Haney talks Teofimo Lopez, Tank Davis, Loma, Ryan Garcia, Jose Ramirez, more

Undefeated WBC Lightweight champion, Devin “The Dream” Haney (24-0, 15 KOs), sounds off, putting the big names surrounding his weight class on notice as he awaits the announcement of this next fight. Also, Haney gives his thoughts on his next fight during the COVID-19 pandemic and the mental and physical benefits of being quarantined.

I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Devin Haney. “This has been the longest time between fights in my career. My body received a well-deserved rest. I’m blessed.”

On working with and being compared to Floyd Mayweather:

“Lately, I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time with “TBE” Floyd Mayweather. Being compared to Mayweather is the ultimate compliment for any fighter in this era of boxing. I’m the most skilled fighter in the world right now, and I’m looking forward to an opponent I can make a statement against. I’m working diligently with Mauricio Sulaiman and the WBC to make the big fights happen. Every decision made by the WBC hasn’t went my way, but I have a genuine love and respect for the WBC family as a whole. I’m proud to represent the WBC organization.”

On Vasyl Lomachenko:

“Vasyl Lomachenko is a true professional and considered to be a top-five pound for pound champion. I challenged him for the WBC lightweight world title, and I didn’t get the big fight I wanted, but I got the belt I deserved by stopping Zaur Abdullaev and becoming Vasyl Lomachenko’s mandatory challenger to the lightweight world title. Ironically, the big fight never happened because Lomachenko and Top Rank petitioned the WBC not to fight me and award him the franchise title. I then petitioned the WBC to elevate me from interim champion to full world champion because Lomachenko chose not to fight me, and I had previously beat the highest-ranked fighter available. Let’s make this clear, you can’t win the franchise title, and you can’t challenge a franchise champion. I’m 21-years old, and I’m the WBC world lightweight champion, and I believe in fighting mandatory challengers. The 135 pounds unification runs through me. Enough said!

“At this point in my career, I don’t mind mandatories at all because it forces the best fighters in my division to get in the ring with me. They can run, but they can’t hide. Mandatory, for me, means mandatory cash. It’s good to be in a stacked division. If I can, I’m going to fight all of them. I hope Teofimo Lopez beats Loma and then fights me in a unification for all the belts like he promised Mauricio Sulaiman.”

On Ryan Garcia-Luke Campbell:

“To me, it looks like Luke Campbell is looking forward to the opportunity of getting beat up by me more than Ryan Garcia is looking forward to it. I’m guessing in Ryan’s defense, he’s never lost, so he’s moving a little different and trying to stay undefeated (lol), but I don’t think Eddie Reynosa and Golden Boy really don’t want him to fight me yet. Luke is accustomed to losing big fights. We know he’s come up short more than once. I think he has more of a… ‘I don’t give a damn attitude’ and I’m cool with that too!”

On Tank Davis:

“As far as Gervonta “Tank” Davis? I don’t like throwing water on a drowning man but leaving a stacked 135 pounds division, to take a fight at super featherweight kind of tells you where he’s at. It’s no secret I’m a problem at 135 pounds.”

On Jose Ramirez:

“I know Jose Ramirez ain’t sleeping good at night either, he got Haney at 140 pounds or Terence Crawford at 147 pounds problems to think about. I don’t wish that on anybody. Josh Taylor is an easier fight for Ramirez then me or Bud, but it’s still a tough 50/50 fight. Ramirez is out here looking like food on the low.”

On the COVID-19 Pandemic:

“This pandemic is something we’ve never seen,” Haney concluded. “It’s tough on everyone around the world. We’ve all been in quarantine for the last few months, including myself, and fortunately, staying at home is the best place to be. Similar in many ways to training camp. I pray to GOD things get back to normal soon. I’m anxious to get back in the ring as soon as the experts give the green light. I want all the smoke.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

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Loma talks Mayweather, Tank Davis, Haney, Lopez, more

Unified lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko is riding out the COVID-19 pandemic in his native Ukraine, but the three-weight kingpin is chomping at the bit to get his hands on the division’s leading names, including IBF world champion Teofimo Lopez, WBC world champion Devin Haney and Gervonta “Tank” Davis.

Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) has not fought since last August’s unanimous decision victory over Luke Campbell in London. He has sat back and taken notice of Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs), the Brooklyn-born prodigy who has been outspoken in his desire to fight the pound-for-pound Picasso.

