford before telling him ‘You need to concentrate’ in the build-up to Lopez’s contest with Jamaine Ortiz.

But the beauty of the Haney family is that their relationship goes beyond boxing.

On New Year's Eve, 44-year-old Bill was seen partying with his son as they celebrated a very successful 2023 where Haney defeated Vasyl Lomachenko and then Prograis to become a two-weight division world champion.

Still, the Haney’s and Lopez’s aren’t the first father and son pairings in the sport of boxing.

Joe Calzaghe and the late Enzo Calzaghe had a beautiful relationship too which allowed ‘The Italian Dragon’ to finish his career with an undefeated record of 46-0, attain wins over Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins, and capture multiple world titles in two weight divisions.

Furthermore, who can forget Floyd Mayweather Jr and Sr. In his penultimate pro fight against Andre Berto, Floyd thanked his father in the corner before the start of the 12th round ‘I’ve been looking back on my career baby. Everything you taught me from day one. I’ll always remember.’

Regardless, from the boxers who are still active, it’s hard to think of a better working relationship than Devin and Bill Haney.

To say they’re not everyone’s cup of tea is an understatement but boxing is about entertainment and so long as Devin keeps racking up the victories, Bill will keep playing the enigmatic character.

Dan D’Alessio is a boxing journalist and fitness enthusiast. When Dan is not behind his desk writing articles, he is smashing pads, kicking a ball or lifting weights at the gym