Boxing

Devin Haney’s Next Move: Eyes On 147, Options Abound


Trainer Bill Haney sees many options for exciting fights for Devin Haney at 147, with the King of the division, Terence Crawford, exciting the weight class.

Haney is coming off a win over WBC light welterweight champion Regis Progais last weekend in San Francisco, who Bill says is “The best guy” in the 140-lb division.

To keep the momentum going from Devin’s victory over Prograis, he will need to face a live opponent for his next fight, particularly if he plans on fighting on DAZN PPV.

Options for Haney at 147

Bill names these three fighters as appealing options for his son, Devin (31-0, 15 KOs), to potentially fight at 147 if he moves up:

– Mario Barrios
– Keith Thurman
– Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis

Bill had a gleam in his eyes when he mentioned the former secondary WBA light welterweight champion Mario Barrios, making it seem pretty obvious that he’s the intended target for Devin to fight for one of Crawford’s vacant 147-lb belts. Bill is so easy to read.

Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs) recently captured the WBC interim welterweight title with a twelve round unanimous decision over former WBA champion Yordenis Ugas last September.

The win for Barrios was his second consecutive since losing to Thurman last year in February in a one-sided twelve round decision.

If Haney beats Barrios, he would be in a position to be elevated to full WBC welterweight champion when Crawford vacates his title to move up to 154.

Haney would be made email champion for a second time, but it didn’t bother him when the WBC elevated him to 135-lb champ in 2019, so he’ll have no issues having that done again. First, Devin has to beat Barrios to win the WBC interim belt, and we’ll see if he chooses to go in that direction.

Old ‘One Time’ Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) might be too dangerous for Haney because he has power, speed, and a mean left hook that would spell doom for Devin’s jump-back fighting style.

Calculated approach

“You’ve been watching the sport for a long time. If you don’t get touched by the best guy [Regis Prograis] at 140, then obviously you can take a look at 147 with no disrespect,” said Bill Haney to Fight Hub TV when asked about Devin Haney potentially moving up to 147 for his next fight.

“The  147-lb division catches my attention,” said Bill, dodging the question, ‘Who catches his attention at 147.’ “I know the King [Terence Crawford] of the 147-lb division is making his exit, and it’ll be a new void that needs to be filled at 147, so we’re looking at it,” Bill continued about Haney potentially moving up to take advantage of the situation once Crawford vacates his remaining belts.

If Haney is going to move up, he’ll need to do it soon if he wants to capture the WBC interim welterweight title from the vulnerable champion Mario Barrios because he’s not excited to hold onto that belt for long.

The downside of Devin waiting too long before moving up is the possibility of Boots Ennis beginning to consolidate the belts at 147. Bill admits that Jaron (31-0, 28 KOs) will be the best in the welterweight division once Crawford is gone.

Once Boots has rounded up all the titles, Haney will be out of luck and forced to fight him rather than pick up a title after beating Barrios or the aging veteran, 35-year-old Thurman.

“Outside of Terence Crawford, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis is the best fighter in the [welterweight] division. You have Mario Barrios, who is at the top of the division as well,” said Bill.

“You have Keith Thurman, who is a veteran in the division. So, its all kinds of options and all kinds of ways a young fighter like Devin can go, and they all make for exciting fights.”

It would be courageous on Devin’s part to take on Boots Ennis for his IBF welterweight title, as he would show fans that he’s not someone who weaseled his way into titles at 135 & 140 by picking off 35-year-old fighters that he had a size advantage over.

Taking on Boots would require bravery on Haney’s part because he would likely be a significant underdog against him, and it wouldn’t matter if the fight were staged in the Bay Area again in San Francisco.

The oddsmakers would have Ennis as the favorite, and Haney would be forced to try and figure out a game plan that would work against him.

Using the hit-and-run style that Haney put on display against Prograis would likely result in him getting dropped repeatedly by Boots Ennis, as he would nail him with shots when he would jump backward after throwing. Haney is literally in the air when he’s jumping backward after throwing a punch, and Ennis would time him.

Is Boots too dangerous for Haney?

“Oh, absolutely,” said Bill Haney in a muted reaction to the comment, ‘Boots & Devin, that’s a hell of a fight.’

Bill looked shaken when asked about matching Haney against IBF welterweight champion Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis in his next fight if he does up to 147.

Bill quickly changed the subject, making it clear that he has no intentions of putting Devin in with the talented Boots Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) as that would be a step too far.

We could fight at 154 now. Where it’s going to go, we don’t know,” said Bill when asked if Haney would finish his career at 147 or 154. Right now, we’re highly motivated and energetic. He’s [Devin] in good spirits, he’s healthy. He has the best skills on the planet, bar none.”

Of course, Haney could move up to 154 right now, as he looked like a big welterweight against Prograis. He’s got the size to move up to junior middleweight with no problems. However, if Haney moves up, he would be under pressure to fight WBO champion Tim Tszyu or Jermell Charlo, and those would be challenging fights for him, even if he’s fighting defensively the entire time.

“This was the first boxing event sold out in Northern California, and we’re happy to have been a part of it to spearhead it,” said Bill, bragging about last Saturday’s fight between Devin and WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis selling out the 16,000-seat Chase Center in San Francisco.

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