Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Saturday morning at 2am, live on Sky Sports Action – Haney vs Abdullaev, Hardy vs Serrano, Hunter vs Kuzmin
Last Updated: 12/09/19 2:56pm
Devin Haney, one of boxing’s most talented prospects, will become mandatory challenger to the great Vasiliy Lomachenko if he beats Zaur Abdullaev tonight – from 2am on Saturday morning, live on Sky Sports Action.
Unbeaten duo Haney and Abdullaev will contest the interim WBC lightweight title and the winner will challenge for the full championship that Lomachenko won against Luke Campbell.
Haney is still only 20 but has quickly emerged as one of the most exciting up-and-comers in the sport. His first four fights were in Mexico because he couldn’t get a licence in California before his 18th birthday. His blend of athleticism and punch power means he has been identified as a serious danger to Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound maestro who is operating two divisions above featherweight where he began his career.
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“This is a huge opportunity. This fight puts me one step closer to exactly where I want to be,” Haney said, who has built a 22-0 record.
“I will show you a little sample of what I’ll give Lomachenko. I will show the world that I’m ready for the top dogs.”
Haney will also emerge as a potential opponent for Campbell, who fell short against Lomachenko but still aims to become a world champion.
First, California-born Haney must deal with the significant pressure of headlining at The Theatre in New York City’s Madison Square Garden against an opponent who doesn’t plan on playing a supporting role.
Russia’s Abdullaev has won all 11 of his fights although he has not yet boxed outside of his home country.
Heather Hardy defends her WBO featherweight championship against Amanda Serrano in one of the best women’s boxing matches of all time.
The winner has a fight against Katie Taylor next year awaiting them but first, local pride is up for grabs between two New York friends who promised to only fight each other if the reward was big enough. Tonight that moment arrives.
Serrano has won world titles in seven weight divisions and her only loss in 38 fights came seven years ago. Hardy has racked up 22 consecutive wins without leaving New York and now, aged 37, has a major opportunity with an even bigger fight looming against Taylor if she wins.
Heavyweight contenders collide when Michael Hunter fights Sergey Kuzmin.
Both have enjoyed success on British soil recently – Hunter knocked out Martin Bakole to announce himself as a threat in the division, before Kuzmin made David Price retire in his corner.
“The dude is bigger, stronger and has more experience. But I want to prove myself,” said Hunter whose only defeat in 18 came against Oleksandr Usyk when they met as cruiserweights.
Saturday morning at 2am, live on Sky Sports Action – Devin Haney vs Zaur Abdullaev, Heather Hardy vs Amanda Serrano, Michael Hunter vs Sergey Kuzmin.