Devin Haney could be without his father on fight night but Bill Haney prepared him for this challenge

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Title belt is seen as professional boxer and WBC lightweight title holder, Devin Haney (R) and William Haney visit The Empire State Building on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Title belt is seen as professional boxer and WBC lightweight title holder, Devin Haney (R) and William Haney visit The Empire State Building on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust) /

Lightweight boxer Devin Haney will soon fight for the undisputed championship but he may have to do so without his father/trainer present.

On June 4th, Devin Haney (27-0) will fight George Kambosos Jr. (20-0) in an undisputed lightweight matchup. The fight will be at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

In what will be the biggest moment of Haney’s career, there’s a chance that his right-hand man won’t be by his side. That’s his father Bill Haney. Bill also serves as Devin’s trainer and is his best friend.

The two have been inseparable in Devin’s young career, whenever you see one, the other is a step away. But that may not be the case when Devin steps into the ring in a couple of weeks.

The reason being is that Bill Haney’s visa has not been approved to travel to Australia due to a felony drug conviction that he served time for in 1992. Bill has been open about his past and has since lived a clean life, but that hasn’t mattered in his quest for visa approval.

Haney may not only be without his father/head trainer, but his primary assistant trainer, Ben Davison, who’s from the United Kingdom, will also likely miss the fight due to visa issues.

For now, Haney’s head trainer the night of the fight will be Yoel Judah, the father, and trainer of the boxing Judah brothers. That includes Zab Judah, who was the undisputed junior welterweight champion in 2005. Zab is also Devin’s godfather, so Haney will still have a familiar presence in his corner.

Bill Haney’s visa hasn’t been officially denied, and legendary promoter Bob Arum and Top Rank are working to help Haney get approved, so there’s still a chance he could make it over. For now, Haney will be facing this challenge without his father by his side.

The challenge at hand is traveling halfway across the world to Australia and fighting for an undisputed lightweight championship against Kambosos Jr., who is an Australian native.

With the circumstances mounting against the 23-year-old Haney, he, his father, and his entire team remain confident that he will soon be crowned an undisputed champion.

That’s because these circumstances aren’t entirely new. Although Bill Haney may not be in Devin’s corner on fight night, Bill has been preparing Devin his entire life to go into other people’s backyards and beat them up on their home turf.

Bill Haney made Devin Haney a road warrior

Devin Haney has lived most of his young life on the road, fighting, because of the vision of his father Bill. Their journey started in Oakland, California, but the family moved to Las Vegas, the fight capital of the world, when Devin was seven years old.

That’s where Devin developed as a boxer and became an amateur standout. He was lucky enough to grow up in good gyms around great boxing names. However, Bill never allowed Devin to get comfortable.

To make sure the young Devin knew he could be the best boxer in the world, Bill took him around America to fight all the best boxers. Not just the traditional amateur tournaments, the Haney’s would go to the home gyms of all the top amateur boxers to spar them in their comfort zone.

Bill and Devin detailed this experience in an appearance on the “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” podcast. Bill talks about going to Baltimore to spar Gervonta Davis (26-0), traveling to Newark to spar Shakur Stevenson (18-0), and knocking on doors in New York to spar Richardson Hitchins (14-0) and Josue Vargas (20-2).

This was all done because Bill Haney wanted to teach his son a valuable lesson young:

I wanted him (Devin) to know that ain’t no n**** no tougher than no n**** nowhere. All these n****s is the same. Whether they Philly n****s, Baltimore n****s, Oakland n****s, LA n****s.

Or the present-day challenge, an Australian fighter. Luckily, Devin Haney also has experience fighting outside of America in hostile environments.

Unlike most amateur standouts, Haney abandoned the Olympic route and instead decided to travel to Tijuana, Mexico in 2015 to turn pro at just 17 years old.

Devin Haney’s first four professional fights were in Mexico and 10 total of his first 15. In a feature that debuted on ESPN’s Janibek Alimkhanuly vs. Danny Dignum telecast, Devin describes fighting in bars, pool halls, and basketball gyms against Mexican opponents with crowds of 500 people chanting against him.

However, his father was with him. Bill tells a story of when they were warming up in a storage closet and they could hear passionate fans right outside waiting for Haney to enter the ring and hopefully get knocked out.

Bill says he asked Devin, “Do you know what they’re saying?”, to which Devin replied, “No.” Bill then said, “Me neither, so let’s go get ’em.”

That’s exactly what Devin did. He went 10-0 in his fights in Tijuana with eight knockouts, saying that the experience gave him the mindset that when he enters the ring he has to “pitch a shutout” and that he “can’t put it in the judges’ hands.”

That mindset has carried Haney to 27 professional wins with 15 knockouts. In every fight, he has dominantly outboxed his opponents and rarely lost rounds, let alone a fight.

When asked if he could be that dominant in Australia with a stadium of people cheering against him, Haney said, “It won’t be no different. Me fighting in front of 500, 1000, 2000 people booing me, the whole place is against me, I gotta silence the crowd.”

With his father likely watching the fight from America, Devin will be ready to silence the crowd because his father has been preparing him to do so all his life.

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