Devin Haney carried much hype into the toughest assignment of his career.
The 19-year-old is widely considered a blue-chip prospect, but to this point, he had never faced a former world-title challenger. Now he has, and with 10 rounds under his belt against a rugged fighter like Juan Carlos Burgos, Haney’s development is surely aided.
Not that Burgos was expected to trouble Haney. And he didn’t. Haney cruised to a unanimous decision victory via scores of 100-90, 97-93 and 100-90 on Friday in Temecula, California.
“Burgos is a crafty veteran with a lot of heart but tonight I showed the world why I’m the next superstar in boxing,” said Haney, who was fighting in a ShoBox main event for the second consecutive time. “I’m ready to take on all the champions in the lightweight division. I’m the new money and Showtime is my home. I’m coming for everyone!”
Haney (20-0, 13 knockouts) applied plenty of pressure and displaying boxing acumen beyond his years with his ability to cut off the ring. He was formerly trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr., and the evidence of their partnership remains. The Las Vegas resident deployed the shoulder roll occasionally.
He opted for flashy combinations, and his right hand was delivered compactly. However, the 30-year-old Mexican did find success with left hooks to the body that found their mark repeatedly.
Haney absorbed the shots, though, and he was the one who inflicted the greater damage. He wobbled Burgos (33-3-2, 21 KOs) with a right hand in Round 5, and he appeared on the verge of stopping his foe in the penultimate round.
“Burgos was softer on the inside,” he said. “Once I started to break him down that took some steam out of him. It depends on who I’m fighting, but I can box on the outside or mix it up on the inside, and tonight I showed both. I used my jab and worked the inside. That was my dad’s gameplan and it worked.”
Haney is already No. 10 by The Ring at lightweight. He doesn’t appear to be ready for another step-up just yet, but there’s no rush. After all, he’s just 19 and turned pro less than three years ago.
With his charisma, sizable social media following and even a romantic celebrity relationship with Blac Chyna, Haney is poised to become a star provided he continues his steady climb.
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger