SAN DIEGO, Calif., November 6, 2020 – The boxing community loves a good argument – call it a discussion. But for once, few would disagree the lightweight division is currently the most exciting thanks to its rising stars.
Two of them, Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta Davis, have scored statement wins over significant opponents in the last two weeks. Now the third rider of the Four Horsemen comes with the desire to do the same.
Devin Haney of Las Vegas (24-0, 15 KOs) has been out of the ring over a year. If you don’t have much recall of his last fight, it’s because the big buzz came from the YouTube matchup between KSI and Logan Paul on the same card.
The 21-year-old Haney now gets a chance to make a more lasting impression against veteran Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) Saturday from Hollywood, Florida. Haney’s WBC lightweight title (the “regular” title) is at stake. The fight airs on DAZN at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. Both fighters made weight right at the 135-pound limit.
Devin Haney must get attention from his rivals and the fans
In his last fight, Haney won every round on all three cards against Alfredo Santiago.
He then took some time to deal with shoulder surgery, and then found himself sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the meantime, two of his rivals made big statements. The third, Ryan Garcia, faces his own statement-making fight against Luke Campbell in four weeks on December 5, with the winner becoming the WBC mandatory for either Haney or Gamboa. Haney knows he needs to deliver a show against Gamboa.
“I don’t just want to win, I want to win in spectacular fashion,” said Haney. “I want to beat Gamboa worse than anyone has to date. I want to show him that I am the best fighter in the world and better than anyone he’s ever faced.
“I have to make a statement. The eyes of the boxing world are all on me again. They’ve heard me talk the talk and now it’s time to walk the walk.”
Gamboa lost his last bout to Gervonta Davis and was knocked down three times before a 12th round stoppage.
But Gamboa gave Davis a bigger challenge than expected, bigger than Leo Santa Cruz did last Saturday. Gamboa also did it on one leg after an Achilles tendon injury early in the fight. It was one of those rare losses that raises a boxer’s stock.
To keep up with his rivals, Haney needs to dominate Gamboa, and it might not be easy. Haney is highly skilled but isn’t a power punching threat in the same way as Davis, or a boxer-puncher like Lopez, or a speed demon like Garcia. For now, he’s a full-fledged member of the Four Horsemen. This seemingly low key fight could either re-fuel Haney’s career or leave him as the guy tagging along with his cool buddies.
Heavyweight bouts highlight undercard lineup
On the undercard, rising Croatian heavyweight talent Filip Hrgovic (11-0, 9 KOs) faces American Rydell Booker of Detroit. (26-3, 13 KOs). Another pair of heavyweights make up on the undercard, the undefeated Chinese star Zhilei Zhang (21-0, 18 KOs) and American Devin Vargas of Ohio (22-6, 9 KOs). All four hit the scale well over 240 pounds.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning sportswriter and a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on social media: @PRProSanDiego.
Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.