Boxing expert Paulie Malignaggi believes Shakur Stevenson and Devin Haney are the kings in their weight classes at 135 & 140. That’s a big compliment by Malignaggi because neither of these fighters has fought the best in their respective weight classes to prove they’re the best.

Malignaggi feels that Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) won’t reach the popularity he could because he doesn’t have the opponents he needs to rise to the superstar level of Canelo Alvarez and Anthony Joshua.

Paulie notes that when Haney could fight Shakur (21-0, 10 KOs) at lightweight, he offered him a 75/25 split, meaning Devin didn’t want the fight. Haney’s lack of risk-taking will hold him back from being a star.

Malignaggi also doesn’t believe Haney will fight IBF 140-lb champion Subriel Matias. That would be a risky fight for Haney that would increase his star power, but he doesn’t see him agreeing to it.

That could mean that once Devin’s fight with Ryan Garcia is done next month on April 20th, he’ll return to bringing in minuscule PPV numbers.

Nobody Beats Shakur Stevenson at Lightweight

“Nobody beats Shakur Stevenson [at lightweight]. Devin is the best 140-pounder in the world, and Shakur is the best 135-pounder in the world,” said boxing expert Paulie Malignaggi to Thaboxingvoice. “With Haney’s win over Prograis, you can’t go hindsight with Prograis. He was still dangerous going into the fight.

Malignaggi is making a giant leap in his imagination by calling Shakur and Haney the best in their weight classes when neither has proven themselves yet.

Haney has only fought once at 140, beating 35-year-old Regis Prograis, who had been exposed in his previous fight. Haney picked him rather than face the more dangerous Subriel Matias or Teofimo Lopez.

Opponents Shakur must beat a 135

Gervonta Davis
Vasily Lomachenko
William Zepeda
Raymond Muratalla
Floyd Schofield
Abdullah Mason
Frank Martin

“Tank did what Devin did to Shakur—the 75/25. That’s essentially the same thing. ‘Send me two Ferraris.’ Really, bro?” said Malignaggi, reacting to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis telling the Saudis that they need to send him two Ferraris for him to consider fighting Haney in the Middle East. “That’s essentially you don’t want to fight.

Haney’s Power and the Need for Big Fights

“I feel like when Devin gave the 75/25 offer to Shakur, he didn’t really want to fight. Haney ain’t bringing in Canelo numbers,” said Malignaggi. “Canelo numbers are at a different level. He’s [Haney] not selling a lot. That was the fight to make [Haney vs. Prograis].

Devin’s problem is that he and his dad, Bill Haney, are calculated opportunists who pick their opponents based on weakness, whether age or lack of talent. Hence, you saw Haney fighting 35-year-old Vasily Lomachenko and 35-year-old Prograis.

Haney must fight these talents at 140:

Subriel Matias
Teofimo Lopez
Richardson Hitchins
Liam Paro
Sandor Martin

“You don’t want to make it, that’s fine. Devin is in a position of power negotiating-wise. Can Devin get somewhat of those numbers [like Canelo and Anthony Joshua-level PPV buys]? You need the opponents. So, you [Haney] got to make those kinds of fights [against Stevenson],” said Malignaggi.

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