Coach Ellis On Haney: “It’s Like Tank Fighting David Benavidez!”

Is Team Davis Scared of Fighting Devin Haney?

Kenny Ellis says Devin Haney is much bigger than Tank Davis
Kenny Ellis says Devin Haney is much bigger than Tank Davis | credit: Getty Images

Kenny Ellis Thinks Devin Haney is Too Big for Tank Davis

For four years, Regular WBA lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (29-0, 27 KO’s) and WBC super lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney (31-0, 15 KO’s) both occupied the 135-pound division. Despite the magnitude of the potential fight, and Haney’s persistent call outs, the fight never materialized. Without fighting Tank though, Haney managed to beat three-division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, become undisputed and defend the status twice.

Then, in his first battle at 140 pounds, The Dream defeated Regis Prograis and took his WBC strap. With the win, Haney became a two division champion. Meanwhile, Davis and his team have successfully avoided penning a duel with any of the serious, proven threats in the division. In fact, outside of Ryan Garcia and Rolando Romero, one would be hard pressed to find any fighter that Tank has bested in the division who does not have an “old” or “weight stipulation” asterisks by their name.


Team Haney has been fond of saying that Team Tank “says everything but ‘let’s fight’, and with each passing day this statement takes on new weight. In a new interview with Mill City Boxing, Tank’s coach, Kenny Ellis, provided a couple curious quotes. Of the two, Tank is easily recognized as the harder hitting fighter who traveled up to 140-pounds first when he faced Mario Barrios.

Now however, Team Davis appears to be mightily concerned with Haney’s size, even though coach Ellis went about airing this issue in a very roundabout manner.

“I wonder what the fans think. Is it cool, if the next day Tank came in at 147 and Haney in at ‘65? Do everybody think that’s cool? It’s like Tank fighting [David] Benavidez, with no power though. Just saying, as far as the weight.”

If Haney has no power to worry about, one would wonder why the weight would be a problem. It’d also be interesting to know how much more Tank weighed than the opponents he fought that came up from lower weights.


Then going a step further, rather than display any interest in Tank fighting Haney, coach Ellis attempted to proffer a fight between Haney and Jalil Hackett (8-0, 7 KO’s). Given how green Hackett is in the sport, not to mention his lacking any professional milestone of any sort, it goes without question that there is no way on Earth Team Haney would entertain such a match. So, the real question is why would Ellis even mention this?

“We got a kid – Jalil Hackett. He been boxing since he was seven, eight years old, just like Devin Haney. He got eight pro fights, he knows how to get out of certain situations. I mean, if Haney should move up to 147 and he wants to test the waters before he goes after the big money, Jalil would be the perfect fight.”

If Team Davis is not interested in a match with The Dream, it would be good if they just said so. Yet, constantly insinuating that they are up for the challenge then always going in another direction is not good for business or his reputation as one of boxing’s most feared men.

No matter how the situation with Haney plays out, it will be very interesting and revealing to see who Tank does face next. There is a great deal of industry rumblings that Team Davis is looking to rematch Isaac Cruz. Honestly, this would be somewhat disappointing given that Cruz has not done anything of real note before or after his sole prizefight with Tank.

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