After Return, Devin Haney is the Lightweight Wildcard
One of the more unfortunate realities of being a professional athlete is having to contend with injuries. Recently, stellar lightweight boxer Devin “The Dream” Haney (24-0, 15 KO’s) was saddled with his first major professional aliment. Following his November 9, 2019 bout with Alfredo “Ojo” Santiago (12-1, 4 KO’s), Haney was sidelined with a notable shoulder injury.
THE BRIGHT SIDE OF REHAB
Directly after the bout, while conducting his in-ring post-fight interview, the Dream made it public knowledge that he hurt himself during the fight. However, for most, the severity of the damage didn’t become real until it was determined that the young boxer and promoter would have to undergo surgery to properly mend a tear in his shoulder.
Due to the seriousness of this injury, Haney came to terms that he would be out of the ring for an extended period of time. Luckily, the Dream is far from a doom and gloom type of guy. He rapidly came to terms with the situation, as he disclosed to Boxing Social.
“It was frustrating at first, but now I am looking on the bright side. You know I never took a break from boxing in my life so this is my first break. It finally gave my body time to recover and for me to rest and now I actually miss boxing. I miss training, I miss being in the gym. So when I do come back, I’m going to be 100% motivated and 100% ready for whatever.”
LIGHTWEIGHT MUSICAL CHAIRS
Despite his ability to quickly to adapt to his new reality, the injury still came at a very inopportune time. Haney had just won the interim WBC world lightweight title in his previous fight, against Zaur Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KO’s). Directly after that bout, Haney was elevated to the full WBC lightweight champion when the previous full champion, Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KO’s), petitioned for and was named the WBC lightweight “franchise champion.”
Then things became a bit more unnerving, and confusing, when the WBC announced that Haney was now a champion in recess. In his absence, it was also determined that #1 ranked Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KO’s) and #2 ranked Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KO’s) will fight to claim his title.
Upon his return, Haney has the option to immediately challenge for this former title. Although, to make matters worse, instead of the Haney being notified by the sanctioning body personally, the Dream found out about the move through news sources just like the fans.
“Nobody ever told me anything, I read it on-line. I got the news when everybody else got the news. It was the day after surgery when I read about it. I didn’t really understand it, but I talked to Mauricio [Sulaiman, WBC president] and when I come back I’ll be champion again, so that’s all that matters.”
As he stated from his own mouth Haney is confident that he will quickly reclaim his status as a world champion upon his return. When hearing these words, it’s easy to assume that the Dream will try to recapture his WBC title, yet that is not something written in stone.
While Haney wants to become a champion, he is not necessarily married to the idea of going the WBC route. For the Dream, making the most exciting fights available is just as important as becoming a title holder, regardless of which belt he acquires.
“Well you know that is just one title. There’s other belts in the division and I want to make the biggest fights happen. I don’t have to go right back and fight for that [WBC] title, I can fight for another world title or the biggest fights. Of course the belts are important, I became world champion, that was [an] important thing. That was very important to me, but now I want to make the biggest fights happen…
In 2020, I’m looking to get right back into it, you know? First I really have to see how my shoulder is holding up and how everything is going, but in 2020 I want to have two to three big, big fights!”
With this new bit of information, Haney has certainly put the entire division on notice! Sadly, we as the boxing community have to wait a number of months before we find out who the Dream intends on fighting in his return, but it definitely sounds like he will be shooting for the sky when he does.
Regardless of what his next move turns out to be, 3kingsboxing will be on hand to report all the latest news and updates.
By: Bakari Simpson