Photos: Sumio Yamada
Rising star and undefeated lightweight contender, Devin “The Dream” Haney (23-0, 15 KOs) stopped previously unbeaten Zaur Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KOs) in four one-sided rounds to claim the vacant WBC interim lightweight title on Friday night at the Hulu Theater inside New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Working behind a sharp jab, Haney dominated the first four rounds and Abdullaev didn’t come out for round five due to a possibly broken cheekbone.
Haney is now mandatory challenger for the WBC crown held by Vasiliy Lomachenko, who also holds the WBA and WBO straps. “It’s No-machenko because he doesn’t want to fight me,” Haney proclaimed afterward. “Lomachenko, let’s get this fight going! Abdullaev was number two and I destroyed him. If I’m so easy, No-machenko should fight me and get me out of the way.
The brash 20-year-old expects to be back in action on the KSI vs. Logan Paul rematch bill at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. “I’ve been talking to Eddie Hearn about November 9. I think it’s good for the sport of boxing, brings new fans, and gets me back in the ring.
“I felt good on my performance. I wasn’t nearly done beating him, I was just warming up. I’m happy with the win.
“I don’t usually study because I learn fast. I can make quick adjustments anytime and that’s what I did tonight.”