Home Boxing News Devin Haney declares he is ready to face Liam Paro in Australia

Devin Haney declares he is ready to face Liam Paro in Australia

Devin Haney and Eddie Hearn. Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

WBC junior welterweight champion-in-recess Devin Haney 31-0 (15) says he is open to facing newly-crowned IBF 140-pound boss Liam Paro 25-0 (15) in Australia – for the right price.

Southpaw Paro, 28, made the long trip to Puerto Rico to dethrone feared puncher Subriel Matias 20-2 (20) via unanimous decision at the Coliseo Juan Aubin Cruz Abreu in Manati on June 15.

American Haney, 25, has seen his career turned on it’s head in recent months.

In his last bout against Ryan Garcia 24-1 (20), Haney was dropped three times before losing a unanimous decision at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 20. But there is more to the story than that.

Garcia came in to the 140-pound bout three-and-one-quarter pounds overweight. He subsequently tested positive for the banned performance enhancing drug ostarine. The fight result was changed to a no-contest and Garcia was banned from boxing for a year.

He was also issued with a financial penalty.

It was a moral win for promotional free agent Haney, the former undisputed lightweight champion of the world, but he still took damage in the fight.

To make matters worse, his mandatory title defence against Sandor Martin 42-3 (15) went to purse bids with the sole offer coming from Top Rank at USD$2,420,000. Haney’s share of the purse would have been around USD$1.5 million dollars, a sizeable step down from what he is used to earning.

Matchroom Boxing, who promote Paro and have previously promoted Haney bouts on a fight-by-fight basis in the past, didn’t even put in a bid.

With all this going on, Haney requested the WBC declare him champion-in-recess. The Mexican-based sanctioning body agreed.

Haney’s career is in limbo right now. But he still has options.

“Of course I want to make the best fights. I’m that kind of fighter,” Haney said to Ariel Helwani on YouTube.

“If everything makes sense, of course, I would love to. I went to Australia twice [to fight and defeat George Kambosos Jr]. I wouldn’t mind going back, but it would have to make sense for me.”

In a separate interview with Ariel Helwani, Hearn explained the reasoning behind his decision not to bid for the Haney-Martin fight.

“He’s not signed with me, he’s not looking to sign a long-term deal with a promoter,” the Matchroom Boxing chief said.

“I think he assumed we might bid, but he runs his own promotion, Devin Haney Promotions. They like having their logo on the poster, but they didn’t want to lose money and that’s why they didn’t bid.”

Hearn added that while he would like to take Haney back to Australia to face Paro, he’s not hopeful the fight will eventuate.

“I spoke with his lawyer the night before the purse bid and expressed interest in a unification fight with Liam Paro,” said Hearn. “However, they didn’t respond.

“At this point, it’s all academic since he’s effectively vacated the title. I’d still like to make the Liam Paro fight happen in Australia.”