This is what Lomachenko had to say in an exclusive interview with Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher.

On the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ukraine

“The situation as of this moment is from Monday, there will be very limited time to go outside. You will have to be in your house. You can’t gather more than two or three people. The situation is like you can only take your dog out for a walk or go out for something very serious. Other than that, you have to sit at home. You can’t even walk with your kids outside. Everyone will be on lockdown. This will go on until April 24 starting on Monday.”

On staying in shape at home in Ukraine

“I have a gym {at my house}, and of course I’m still training because it’s my job. Nobody knows when we can start. I always have to be in shape. I have to be ready always.”

On his feelings when he found out the tentative date of May 30 for the Lopez fight was postponed

“Of course, I was disappointed a little bit, but everything that’s happening {with self-quarantines} is happening for the better. The most important thing is for all the people on this planet to get back and get healthy and everything will go back to normal.”

On whether he thinks Lopez is ready for the sport’s elite

“I really think he’s a good boxer. He’s a top fighter. He’s young, he’s hungry, he has big power, and I want this fight. He’s a world champion, and he holds my belt. It’s IBF title.”

On whether he sees the Lopez fight ending in a knockout

“Nobody knows. It’s very unpredictable. Nobody can predict what is going to happen, how it’s going to happen. And the people are talking about which round they are going to knock somebody out or stop somebody. I am getting very, very interested. Now, I want to see {the fight}.”

On what makes the Lopez matchup interesting

“The interesting thing for me, it will be to look into his eyes and his father’s eyes and see their reaction {after the fight}.”

On his most memorable moment from fighting Luke Campbell in London

“The most exciting moment I remember from my trip to the UK is probably when we went on the top of the O2 Arena, and I saw all of London. I could see it and then the very next day I was the champion of that arena. That was the most memorable moment for me.”

Word association when Lomachenko hears the following names:

Teofimo Lopez Sr.

“I can’t say that. It wouldn’t look good. I was raised differently.

“{He is a} good father.”

Oleksandr Usyk

“Best friend.”

Gervonta “Tank”  Davis

“Power.”

Floyd Mayweather

“Boxing IQ.”

Bob Arum

“Best promoter.”

Fan Questions

Any concern over the long layoff?

“Yes, of course. You have to be active all the time. You have to be training a lot in the downtime between fights. Right now, I am relaxing more. I will need to spend more time training. I will need to spar more and do more work.”

If you could fight any boxer from any era to give you the best fight, who would you want to fight?

“Of course I would like to fight somebody who is undefeated, who has a good history, who has a big name. I think the most interesting name for me to fight would be Floyd Mayweather.”

What do you think of Teofimo’s shoulder roll and catch-and-shoot counterpunching style?

“It is not an easy type of fighting. It is not an easy style. It is easier to fight attacking fighters who are coming forward. It’s much easier. This type of counterpuncher is more difficult to fight. The winner will be who has the better boxing IQ. But that style with the shoulder, I think I know what I have to do to win.”

Do you think that Gervonta Davis will fight you?

“Right now, I don’t think he’s going to fight me. He might want to fight me, but his promoters are not going to let him. Aside from him, that weight class is getting very interesting. We have a lot of good names in the weight class. Not {just} the champions, but they are in the rankings. So I think it’s a hard weight division.”

Do you want to stay at lightweight?

“It’s unpredictable. If we are going to be sitting here for one year longer, who is going to be coming out and in what weight class will they be?”

What about the Instagram back-and-forth with Devin Haney?

“Yes, DAZN posted something about Haney, and he said he would knock me out. So that is why I answered him, ‘Hey, listen, are you serious?’ He has not fought anybody and now he is saying he is going to knock me out? I said, ‘No problem, let’s do it.’ Then he answered me right away saying, ‘Yes, we can do it.’ I said, ‘OK, I am ready.’ He knows I am ready. I think he is ready, and we can give the fight for the fans that everybody wants. That is why I mentioned before that this is a very interesting weight class with big names and good names coming to the weight class.”

 

Photo: Top Rank Boxing

Berchelt: ‘Lomachenko is another fight I’d gladly accept’

Three days before they launch punches at Dignity Health Sports Park, WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel Berchelt and challenger Jason Sosa joined forces Wednesday afternoon for a WBC Cares event at The Rock Boxing Gym along with super lightweight contender Alex Saucedo.

