Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe says undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney needs to keep winning so that he can bring something to the table to get the opportunity to share the ring with the big money maker Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.
It’s not about the hardware that Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) holds with his four belts at 135, but rather the business side. Tank Davis and Ryan Garcia are the ones that bring in the green. Haney, although a talented fighter, hasn’t established himself as a pay-per-view attraction like Tank Davis.
Ellerbe says that the 24-year-old Haney needs to keep doing what he’s been doing, keep winning, slowly increasing his popularity so that he can eventually fight Tank Davis.
It’s difficult for Haney because he’s fighting his first-name opponent, Vasily Lomachenko, on May 20th, and he’s got a long way to go before he’s ready to face Tank.
If Haney can get past Lomachenko, he needs to fight these guys if he chooses to stay at lightweight:
1. Shakur Stevenson
2. Isaac Cruz
3. Frank Martin
4. William Zepeda
5. Keyshawn Davis
6. Jamaine Ortiz
7. Floyd Schofield
By the time Haney is done with those guys, he’ll have built up enough popularity for him and Tank Davis to fight in a blockbuster PPV.
“You’ve heard the naysayers say, ‘He hasn’t fought nobody.’ Fight who? The lightweight title has changed hands four times in the last two years,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe to Fighthype about the criticism Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis receives due to his weak resume.
“The way you prove it is inside the ring, but you’ve got to get to that point, though. Those guys keep doing what they’re doing. I have nothing to positive things to say about all of those guys,” said Ellerbe, basically saying that the Tank Davis vs. Devin Haney fight needs to continue to marinate.
“People just think that you can say, ‘Oh, we’re just going to make a fight.’ It don’t work like that. It’s not that simple where you just go and do something. You got to be bringing something to the table other than some hardware.
“It’s nothing like that green. I’m talking about the green that you can put in the bank and out of the bank.
“They thought [Teofimo] Lopez and Lomachenko was the guy. Haney won the titles, but Tank’s the guy,” Ellerbe continued. “He’s the guy that everyone wants to see.
“There are levels, and I’m not talking about the fight levels inside the ring. I’m talking about the business. It’s a big gap and a big business. These two guys [Tank Davis & Ryan Garcia] are the highest-paid guys in the division that are fighting on April 22nd. That’s a fact.
“They’re both making more money than the undisputed guy [Devin Haney] at lightweight, who is also a terrific fighter. So this is what I’m saying. It’s the magnitude of what you’re doing.
“That’s why when you make these kinds of fights and Tank comes out on top, after this, being a pay-per-view fighter, you have an unlimited ceiling on what you can make.
“When you surround yourself with a great team, and it comes down to people working together and making the biggest events possible. Nothing but respect for all these fighters, but Tank is on another level.
“It’s not just box office. I think people get misunderstood what an attraction means. People want to see you no matter where you go. They want to see you fight because your that dude, and you that dude for a reason,” said Ellerbe in appearing to speak code, meaning that one can forget about Tank Davis fighting Haney anytime soon.
“This is the first step for him [Gervonta] to continue to do what he do. That’s why I’m really excited that Ryan took this fight. Again, it’s the biggest fight in all of boxing,” said Ellerbe.