Devin Haney’s nickname is “The Dream,” and he is living it on his terms. Now that he is scheduled to fight unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. on June 5 for the undisputed lightweight championship, Haney is poised to realize a massive goal in his athletic career.
He is now positioned to surpass his mentor and boxing business and lifestyle icon, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Haney has broken every convention in boxing. He became the youngest boxing promoter in United States history at 19 years old with his Devin Haney Promotions. From the outset, Haney created partnerships with boxing promoters and television networks or streaming services to further his brand, and he has not been disappointing.
‼️ George Kambosos Jr vs Devin Haney is reportedly now a done deal for the undisputed lightweight world titles on June 5th in Australia. It's claimed Haney has signed a multi-fight co-promotional deal with Bob Arum's Top Rank and Lou DiBella. [According to @MikeCoppinger] pic.twitter.com/UJx69CGvIu
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) March 27, 2022
The New Hybrid
During a time when Mayweather has proved the value of being a boxer-businessman, Haney has jumped into the game in a way most cannot.
Aside from being trained by his father, Bill Haney, the Bay Area native has mentors in the Mayweather family of trainers, former world champions like Zab Judah, and more.
Haney won his first world championship at 21 years old when he defeated Zaur Abdullaev in 2019. Interestingly, he was the same age Mayweather was when he defeated Genaro Hernandez to capture his first world title.
The Journey | Respectively
Mayweather was then signed to Top Rank Promotions under its founder and chairman Bob Arum. He famously left the promotion for a then-whopping $750,000 to begin Mayweather Promotions and changed his pseudonym from “Pretty Boy” Floyd to “Money” Mayweather.
The rest is history as Floyd became the most polarizing boxer in history next to Muhammad Ali. However, he Jumpman leaped over all boxing financial records as a result.
It started by defeating Top Rank’s then-reigning superstar, Oscar De La Hoya, and closing the chapter of their rivalry. However, it was a pivotal moment that led Mayweather to come into his own.
Now that moment has come for Haney, and he is going to Melbourne, Australia, to prove it. Kambosos Jr. defeated Teofimo Lopez Jr. via a split decision back in November and gained the WBO, IBF, WBA, and The Ring lightweight titles. Kambosos shifted the lightweight hierarchy, which formerly consisted of Lopez, Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, and Haney.
Kambosos offered the chance to get his titles to Vasiliy Lomachenko. However, the Ukrainian currently is in his home country fighting against the Russian invasion.
Then Haney made a deal with Mayweather’s former promoter Top Rank, an exclusive licensing agreement with ESPN, and Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment, the promoter for Kambosos.
It is a signal that Bob Arum recognizes the mistakes from the past. Losing Mayweather for three-quarter of a million dollars was a bad move in hindsight, based on past pay-per-vew numbers alone.
Unlike Mayweather, Haney is thriving during the streaming era, and unlike pay-per-view, the numbers are different and the technology more complicated for the end user.
Pay-per-view made Mayweather the highest-paid athlete year after year when he was active, and he holds the two highest-performing boxing PPVs of all time.
Are You Not Entertained?
It took Floyd 20 fights after his first world title for his life-changing moment against Oscar De La Hoya to become “Money May.”
However, Mayweather never became undisputed and never fought to become undisputed. That is partially due to the WBO title seemingly in the hands of Top Rank fighters.
Haney has that chance, and although a win in another country won’t exactly become a watershed moment in the States, it does prime Haney to become the marquee draw he is expected to be.
In a sports entertainment landscape where athletes are starting to realize their worth, Devin Haney is the evolution of Mayweather in the boxing boardroom. The fighter could become undisputed in fewer fights than it took Terence Crawford at light-welterweight and accomplish something Mayweather couldn’t do.
The only question now is are you paying attention?