Devin Haney is easily one of the most exciting young boxers in the sport today.
If the 20-year-old rising star is going to permanently transform his status from prospect to contender, Friday night will be the perfect opportunity. That’s when the “Dream” faces Zaur Abdullaev at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, with the WBC world interim lightweight title on the line. A win and Haney will become the mandatory challenger to unified world lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko’s WBC strap.
Join DAZN and watch Haney vs. Abdullaev on Sept. 13
Although Top Rank’s Bob Arum will be pushing for Lomachenko to face the winner of an expected bout between IBF titleholder Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez first, Matchroom Boxing president Eddie Hearn has already said that Haney will call out Loma in the ring if victorious Friday night.
In fact, Haney isn’t waiting.
“I think [Lomachenko’s] acting like this isn’t a title eliminator,” Haney told DAZN News earlier in the week. “Me or Abdullaev really exist. But that’s OK. After this fight, we’re going to demand that fight, push for that fight and we’ll see what happens. After this fight, we’re in play for the Lomachenko fight.”
Haney further put Lomachenko on notice Wednesday, telling the Ukrainian’s manager, Egis Klimas, that “I’m gonna show you a sample of what I’m going to give Loma.”
Haney (22-0, 14 KOs) is coming off a scintillating seventh-round KO of Antonio Moran in May, knocking him out on his feet instantly via a devastating overhand right in a KO of the Year candidate.
Abdullaev (11-0, 7 KOs) scored a TKO of Humberto Martinez in February during his last bout.
Will the “Dream” dazzle again and get one step closer to Lomachenko or will Abdullaev shock the boxing world with an upset?
Follow Sporting News for all the live updates, fight results and highlights from the main card, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
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