A group of local children were in attendance, as the fighters showed them basic boxing techniques, signed autographs, and gave them each a ticket to Saturday’s event.

After the boxing exhibition, the fighters and the children participated in a special Día de Los Muertos celebration, where they each wrote the name of a loved one they wanted to memorialize on a giant boxing glove.

“I feel very happy,” Berchelt said. “It’s very nice for me to teach the kids how to be disciplined so they can go far in this sport.”

“It’s a great feeling to spend time with the kids and show them what we do,” Sosa said.

Said Saucedo: “A lot of them already knew how to fight, how to box. It’s awesome to come and work with them.”

Berchelt-Sosa will headline a world championship doubleheader (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), as Jerwin Ancajas will defend his IBF junior bantamweight world title against Jonathan Rodriguez in the co-feature. Saucedo will take on Rod Salka in an eight-rounder (ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET) in his first bout since being knocked out by Maurice Hooker in a bid for the WBO 140-pound world title last November.

As Berchelt prepare for Saturday’s outdoor fistic extravaganza, this is what he had to say:

“This will be the next classic in the Mexico versus Puerto Rico rivalry. We are two fighters who always bring excitement to the ring, and this Saturday will be no different. There are many great fights for me in the future, but I know I need 100 percent focus to beat a great former world champion like Sosa.”

“The fans who watch this fight will be the winners. When you have two warriors in the ring, great things happen. I refuse to disappoint the fans. I fight for them.”

“I had a great training camp in Hermosillo, Mexico, with my trainer, Alfredo Caballero. We prepared to fight the very best version of Jason Sosa. After the fight, we can discuss the future.”

“It is no secret that Oscar Valdez is a fight I want. He is at 130 pounds now, and if we both win our next fights, let’s make it happen. There is no hesitation on my end. Lomachenko is another fight I’d gladly accept. I’m a fighter, and I want to fight the very best.”

Anthony Crolla: ‘I want to shock the world’

Anthony Crolla says he wants to produce one of the ‘biggest upsets of all time’ when he challenges pound-for-pound superstar Vasyl Lomachenko for his WBA and WBO Lightweight World titles at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on April 12.

‘Million Dollar’ won the WBA crown with a fifth-round knockout of Columbia’s Darleys Perez on a hugely emotional evening at the Manchester Arena in November 2015 but surrendered his title to Venezuela’s Jorge Linares in 2016.

Despite the former champion winning his last three fights against Daud Yordan, Edson Ramirez, and Ricky Burns, Crolla accepts he is a huge underdog heading into the biggest fight of his career with Ukraine’s Lomachenko, but the Manchester hero is confident he can shock the World by dethroning ‘Hi-Tech.’

“I want to shock the world and beating him would be one of the biggest upsets of all time,” said Crolla. “He’s a unique fighter, and I’ve had to change up sparring to spar with different guys to cover everything he can throw at me. We’ve used top-class sparring partners like Jazza Dickens and Frankie Gavin, who was probably the best amateur this country has ever produced.

“There is less pressure on me, but I have my own expectations and want to give a great account of myself and cause one of the biggest upsets ever by a British fighter. But Lomachenko is mentally very tough; he makes fighters quit, I know that. I know I will have to put up with being frustrated by him.

“Go back through history and see how many fighters have had the movement he’s got. This is the fight I wanted, though. I wanted a big one, and I’ve got myself into mandatory position to face him. The money is great, but it’s about the challenge. I’ve got myself into this place, so I want to make the most of it.

“Training has gone really well. It’s been brutal at times, but you expect it to be. I’ve really been put through it in this camp. My life has just been gyms and motorways. But I’m fighting one of the best fighters on the planet, and I will be best prepared I can possibly be. I’m not going over there just for a holiday.”

Watch Lomachenko vs. Crolla in Los Angeles from 3 am this Saturday on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Lomachenko-Crolla set for April 12 in Los Angeles

After thrilling Big Apple audiences in his last three bouts, Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko is ready to bring his lightweight world titles to the City of Angels.

Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound Picasso and the WBA and WBO lightweight world champion, will defend his titles against former lightweight world champion Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla on Friday, April 12 at Staples Center. In the co-feature, longtime WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will make his light heavyweight debut against an opponent to be announced in a 10-rounder.

