When Mikey Garcia first vacated the WBC lightweight title, it almost seemed like a lock that Luke Campbell and Devin Haney would get their shot at the vacant belt.
Only, it was Campbell who is getting an opportunity to win the WBC title while Haney is left having to prove himself worthy of a championship fight at least one more time. To be ordered to have to go through a title eliminator next month in New York while Campbell is fighting for a total of three world titles in less than two weeks against Vasiliy Lomachenko was something that upset Haney at first.
Haney spoke to Fightful to get his thoughts about hearing that he would have to fight Zaur Abdullaev in an eliminator where the winner faces the winner of Lomachenko vs. Campbell, presumably for the latter's WBA, WBO and WBC titles when it is all said and done. Originally, the plan was for a four-man tournament to crown the next mandatory challenger between Haney, Abdullaev, Teofimo Lopez and Javier Fortuna, but that has since then devolved into a two-man box off.
Although Haney would like to fight for the belt right now, he is excited to be headlining Madison Square Garden in his trip into the hallowed venue.
“When I first found out that I was going to be fighting in an eliminator and not for a world title, I was pretty upset because I was originally going to have to win two eliminators. Teofimo was going to fight Javier Fortuna and I was going to fight Abdullaev. I was going to fight the winner of that fight. I was pretty bummed out, but everything happens for a reason. I’m a firm believer that timing is everything and like I said, Zaur is better off fighting me now because I’m only going to get better and if they wait any longer, I’ll just get better. Everything is falling into place and when the time is right, I’ll be fighting for a world title," Haney said.
Hearn's brief chat with Fightful can be heard in the media call available at the top of the page. Haney vs. Abdullaev will headline the September 13 Matchroom Boxing on DAZN card from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.