Hector Tanajara Jr.: ‘Devin Haney is the most beatable of the top dogs’
Unbeaten lightweight title contender Hector Tanajara Jr. believes he is the spoiler of his weight class.
Tanajara (19-0, 5 knockouts), of San Antonio, Texas, who is coming off the toughest test to date in January when he outpointed ex-title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos in a hometown appearance, told The Ring this week that he can beat anyone at 135 pounds.
When we think of top fighters at lightweight, five names automatically come to mind: Vasiliy Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, and Ryan Garcia.
Who is the most beatable?
“I would say out of them all, Devin Haney is the most beatable of the top dogs,” Tanajara stated.
What about Haney makes him the most vulnerable?
“There’s nothing specific,” he continued. “I just think he’s the most beatable.”
But surely there is something Tanajara sees in Haney that stirs him a certain way, right? He eventually came clean.
“I do think he is a bit overhyped,” he admitted. “He hasn’t really fought anybody that has been able to test him to his limits like I have.”
Tanajara then took a shot at Haney’s path to the WBC title.
“He didn’t fight anybody to win the world title; it was basically handed to him.”
Tanajara has a point.
The Las Vegas-based Haney (24-0, 15 knockouts) scored a fourth-round knockout of Zair Abdullaev last September to win the interim WBC title. The following month, Haney was promoted to full titleholder without having to step foot in the ring. The upgrade came as a result of Lomachenko’s promotion to “franchise champion.”
However, Top Rank, which promotes Lomachenko, had requested that their fighter be promoted to franchise champion. The process was similar to how undefeated middleweight Jermell Charlo became a titleholder after pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez was elevated. The franchise champion addition intends to allow superstar fighters to fight whom they want without the fear of getting stripped for not following mandatory defense obligations.
Tanajara is not into the politics of the sport, he just wants to prove who is the better fighter.
“I’m ready to fight Haney — I would give him problems,” he added. “I box very well in most situations, and I am lengthy.”
Standing at 5-foot-10 with a 75-inch reach, the 23-year-old Tanajara has a two-inch height advantage and a four-inch reach advantage over Haney.
Haney (24-0, 15KOs) was declared the WBC’s “Champion in Recess” on December 13, after undergoing shoulder surgery, which left him unable to honor a mandatory title defense versus Javier Fortuna. Haney sustained the injury following a 12-round victory over Alfredo Santiago in November.
Last week the WBC reinstated Haney as their full titleholder. It’s not easy to follow, is it?