DAZN seems to be all in on the Devin Haney Business, and for now, business is good.
The 20 year old phenom from Las Vegas continued his remarkable climb up the lightweight ranks, needing just four rounds to stop undefeated yet untested Russian Zahr Abdullaev, a wide shouldered twenty-five year old Russian prospect who found himself highly overmatched.
From the first round on a clear pattern developed. Haney circled the ring as Abdullaev came forward with his hands high and his elbows tight. But Abdullaev didn’t many throw near enough punches to effectively pressure Haney, and the young American just picked him apart. Working consistently behind a beautiful, fast, yet ramrod jab that never dropped off, Haney landed whatever he wanted. Overhand rights, left hooks, uppercuts with both hands. Everything seemed to land.
Haney started adding hard left hooks to the body in the third round and kept his punch rate consistent and devastating. Abdullaev would throw a little more as the rounds went on, but it was never enough to bother Haney or get any sort of respect. The fourth round saw Haney continue to the land his jab and blood started coming out of Abdullaev’s nose about two minutes into the round. Abdullaev walked back to his corner totally discouraged and with both his nose and cheek bone looking the worse for wear, the Russian’s corner decided to the stop the fight. It was certainly a smart choice.
The win moves Haney to 23-0 and is the fifteenth stoppage of his career. He showed no signs of being bothered by fighting in New York City, at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Rather Haney looked relaxed as ever and did whatever he wanted in the ring tonight.
Haney also becomes the mandatory to the WBC lightweight title won last week by Vasyl Lomachenko, who Haney called out throughout the week. That fight is not likely to happen anytime soon, as Loma will wait to face the winner of the upcoming IBF lightweight title bout between Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez. Haney’s promoters will likely keep him busy by putting him on the undercard of the KSI-Logan Paul rematch at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in November. As absurd as that sounds, it will be an excellent chance to showcase Haney in what has to be a very large audience.
The reality is that there should be no rush for Haney, who is only twenty years old and has yet to face another top ten lightweight. While Haney should hope that Teofimo Lopez doesn’t get to Lomachenko first, there should be no rush for this young man.
If he plays his cards right, we will be seeing him for a long, long time.