Boxing, an age-old sport characterized by technique, tenacity, and mind games, is often likened to a strategic game of chess. And in this grand arena, a potential bout looms large – the much-anticipated duel between Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis. The ever-eager Haney is all set to step into the limelight, but Leonard Ellerbe, the seasoned CEO of Mayweather Promotions, is treading with caution. Amidst the heated dialogues and press conferences, Haney’s clarion call is unwavering: this contest is “the biggest in boxing right now,” and it shouldn’t be dangled in front of fans like a carrot, only to be delayed.
Taking a leaf from the world of culinary arts, the ‘marination’ model adopted by Mayweather Promotions is gaining both intrigue and scrutiny. This strategy, reminiscent of ingredients soaking to attain the right flavor, involves letting potential mega-fights stew in anticipation, aiming to maximize their commercial allure. An archetype of this was the iconic Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao bout. Though financially a blockbuster, the actual contest was perceived by many as underwhelming.
Haney, not mincing his words, believes this ‘marination’ model hampers boxing’s vibrancy. “The Mayweather Promotions marination model hurts the sport,” he argues. Fans are left waiting, sometimes in vain, for matchups they are genuinely excited about. It prompts the question: Is Mayweather Promotions betting too heavily on this drawn-out approach? Especially when one considers Davis, who, despite an illustrious decade in professional boxing, hasn’t squared off against the crème de la crème of fighters.
A narrative gaining traction in boxing circles suggests that PBC & Mayweather Promotions might be overprotective of Tank Davis. By lining him up against comparatively milder competitors, they’re allegedly maximizing his undefeated streak and subsequently, his financial allure. Fighters of the caliber of Haney, boasting an impeccable 30-0, 15 KOs track record, and the formidable Shakur Stevenson are seen as potential threats to Davis’s reign.
“I’m willing to do what it takes to make the biggest fights happen. I’ve proven that. I’ve signed with other networks and promoters to make the fights happen,” voiced Haney, expressing his commitment to Fighthype. Yet, the upcoming bout between Davis and Regis Prograis on December 9th casts a shadow of uncertainty. If Davis doesn’t emerge victoriously against Prograis, will Mayweather Promotions still risk pitting him against a titan like Haney?
While the Davis-Haney narrative unfolds, a parallel subplot draws attention. Haney’s earnest attempts to face Shakur Stevenson and the subsequent negotiation intricacies. Haney recalls, “The world seen what happened. We sent him an offer, he countered…” Despite his willingness to compromise on monetary terms, Stevenson’s hesitation has left many baffled.
Elaborating further on this, Haney shared, “He don’t have nothing in the lightweight division. So, it’s like, what do you call it? If you feel like you’re levels above me and I’m a bitch and all that, then you would take it, right?”
Devin Haney’s zeal and readiness to give fans unforgettable bouts are evident. But will major players in the boxing world, like Mayweather Promotions, reciprocate his passion? Haney’s assertion, “But I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make the biggest fights happen. I think so,” stands as a testament to his dedication.
As the intricate dance of negotiations, challenges, and strategies continues, fans worldwide remain hopeful of witnessing an epic contest that could redefine boxing history. The potential Haney-Davis confrontation, rich in strategy, politics, skill, and drama, holds unparalleled promise. It’s now up to the decision-makers to carve the future of this tantalizing matchup.