Bob Arum Disputes Haney Is Ready for Lomachenko
If there is one thing that veteran promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions can do, it’s make a stunning headline! And once again he does not fail to come through with just that! In an exclusive interview provided to Fight Hub TV, Arum took some big shots at the WBC world lightweight champion in recess Devin “The Dream” Haney (24-0, 15 KO’s).
WHO’S THE MAN?!
Currently at lightweight, one of the most talked about potential bouts is one pitting Devin Haney against WBC lightweight ‘franchise’ champion Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KO’s). In fact, many find it maddeningly frustrating that the two were already on a collision course to face one another only for Hi-Tech to change lanes at the last moment.
After working his way up the WBC rankings, then handily defeating Zaur Abdullaev on September 13, 2019 to win the interim WBC lightweight title, the Dream had strategically positioned himself as Lomachenko’s mandatory challenger. It was a fight that many fans, and Haney himself, has clamored to see for some time. Well, that was until Hi-Tech petitioned for, and was granted, the designation of WBC ‘franchise champion.’
With the controversial status, Lomachenko is immune to facing mandatory challengers. Due to the conspicuous timing of his requesting the franchise designation, there are quite a few people who feel as if Lomachenko was flat out ducking Haney.
In fact, at one point, the accusations of ducking got so bad that Loma came out and claimed that he never asked for the ‘franchise champion’ status but was merely awarded it by the WBC. Yet, in true Maury Povich fashion, the WBC president himself, Mauricio Sulaiman, would determine that that was a lie.
When asked about how Lomanchenko came to be the ‘franchise champion’, Sulaiman confirmed that Loma’s team did voluntarily request to receive the title. When this confirmation came to light, it only served to strengthen the belief for many that Hi-Tech was openly evading a showdown with Haney.
With this juicy backstory, Arum’s recent interview with Fight Hub TV, and his interesting choice of words will only spark up more controversy with fans and boxing insiders. When asked about a potential bout between Haney and Lomachenko, Arum certainly did not mince words!
“Devin Haney is wet behind his ears! Devin Haney has to show that he can fight at a level of a Lomachenko. Right now I look at Devin Haney as being, maybe there’s ten lightweights better than he is. I mean really and truly, because Eddie Hearn threw money at Devin Haney, what suddenly made Devin Haney a star?
…Eddie Hearn. It’s all about the name and the bullshit and all of that stuff. Nobody [is] judging whether if Haney even belongs in the same ring with Lomachenko or ten other lightweights that I could name.”
LEGIT POINTS OR SMOKE AND MIRRORS??
There are a number of interesting talking points in this quotation. To begin, when Arum says that Hearn just threw a bunch of money at Haney, he completely evades the fact that the Dream worked his way into his mandatory position. This has nothing to do with Eddie Hearn and the financial deal that he struck with Haney.
It’s also interesting that Arum brings up the fact that Devin Haney is not a star because one of the main knocks against Lomachenko is he is not a great ticket seller here in the states. In fact, the argument can be made that Haney is right now already a bigger star in the states than Loma.
Lastly, its awfully odd that Arum is doubling down so hard on the fact that Haney has to prove himself on this level when a huge part of Hi-Tech’s story is his coming into the professional ranks immediately gunning for a title shot.
So if Loma hadn’t even had one professional fight but was seeking a title shot (which he quickly got and LOST), why is it so imperative that Haney jump through so many hoops when he had already legitimately worked his way into a mandatory position? Quizzical indeed!
It will be very fun and interesting to see how Team Haney responds to the aggressive stance made by Arum! Make sure to stay tuned to 3kingsboxing for all the latest news and updates.
By: Bakari Simpson