Wednesday, June 19, 2024  |



Devin Haney is a virtuoso in New York debut, stopping Zaur Abdullaev after four

Haney takes it to Zaur Abdullaev. Photo by Melina Pizano/Matchroom Boxing USA
Fighters Network

NEW YORK — Not a prospect, not yet a champion. Still, Devin Haney showed he’s not just worthy of an interim lightweight belt; he might be the next great American boxing star.

The San Francisco native, Las Vegas resident Haney (23-0, 15 knockouts) evoked comparisons to a young Floyd Mayweather Jr., teeing off on the previously unbeaten Zaur Abdullaev, painting him with power punches before the fight was stopped after the fourth round.

The fight headlined a card on DAZN, which broadcasted the fight live from The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KOs) cited a broken cheek bone, immediately shaking his head to his trainer once he came back to the corner. The 25 year old Russian was fighting for the first time in the United States since turning pro two years ago.

“I felt good on my performance. I wasn’t nearly done beating him, I was just warming up. I’m happy with the win,” said Haney.

From round one, Haney showed he could control Abdullaev just with his stiff left jab, which he doubled and tripled with speed and power. Haney made good use of his footwork to turn Abdullaev and hit him off the turn, sometimes with right hands doubled to the head and body.

Haney began putting some serious power behind his punches in the third, throwing a hook to the head follow by one to the body, and whipping uppercuts that bounced right off his chin. The left side of Abdullaev’s face was bright red, and his nose began to bleed, as his nose turned into a faucet and dripped to his legs.

With the win, Haney now has the interim version of the WBC belt that Vasiliy Lomachenko currently holds. Haney called out the pound for pound candidate Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), saying he was ready at age 20 to face the 31 year old, who has won world titles at three different weight classes.

“It’s No-machenko because he doesn’t want to fight me,” Haney claimed before jumping into his challenge. “Lomachenko, let’s get this fight going! Abdullaev was number two and I destroyed him. If I’m so easy, No-machenko should fight me and get me out of the way.”

Lomachenko, who holds the WBC, WBO and WBA titles at 135 pounds, is fresh off a unanimous decision victory over Luke Campbell on August 31 in England. Haney is already planning for the likelihood that a fight of that magnitude isn’t likely imminent, saying he’d like a spot on the Logan Paul vs. KSI (real name Olajide William Olatunji) rematch of Youtubers dabbling in boxing.

“I’ve been talking to my promoter about November 9,” said Haney, who is promoted by Matchroom Boxing in addition to his own company. “I think [the Paul-KSI fight is] good for the sport of boxing, brings new fans, and gets me back in the ring.”