So, the same guy who came up with every excuse known to Mankind for destroying a fight with Manny Pacquiao, a fight the public lost their minds demanding when they were in their respective prime, is accusing Vasyl Lomachenko of ducking Devin Haney.
The same guy who jumped every time the phone rang and nearly went into cardiac arrest believing it was Antonio Margarito, wants the world to believe Vasyl Lomachenko is ducking Devin Haney.
The same guy who never wanted it with Kostya Tszyu, apparently wants Donald Trump to call Ukraine and pressure President Zelensky into calling a press conference to tell his nation that Vasyl Lomachenko is ducking Devin Haney.
Alright enough with the hyperbole, let's do this.
Floyd Mayweather isn't really the “hater” he seems and a lot of what I just said there was subterfuge. What Floyd is — and always has been, is as brilliant a natural marketing tactician outside of the ring as he was in it. Almost proving he's settled into retirement and now focused on new iterations of self, “Money” will use proxies to set up drama to maximize his Blue Chip fighters, and Dontae's Boxing Nation is his premium go to video channel of choice for TMT sponsored war against Bob Arum and Top Rank fighters he doesn't like.
In this latest video, it probably would've been cool if New Edition's old school “Jealous Girl” was playing in the background ladies and gentlemen. Just take a look and listen to this rather entertaining — if not cringe worthy, psy-op. But before you do (and by the way I like Dontae and admire Floyd; they're just doing their job), please understand that Vasiliy Lomachenko did in fact vacate his WBC lightweight championship to become some sort of “Franchise” lightweight champion ridiculousness. What the move does is elevate Devin Haney to de facto WBC lightweight champion, in what has to be the most egregious world championship ascension of all-time. To be a WBC champion in any weight class has long been considered the highest honor any fighter can be bestowed. But what this does is cheapen and diminish the merits of all-time great WBC champions like say a Floyd, because that strap around the waist has always been represented by fighters who ultimately beat the best to be the best. Alright, watch the damn video.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I've never been compromised in a way where opinion is slanted for financial angle. Top Rank not only knows that, but so does NY Fights and Editor-In-Chief Michael Woods. I think a spade is a spade, and more or less pen this for Joe Fan in the streets and Mary Commonsense. I was at the last fight headlined by Devin Haney at Madison Square Garden in New York City on September 13. Even considered it an early birthday gift to witness the kid — who might be the closest modern thing I've seen to Floyd Mayweather ever. I can't really be sure just yet. I say that right now because of one Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who is the closest thing that I've ever seen to Floyd Mayweather. He's sort of what Kobe Bryant appeared to be in 1998 against Michael Jordan at the NBA All-Star Game that year, an event that I attended which just happened to take place at the same Madison Square Garden. I was blown away by #8 that day and actually envisioned that he'd someday eclipse #23. For what its worth, I think he did. Now, sometime ago, I opined in print that Vasiliy Lomachenko is the only fighter I can think of who would've defeated the great “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather at 130. I still believe that, and here's where it gets a little more dicey.
There is only one Kobe Bryant for this figurative Michael Jordan in Lomachenko to evenly remotely take into consideration and that's “Tank” Davis. I think Tank can absolutely beat Lomachenko — but then again, Loma can very well expose and beat him too. We're approaching three years now since Tank wowed us all at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn against Jose “Sniper” Pedraza in January 2017. I sat next to the estimable Thomas Hauser at ringside, who couldn't be more effusive in his praise of Davis that evening. He told me, point blank, at the conclusion of Gervonta's 7th round masterpiece over Pedraza that Tank beats Loma “right now”. So brash and bold was Davis that night, in a way entirely understandable given it was his coming out party, that he even put “Tank” aside that evening and was calling himself “The One,” just to fuck with “The Matrix.” So considering Hauser's seasoned journalistic perspective then, why aren't we talking about the prospect of “Vasiliy Lomachenko Vs Gervona Davis in a very near “future now”? If Davis is real — and there's no reason to believe he isn't, then that's “The Fight.” Not Devin Haney.
And here's something else to understand about the Devin Haney parable, to clean up this argument of Loma is somehow “ducking him” nonsense. Loma can still make 126 lbs the same way Haney has to make 135 lbs. That means he can do it — but it's not really advisable. I've been around boxing a long time, and can tell you that Devin Haney is a very big lightweight. So big (and talented) in fact, that I could very comfortably see Haney facing a Regis Prograis or a Josh Taylor this upcoming weekend. No bullshit. I stood next to the kid and chatted with him for awhile in the pressroom for Deontay Wilder Vs Tyson Fury and said to myself, “Damn, this kid is huge.” All he talked about was eating. Right after Loma beat a big Luke Campbell that most of the media knows is a damn good fighter but undersells him, what did Loma do? He called out Tank Davis, a rival he now shares a credible common opponent with, to fight down at his best weight at super featherweight. What does Floyd then have Tank do? He moves him up to lightweight, knowing Loma just said he wasn't really comfortable there. It's chess and it was a brilliant move. Just like getting a 23 year-old green Canelo Alvarez to emaciate himself down to 152 lbs to face him was.
But though this Devin Haney push is just a pawn set up piece to see what happens next, it did result in a knight of sorts being taken away from Lomachenko, in the form of his WBC belt. Thus, I can see why Bob Arum, with my tongue in cheek, probably endorses this move by the WBC, where he just happened to be meeting with in the Caribbean before this was announced. But let's be real. It makes no economic sense whatsoever to fight a Haney who, though he was “officially” top billing on September 13, took an obvious backseat to popular female fighters Amanda Serrano and Heather Hardy in the Hulu Theater of MSG. That ain't even the real Gah-Den folks, such as was the case when Loma stopped and ruined what was a very big lightweight in Jorge Linares. I noticed Haney had a huge corporate cheering section inside Hulu, but otherwise, there was very little buzz for a very obvious talent in the general arena itself. He ain't there yet.
For Loma to have shoulder surgery after a physical lightweight war with Linares in May 2018, only to come off the shelf for a pitched lightweight battle with a much better edition of Pedraza than “The One” faced, I thought it spoke to his greatness. All he's done in 2019 is what he was supposed to do in leveling Anthony Crolla and then defeating a former Olympic Gold Medalist in Luke Campbell on enemy soil in London. His professional career degree of difficulty is sick, plus he's still slated to fight the winner of Richard Commey Vs Teofimo Lopez to start his 2020 campaign for more lightweight glory. He wins that, and I think its a Gervonta “Tank” Davis superfight — not a regular ass Devin Haney all risk/no reward matchup — that should be on deck for the biggest fight of the new decade. That much is about as obvious as what Floyd's former go to proxy would call “FightHype”.