The Doncaster fighter won his first world title with a dominant points victory over Mexican Jovanni Straffon on the undercard of Josh Warrington’s rematch with Mauricio Lara. American Haney made his pro debut in 2015 and has gone on to win 26 fights without loss, with 15 of those wins coming by way of knockout.
Hughes’ contest with Straffon went the distance but the Yorkshireman came out on top on the scorecards to take the bout with a unanimous decision.
“Let’s have it, Devin. I know you are struggling for opponents,” said Hughes.
“I don’t want to hear that Maxi Hughes isn’t a big enough name because it was only the other day that Eddie Hearn was mentioning Straffon as a potential opponent and I have just gone and schooled him.
“Devin Haney, I am happy to be one of your opponents, you have fights that have fallen through.
“If you are still struggling for an opponent, don’t say I am not a big enough name because I will come to your back garden and we can have a scrap.”
Hughes produced a remarkable performance at Headingley to dethrone Straffon. The Doncaster man had the Mexican on the ropes for the majority of the fifth round but Straffon showed remarkable resilience to finish the fight. Speaking about that fifth round, Hughes said: “I was begging for the ref, I even shouted for him because I was getting tired! I probably got a bit too excited, I wasn’t placing shots and the crowd were roaring so I got a bit giddy. He came back into it, he is very tough, a champion who doesn’t want to give his belt up. For me, my brain switched and it was about getting back to boxing in the latter rounds.
“There were a few times I hurt him but it was about not getting too excited and sticking to the game-plan.”