Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is working on finalizing the next fight for WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney, and tells Ak & Barak that he expects it will be against Jorge Linares, which has been expected for a bit.
“I see a lot of reports saying May 15, all done, all signed. That’s not true,” Hearn said. “What is true is that we have agreed the number with Robert Diaz and Golden Boy, it’s taken a long time. Now we’re putting that on paper. May 15 is a working date. It will be somewhere around that date.”
Hearn also acknowledged the recent Twitter spat between Haney and former three-division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, and says that Haney’s team really do want the fight, and that while he will look into it — Haney-Linares is not official — he doesn’t expect Top Rank to allow Lomachenko to fight Haney on DAZN.
“There was a bit of a roadblock with Lomachenko, because obviously these two started having beef on Twitter. Bill Haney phoned me up and said, ‘Look, can we get Lomachenko?’ So I reached out, I was actually talking to Lomachenko’s manager Egis Klimas. We may make an offer in there as well, whether we can make that fight,” Hearn said.
“For me, I like the Linares fight. With everything going on with (Top Rank promoter) Bob (Arum), Bob’s already made it clear in interviews that he wouldn’t let Lomachenko fight Haney over on DAZN. He’ll wait for Haney to leave DAZN and all this kind of stuff that we haven’t really got time for.
“We just want to make fights, we just want to progress the career of Devin Haney, and I really feel that Jorge Linares is that guy that gives him — me and Bill Haney always sort of joust with each other on that — that defining fight, that credibility fight, that fight to say, ‘Yeah, we are on the same level as Tank and Teofimo and all these guys.’”
Hearn also readily admits that while he is personally confident that Haney (25-0, 15 KO) truly is the best lightweight in the world, he simply does not have the statement wins yet to really back up that claim.
“However you look at it, right now Devin hasn’t had that kind of fight. He had Gamboa coming towards the end of his career. I feel like Devin Haney is the best lightweight in the world, but until he starts stepping up against those kind of caliber opposition, we can’t necessarily sing from the rooftops with the same credibility.
“So I love the Jorge Linares fight, I think it’s a tremendous fight. We will explore the Lomachenko fight as well, but I think Bob’s made his position clear. But you’re very, very likely to see (Haney against) Jorge Linares in May on DAZN, and I think it’s a wonderful fight.”