Gary Russell Jr Rejects Contract from Devin Haney!
It looks like WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr will be turning down a proposal from WBC lightweight champ Devin Haney. The two have been involved in some verbal back and forth action for months now. Russell has been very vocal about moving up to lightweight since he could not secure a unification at featherweight.
He has made it clear that Haney, among others including welterweight Terence Crawford and junior lightweight Tevin Farmer is a target. After the two initially argued over the amount of money put on the line, they came to a $1.5 million agreement. Team Haney hastily sent a contract to Russell in which the featherweight has compared it to a “blank check!”
After having his attorney look over the terms, Russell takes to social media and claims the “red flag” in the contract that summarizes to the following:
“This fight will only take place if DAZN and Matchroom Boxing pick up the fight.”
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
According to the featherweight champ, if this was a real contract, DAZN and Matchroom Boxing would have been included in the contract. This is because Matchroom Boxing co-promotes Haney and DAZN is the streaming service he is contractually bound to currently for his events. Therefore, it seems as if Team Haney is going behind the backs of the entities he is legally tied to as a professional fighter.
Russell Jr mentions this as well in the video, stating he believed the father/trainer/manager of the lightweight champ, Bill Haney is trying to get him to “pre-sign” an agreement in an effort to present it to DAZN and Matchroom Boxing. However, the two could easily shut the fight down. This means that Russell Jr would be agreeing to a fight “in-principal”, not actually signing a legally binding agreement for the fight to take place.
Now many are going to say that Russell Jr is “cappin” as the lightweight champ kept repeating the last few days. However, this makes sense if you understand business. In order for a real negotiation process to take place, the entities both fighters are tied to legally must be included in the contract.
Russell Jr did go on to say that he hopes they can get this ironed out. Although, whether or not his next opponent is against Haney, he is still moving to lightweight.
Let’s hope the two can hash this out!
By: EJ Williams