Haney on Franchise Belt and Tank
When it comes to his tenure at the 135lbs division, WBC world lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney (24-0, 15 KO’s) knows that his time is short. The youthful Californian has stated on numerous occasions that making the weight is an increasingly difficult task. This is one major reason why Haney wants to make all the biggest possible lightweight prizefights as soon as possible.
THE WBC’S HOUSE OF MIRRORS
Yet this quest for greatness is the same impetus that is slamming him up against a frustrating wall. This frustrating wall has manifested itself as the other top guys in the division not wanting to fight.
Having his way, The Dream would have faced off against Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KO’s) for his title. Lomachenko was the WBC lightweight champion before petitioning to become the WBC’s confusing new ‘franchise champion.’
At the time of the petition, Haney had just captured the interim WBC title, earning the position of Lomachenko’s mandatory. It was well known that the Dream was openly gunning for the fight. He elaborated on the subject in a recent interview conducted with Barbershop Conversations.
“What I don’t like about the franchise tag is that somebody else can’t win it. How can one person become undisputed but other person can’t? Or if they can, they don’t have a belt to represent it.” ~Devin Haney, WBC world lightweight champion
With the ‘franchise champion’ status, Loma is not required to fight any mandatories and therefore is free to sidestep Haney. Accordingly, that is exactly what he did, to Haney’s disappointment. Devin Haney also remains mightily confused on how the ‘franchise champion’ status works or will affect the division.
ONE EVASIVE TANK
If the fight with Lomachenko is not meant to be, another battle that Haney would happily invite is with Gervonta “Tank” Davis (22-0, 21 KO’s). As it often is with this younger generation of boxers, The Dream and Tank recently exchanged a volley of fiery Twitter rants back and forth. Davis felt as if Haney was nothing but a paper champion would air as much. Naturally, Haney had no intention of letting the slick talk slide and replied in kind.
“The reason why I was mad was because he keep doing interviews about me. Interviews, interviews and interviews about me, which is cool, I’m glad, whatever. He keep talking about its not my belt or I didn’t earn it or whatever but in reality he really didn’t earn his belt.
He fought for the WBA regular title. Machado had the super title, so he was the super champion, then they switched it. He thinks nobody remembers this but they just switched it and he was the super champion and Machado was the regular champion…at the end of the day it’s really just boxing talk and I understand that. He don’t understand that. And he get in his feelings and he get mad or whatever, I don’t care. Anyways, I’m trying to make these fights happen in 2020 while I’m at 135.”
With their current level of talent, and notoriety, this prizefight would be a hit in the ring and the box office. This is precisely why Team Haney would jump at the opportunity to get busy with Davis inside the squared-circle. However, similar to the situation with Lomachenko, thus far it doesn’t appear that Tank or Team Davis have any stomach for penning a fight with the Dream.
As could only be expected Haney is disappointed with the open reluctance of his possible top tier opposition to face him. Especially since he and Tank have a bit of history. Not that they are, or ever were, best friends. Nevertheless, the two have been on one another’s radar for years and even had a few memorable sparring sessions in the ring.
“One thing that I wanted to say was that that WBA belt that Tank is fighting for, he is fighting a fight to become a mandatory but you already a mandatory with Devin, you know what I’m saying? So why go another route when you had a fight as a mandatory with Devin Haney? […] so I think that they were right to make Tank the mandatory for Devin. I don’t think that its right he doesn’t necessarily tell the truth about the boxing business and how to educate the kids that are coming behind.” ~Bill Haney, Devin Haney’ s father and chief second
By: Bakari Simpson