Lomachenko-Crolla and Ramirez’s fight will stream live and exclusively in the United States beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on ESPN+ —  the direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service, which will mark its one-year anniversary since launching on the day of the fight. The entire undercard will also stream live on ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing USA, tickets priced at $310.50, $207, $103.50, $77.65, and $51.75 (including facility fees) go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 12 p.m. PT. Lomachenko’s last headlining appearance in Los Angeles came in August 2017 at the Microsoft Theater when he defended his 130-pound world title against Miguel Marriaga via seventh-round TKO.

“Staples Center is the perfect venue to showcase one of boxing’s great fighters, Vasiliy Lomachenko, who will test himself against a top contender in Anthony Crolla of Great Britain,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.

“Los Angeles boxing fans are passionate and knowledgeable, and I look forward to putting on a spectacular show for them at Staples Center,” Lomachenko said. “Crolla is my mandatory challenger, and I like that he always comes to fight. He’s going to make the most of this opportunity.”

Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) entered the professional ranks following an amateur career that included a pair of Olympic gold medals for his native Ukraine and an unprecedented 396-1 record. He set a boxing record by winning world titles in three weight classes in 12 fights, shattering the previous mark of 20 set by Jeff Fenech 30 years prior. He was named 2017 Fighter of the Year by most boxing outlets after forcing all three of his opponents — Jason Sosa, Marriaga and fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux — to quit on their stools.

In May 2018, he moved up in weight and captured the WBA lightweight title when he rebounded from a torn labrum and a sixth-round knockdown to stop Jorge Linares at Madison Square Garden with a body shot in the 10th round. That December, in front of a sold-out Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden crowd, he scored a pair of knockdowns and won a wide unanimous decision over WBO lightweight champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza to unify titles.

Ramirez (39-0, 25 KOs) is ready to make his mark at light heavyweight after making five successful defenses of his WBO world title. The native of Mazatlán, Mexico, is a 10-year pro who won the world title in April 2016 with a shutout unanimous decision over two-weight world champion Arthur Abraham. In his last bout, Dec. 14 in Corpus Christi, Texas, he closed the show strong and defeated Jesse “Hollywood” Hart via majority decision. Ramirez, who has not ruled out returning to super middleweight to defend his title, also has his sights set on the light heavyweight division’s leading names.

“I am very motivated because of all the new things I have been doing to advance my career,” Ramirez said. “I am very excited to fight at Staples Center for the first time, as I consider Los Angeles my second home. I knew there will be many Latino fans supporting me. I want to become an idol of Mexican boxing, and nothing will stop me as I work to fulfill my dreams. I am also working with a new trainer, Julian Chua, who is pushing me to become the best fighter possible.”

Tank Davis: ‘Loma is not as good as everybody thinks'(VIDEO)

Vasyl Lomachenko is considered by many as one of the best, if not the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport of boxing, and recently, Lomachenko won a unification fight against Jose Pedraza. Now, in only 13 contests, Lomachenko(12-1, 9 KOs) is a three-division world champion and a unified champion at 135.

While many think Loma is special, WBA junior lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis is not impressed. In 2017, Davis stopped Pedraza in seven rounds, while Lomachenko went the distance with Pedraza, and according to Davis, Loma is not all that special.

“Listen, Pedraza lost to me and went up to 135 and beat a champ (Ray Beltran),” Davis said. “It showed that Pedraza can fight, and it showed that Loma is not as good as everybody thinks. He got 12(13)fights and he on the pound-for-pound(list); come on.”

Loma is special, but Tank Davis is a quality fighter as well. The eyes show you that Lomachenko is a great fighter, and the eyes show you that Davis is not too far behind. However, just like a lot of things in boxing, this is a fight we will probably have to wait on.

Listen below:

Photos from Lomachenko’s victory over Pedraza

WBA lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko wanted to unify lightweight world titles. After 12 rounds, he got his wish, although WBO champion Jose Pedraza sure didn’t make it easy and halted Lomachenko‘s eight-bout knockout streak in the process.

Lomachenko (12-1 9 KOs,) defeated Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) via unanimous decision in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,312 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden to unify world titles for the first time in his illustrious career.

Scores were 119-107 and 117-109 2X.

“It was my dream to unify titles,” Lomachenko said. “It was my next goal. I can now focus on my next chapter.

“He’s a veteran. He did a very good job, and I respect Pedraza and his team.”

