Devin Haney wants to show Team Gamboa that he’s an elite fighter as he defends his WBC World Lightweight crown against Yuriorkis Gamboa tomorrow night (November 7) at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida, live on DAZN.
Haney (24-0 15 KOs) returns to action following an injury layoff after shoulder surgery sustained in the first defense of his strap against Alfredo Santiago in Los Angeles last November, and ‘The Dream’ puts the crown on the line for the second time against Gamboa (33-3 18 KOs) – a fighter he looked up to, but has history with his trainer, Pedro Roque.
A picture of Haney as a kid meeting Gamboa has been all over social media as ‘idols become rivals’, but Haney revealed that Roque shunned his talents as a teenager – and the WBC king wants to prove him wrong in the Sunshine State.
“Gamboa’s coach trained me at the Olympic training center,” said Haney. “He didn’t give me that much attention or think I was going to be the next superstar, that’s why I don’t just want to show Gamboa, I want to show his coach as well.
“Gamboa is a very dangerous opponent because he has the experience, he has speed, he has power, he’s been in with the best of them and he didn’t only old his own, he made it competitive.
“This is by far the toughest test of my career so far. Gamboa is someone that I watched growing up, I remember being star-struck meeting him when he came to the gym and letting me stay after the gym had closed and watch him train, even though I had to do homework, my Grandma let me stay to watch him, that’s why this fight means so much to me.”
Haney’s clash with Gamboa is part of a huge night of action in Florida.
Croatian Heavyweight talent Filip Hrgovic (11-0, 9 KOs) facing American Rydell Booker (26-3, 13 KOs) and Chinese star Zhilei Zhang (21-0, 18 KOs) meeting another American in Devin Vargas (22-6, 9 KOs) and three young stars continue their pro journeys on the bill as Reshat Mati (7-0, 5 KOs), Raymond Ford (6-0, 2 KOs) and Arthur Biyarslanov (6-0, 5 KOs) are in action on the show.