Devin Haney (23-0, 15 KOs) is a great fighter, but he had never been tested before in the ring.
He had passed the eye test, but what would he do when he faced a real challenge?
That question was supposed to be answered on Friday, September 13, 2019 at the Hulu Theater inside the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, when he took on Zaur Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KOs).
Instead of a true test, Haney received an easy nights work. From the opening bell the difference in speed was obvious. Haney would let off four or five shots in a row, while Abdullaev would plod around the ring throwing one shot at a time.
There wasn’t a ton of action throughout the fight, but it was clear that Haney was the better fighter as he caught his man with the more cleaner shots.
Going into the fourth round, Abdullaev was absorbing punishment but he still seemed game. When the round came to a close the ring doctor climbed the apron and examined Abdullaev.
It didn’t take long for him to determine that he was unable to continue. The stoppage was due to an apparent broken nose and cheek bone.
It was a dominant showing once again by Haney. He wasted no time turning his attention to bigger and better things going forward.
“I want Lomachenko,” said Haney during his post fight press conference.
“I’m the interim WBC champion so he has to fight me now. I know a lot of people keep saying that I’m too young and I’m not ready but if I’m that easy than why don’t he just beat me now and get me out of the way? I’m only going to get better the longer he waits.”
Haney seems like an other worldly talent but Lomachenko is unlike any fighter he has ever faced.
He has effectively fought his way to the mandatory position so he will soon get his wish. Haney may soon find out that a fight with Lomachenko is much more difficult than he realized.
Devin Haney’s Grade: A
The new interim WBC Lightweight champion barely got touched in there. He consistently made Abdullaev swing at nothing but air. This was supposed to be a tough challenge for Haney.
In fact, it was supposed to be the toughest of his career. It turned out to be anything but that.
Abdullaev took punishment for four straight rounds before the referee called off the match due to a broken nose and cheek bone for Abdullaev. It was one way traffic all night.