Said Pedraza: “I am happy with my performance tonight. I went 12 rounds with the best fighter in the world. I knew what we were going up against. I thought it was a close fight until the knockdowns. At the end of the day, I am proud of what I did.”

It was tactical fight, as Pedraza’s long arms kept Lomachenko at bay for much of the night. In the 11th round, Lomachenko, turned up the heat, scoring a pair of body shot knockdowns as Pedraza barely survived the round.

For Lomachenko, it’s on to the next challenge.

Photos/courtesy of Top Rank/Mikey Williams:

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Loma on Pacquiao: ‘I think his career is done’

Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring on January 19 against Adrien Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. For the 39-year-old Pacquiao, who recently signed with Al Haymon, it’s an opportunity to beat a very good fighter with name recognition. Also, it could be an opportunity to get a rumored rematch with Floyd Mayweather or a fight with other big name fighters who are signed to Haymon and PBC.

WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, who has a unification fight against WBO lightweight world champion Jose Pedraza at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, and who many thought would eventually fight Pacquiao at some point, believes Pacquiao’s best years are behind him and would have no desire to fight the Philippine legend.

“I’m not disrespecting Pacquiao, but I don’t want to make my name bigger because I beat an old legend,” Lomachenko said at a press conference today. “I have my own road. There are a lot of good fighters to fight who are comparable to me. He’s old. I think his career is done. I don’t want to become a legend in boxing because of him.”

In reality, now that Pacquiao is with Haymon, a fight Lomachenko would probably be difficult to make. Therefore, it probably won’t happen.

Pacquiao’s best years are behind him, but he still is a formidable opponent for anybody as we saw back in July when he stopped Lucas Matthysse, so I don’t think he’s done just yet. In fact, Pacquiao probably beats Broner in January.

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Jose Pedraza: ‘Lomachenko Has Never Faced a Fighter Like Me’

The ‘Sniper’ guarantees there will be a surprise on Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. WBO lightweight champion Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs) trained in front of the media of ‘The Island of Enchantment’ before departing for Las Vegas, where he will conclude training camp for his upcoming title unification bout against WBA champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs).

This is what Pedraza, a two-weight world champion, had to say during his media workout in Puerto Rico.

About his fight against Lomachenko

“Technically speaking, he has never faced a fighter like me.”

About fighting in New York

“I’m very excited for this fight and even more because the fight will be in New York where I will have the support of all the Puerto Ricans.”

On what fans can expect of him on December 8

“The fans can expect an even more focused and intelligent Jose Pedraza in the ring. On that night, I will show all my skills.”

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, tickets for Lomachenko-Pedraza are on sale now. Priced at $506, $356, $206, $106, and $56, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.

Lomachenko-Pedraza will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.

Loma: ‘After Pedraza, we can talk about fighting Mikey(Garcia)’

WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko was at home at the Boxing Laboratory as he prepared for his next challenge. Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs), who has won world titles in three weight classes in just 12 pro fights, will seek to unify titles for the first time as a pro when he takes on WBO champion Jose Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs), Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET).
Lomachenko worked out for the media Tuesday, showing off his assortment of training tricks. This is what the pound-for-pound great had to say.

On the Pedraza fight

“I had a long rest {following shoulder surgery}. I am looking forward to seeing how I feel and taking on a tough opponent like Pedraza. I haven’t had much time to watch his fights.”

On potentially unifying the titles

“I can’t wait. After this fight, a lot of doors will be open. Title unification fights are good for the sport of boxing.”

On future opponents

“I love challenges. That’s what motivates me. I want all the top fighters. I’m open to anyone.”

On the Jorge Linares fight

“It was the first time I was knocked down as a pro. After the knockdown, I came back and finished the fight. It was a tough fight, but I showed the heart of a champion.”

On whether he’ll remain at lightweight

“I believe I’ll stay at 135 and focus on 135 because when I fought against Linares, I felt like he was bigger than me. So I’ll stay at 135 because I think 135 is not my {ideal} weight category right now. After one or two years, it will be my {ideal} weight.”

On a Mikey Garcia fight

“I hope {it will happen}. We can see in the future because my next fight is against Pedraza. After Pedraza, we can talk about fighting Mikey.”

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, tickets for Lomachenko-Pedraza are on sale now. Priced at $506, $356, $206, $106, and $56, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.

Lomachenko-Pedraza will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank