Devin Haney Under Fire for Controversial Remarks
WBC lightweight champion in recess Devin “The Dream” Haney (24-0, 15KOs) is under fire after some controversial comments he made regarding unified lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (14-1, 10KOs).
In an interview with 3Kings affiliate 78SPORTSTV,Haney declared he’d never lose to a “white boy”.
“I’ll tell you this! I’ll never lose to a white boy in my life! I don’t care what nobody has to say. Can’t no white boy beat me on any day of the week.
“If I fight a white boy ten times I’m going to beat him ten times.”
CHANNELING HIS INNER BERNARD HOPKINS!
Sounds familiar? Back in 2008 in the lead up to his light heavyweight title defense against Joe Calzaghe, Bernard Hopkins proclaimed confidently he too would never lose to a white boy.
He was highly criticized for his choice of words and would ultimately go on to lose a close split decision to Calzaghe. Objectively, the fight that could’ve been scored either way.
PR MOVE OR TRUE COLORS?
Up to this point, Haney has been unbeaten in avoiding drama inside and outside of the ring. Although, with these comments made, the 21-year old fighter’s character is now being questioned.
However, to provide some context, boxing is as much about entertainment as it is business. There have been numerous occasions where antics based off race, sexuality and religion have been used to either sell or make fights, in addition to pushing a fighter from obscurity into the national spotlight.
While his comments may have been ill-mannered, Haney’s angle may be more of a stunt than a exposition of his character. In any case, there’s plenty of time for the young professional fighter to continue to mature and use this controversy as a learning experience.
OTHER CONTROVERSIAL GESTURES USED TO PROMOTE A FIGHT
Back in 2001 to promote a fight for the undisputed middleweight crown, Hopkins, the the IBF and WBC champion, caused a huge controversy when he grabbed the Puerto Rican flag from WBA champ Felix Trinidad and threw it down to the ground.
While the action was deemed highly disrespectful by Puerto Rican’s who take pride in their native flag, many among the boxing community understood the act to be a form on promotion.
Haney’s statement, though can be easily seen as offensive, could also be seen as a way to bait the unified champion into a fight.
HANEY DISPUTES HE’S A RACIST!
After a couple of days away from social media, Haney took to his Twitter to dispute the notion that’s he’s a racist.
How much of an effect will this have on him when boxing returns? Only time will tell.
By: Jerrell Fletcher