By Matt Lieberman: Eddie Hearn says he’s begun talks with promoter Lou DiBella for a fight between undisputed lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. and WBC champion Devin Haney for potentially in the Middle East in May.
Hearn states that he received an offer from the Middle East to stage the Kambosos Jr. vs. Haney fight over there, and that’s the location where he’s heading towards staging the contest.
Hearn is aware that Vasily Lomachenko’s promoters at Top Rank are hoping to make the fight with Kambosos. Still, he feels confident that the Australian fighter with pick Haney so that they can finish the undisputed business.
According to Hearn, the fans want to know who the #1 fighter is in the lightweight division, and one way for them to find out is if Kambosos faces Haney.
Hearn will sell the Kambosos vs. Haney fight based on it proving who the #1 fighter is at 135, but it won’t solve who the real top dog is. For the #1 fighter to be determined, it would require a mini-tournament between these top lightweights:
- George Kambosos Jr.
- Devin Haney
- Vasily Lomachenko
- Michel Rivera
- Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis
- Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz
- Rolando Romero
Kambosos Jr. vs. Haney in the works
“I spoke to Lou DiBella yesterday, and he’s doing his work in Australia,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show when asked if negotiations are going on for a fight between George Kambosos Jr. and Devin Haney.
“We’ve had an offer from the Middle East for Devin Haney vs. Kambosos. “This is one we’re edging towards where we’re receiving a firm offer for. For me, it’s the only fight in the division.
“I know Top Rank is talking about Lomachenko against Kambosos. We need to wrap up this undisputed situation. We need to know who is the real champion. It’s a natural fight. Haney against Kambosos is a brilliant fight,” Hearn said.
I don’t think it matters a whole lot to Kambosos whether he becomes the undisputed champion outright.
If Kambosos chooses Haney as his opponent for May, it’s because the money is to his liking, and he believes he can beat him. Kambosos won’t choose Haney because he wants to “wrap up this undisputed situation,” as Hearn maintains.
“We can do it Sunday in Australia; we can do it in the United Arab Emirates. We can do it in America; Devin Haney is ready to go for that fight. He won’t price himself out.
“He realizes that George Kambosos is the king of the division right now. He’s the one with most of the belts, and he’s the one that put in a good performance the last time out with a big win [over Teofimo Lopez],” Hearn said.
If Hearn gets an offer to stage the Kambosos-Haney fight in the Middle East, that will give him a significant advantage over Top Rank and the other promoters to land the fight against Kambosos.
Haney wants to become undisputed
The best chance Hearn has in turning Haney into a star and a money-maker is for him to spend whatever money it takes to get him the Kambosos fight.
Haney NEEDS to become the undisputed lightweight champion as soon as possible to increase his popularity with casual boxing fans.
Once that happens, Hearn can skillfully maneuver him around dangerous threats like Lomachenko, Tank Davis, Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz, and Michel Rivera.
You can argue that Hearn has already been working hard at doing that because Haney hasn’t fought any of those talented lightweights, and he’s been quick to dismiss the idea of fighting Lomachenko by reminding fans that he lost to Teofimo Lopez.
“Devin is ready to do whatever he has to do to become undisputed, and hopefully, myself and Lou DiBella and Peter Kahn and Ferocious Promotions can get that fight over the line.
“It’s really one that I feel is a natural one in the division. I said he had the best resume of any lightweight in 2021. He beat Linares, he beat Diaz, and they’re two really solid wins.
“For a long time, we were struggling to get those names for Devin Haney. We have to pay up for those names because everyone rates Devin Haney, and they know how difficult he is to beat.
“So right now, you have to give Kambosos a massive amount of credit and respect. He was a massive underdog and the victory of the year.
“Devin was really confident, and that’s one thing you’re always going to get from Devin Haney, consistency in the gym and in the ring,” Hearn said.
Lomachenko had a better resume in 2021 than Haney with his wins over Richard Commey and Masayoshi Nakatani. Those guys are better overall than Jorge Linares and Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr.
Also, Lomachenko did a better job beating his opposition than Haney did, as Loma dominated. We saw Haney getting buzzed by Diaz and Linares.
Hearn: Haney in a great position to get Kambosos
“People talk about Devin Haney doesn’t do this, and Devin Haney doesn’t do that. Trust me, the numbers for Devin Haney on DAZN are fantastic.
“So, I think he’s in a great position, and he deserves this fight. He’s taking care of business solidly and quietly. For me, he’s the #1 lightweight in the world,” said Hearn.
It’s a combination of the money that Hearn is ready to offer and Haney being arguably the most beatable of the fighters vying for the honor to face Kambosos is that gives him the inside track.
The other fighters under consideration for Kambosos to face, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Vasily Lomachenko, would be bad choices for the Australian.
Kambosos is an excellent fighter, but he would have more than he bargained for if he were to defend against Lomachenko or Tank Davis.
Promoter Lou DiBella knows what he’s dealing with in terms of talent or lack thereof with Kambosos, and he’s not going to blindly match him against fighters that he knows with 100% certainty will beat him.
DiBella is a shrewd judge of talent, and he knows that he can’t let Kambosos fight Lomachenko or Tank, no matter how good the money. Look at it this way.
Kambosos has an even chance of beating Haney, and if he can do that, he’ll be allowed to milk his titles for a year before he’s required to make a mandatory defense.
In the meantime, if the WBO orders Kambosos to defend against mandatory Lomachenko, he can always vacate the belt, which I think he will with great posthaste after being advised to do so.