On Friday night at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, N.Y., red-hot prospect Devin Haney (23-0 15 KO) stopped Zaur Abdullaev (11-1 7 KO) after four rounds of action to win the WBC interim lightweight title. During the rest period after the fourth round, the doctors at ringside deemed Abdullaev unable to continue because of what appeared to be a “possible fractured cheekbone”.
The fight was an easy one for Haney, who constantly beat Abdullaev to the punch from bell-to-bell. Haney’s far superior hand speed allowed him to land the right hand repeatedly on the left side of Abdullaev’s face, which is the side of the face that was bothering Abdullaev at the time of the stoppage.
Abdullaev could not really get his offense going, most likely as a result of having to keep his hands at home to defend from Haney’s persistent attack.
During the post-fight interview with DAZN’s Chris Mannix, the 20-year-old Haney called out WBC/WBO/WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. “No-machkenko” (as Haney likes to call the Ukranian boxing star) is regarded by many to be the best fighter in the sport.
“I feel like I’m ready for the fight,” said Haney to Mannix. “This [belt] is the WBC mandatory, so Lomachenko, c’mon man, let’s get this fight going.”
He also stated that if the Lomachenko fight does not happen, he’d like to appear next on the Nov. 9 Logan Paul-KSI card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, possibly against lightweight prospect Ryan Garcia, who is also looking to compete on that same card.
In the bout preceding the main event, former seven-division world champion Amanda Serrano (37-1 27 KO) defeated Heather Hardy (22-1 4 KO) via unanimous decision to capture the women’s WBO featherweight title. The official scorecards read 98-91(X2) and 98-92, all in favor of Serrano.
In the opening round, Serrano appeared to hurt Hardy with a combination, causing her to retreat to the ropes. Serrano continued to pour it on for the last 30 seconds of the round, trying to finish the fight, but Hardy managed to make it to the end of the round.
Although she was still eating punches punches throughout the next couple rounds, Hardy was able to defend a little better going forward. However, she was not really doing enough to win any rounds early on. Hardy was able to win just two rounds on each of the three judges scorecards.
Throughout all 10 rounds, Serrano walked down Hardy with the southpaw jab and followed up with combinations to the head and body, cruising to a decision victory.
In the main card opener, former cruiserweight and U.S. Olympian Michael Hunter (18-1 12 KO) outpointed Sergey Kuzmin (15-1 11 KO) via unanimous decision in a heavyweight contest. All three official scorecards read 117-110 for Hunter.
Hunter outworked and outboxed Kuzmin from the opening bell. He simply led Kuzmin around the ring, peppering Kuzmin’s head and body with the jab and combination punching.
Kuzmin, who was nearly 40 pounds heavier than Hunter in the ring, had some occasional success with the jab early on, but it was just enough to win only three rounds against Hunter on each of the judge's scorecards.
In the fifth, Hunter dropped Kuzmin to the canvas with a left hook. Kuzmin rose to his feet immediately, but did not have much of an answer for Hunter’s boxing ability.
Hunter was able to cruise comfortably to a 12-round decision victory.