Devin Haney will be back to defend his WBC lightweight title by the end of the year, as Mike Coppinger is reporting that there are two December dates in mind for his next fight on DAZN.
Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 are both in play, both Friday night dates that would add some oomph to weekends that already have big fights in the 135 lb division. Gervonta Davis will face Rolando Romero in a Showtime PPV main event on Dec. 5, while Vasiliy Lomachenko returns against Richard Commey in an ESPN main event on Dec. 11.
No opponent has been named, but Haney (26-0, 15 KO) has called out Joseph Diaz Jr, who just lost his scheduled Nov. 27 fight with Ryan Garcia after Garcia suffered a broken hand.
Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KO) has expressed interest, too, but that would come down to Matchroom making a deal with Golden Boy and MTK Global on the Diaz side. Golden Boy may push hard for Diaz to stay in place as Garcia’s opponent, but Diaz may have real reason to not want to rely on that actually happening in a good time frame, and if there’s a strong money offer for the Haney fight, it might be worth doing.
If it’s not Diaz, the contender situation gets pretty dicey with the WBC. Lomachenko is the No. 1 contender, and obviously that won’t be happening, same for Garcia at No. 2, Jorge Linares at No. 3 (Haney beat Linares last time out), and Commey at No. 4. You can also count out Zaur Abdullaev (No. 6, was already routed by Haney), Javier Fortuna (No. 8, just lost to Diaz), and George Kambosos Jr (No. 10, has the fight set with Teofimo Lopez).
The most likely names in the top 10 might be Yvan Mendy (5), Emmanuel Tagoe (7), and Masayoshi Nakatani (9). And I wouldn’t count out the opponent being No. 13-ranked Francesco Patera, a former European champion who has fought on a bunch of Matchroom cards in Italy and the United Kingdom — they know his team well and it may be an easy enough negotiation to get done. It’s not an ideal fight, but it might be the best there is without Diaz stepping in.