Devin Haney will be without at least two key members of his team when he attempts to become undisputed lightweight champion in Melbourne next month.
The American WBC champion will take on George Kambosos for all the belts at Marvel Stadium on June 5th (local time) but he’ll be doing it without his regular corner.
Bill Haney, Devin’s father and lead trainer, confirmed his visa had not been approved, denying him entry into Australia for the bout.
“To dispel a lot of the rumours that’s going on, Devin did not miss the press conference in Australia due to anything on his account,” Haney told the Trill Boxing Talk podcast.
“I wasn’t able to board the flight. They said that my visa hasn’t been approved, it hasn’t been denied, but at this point in time, I wasn’t allowed to go through customs.
“I made some mistakes and did things at 22, 23 years old, which Devin is now, that hopefully he won’t ever have to make those mistakes.”
Bill Haney confirmed he’d done time for a drug offence 30 years ago, preventing him travelling with his son.
“I have a felony on my record that goes back to 1992. A federal drug conviction that I served time on,” Haney said.
“Any conviction you’ve had where you served a year or more, it stops you from getting into the country.”
Despite the setback, Haney senior denied it would impact his son’s performance.
“We weren’t going to let anything get in the way of this moment of Devin showing up and showing out and doing what he does best,” he added.
“This has only given Devin more fuel. The last thing he said to me, ‘Pops, if you can’t come over, I’m beating the sh*t out of him.’”
In Bill’s place will be Yoel Judah – the father of former two-weight world champion Zab Judah.
“Ultimately, I didn’t hesitate with the first person that came to my mind which was Yoel Judah,” Haney said.
“Who is Zab Judah’s dad and Devin’s godfather is Zab.”
Bill Haney won’t be the only absentee from Devin’s team in Australia after it was confirmed earlier this month that English trainer Ben Davison would also be unable to travel down under.
I asked Bill Haney on @fighthype and he informed me that Ben won’t be making the trip to Australia, but that he and Lee Wylie will still be helping by studying Kambosos and helping to devise a game plan. #Boxing #KambososHaney https://t.co/VRfXmzfjYB pic.twitter.com/7GHnUVDMfm
— Sean Zittel (@Sean_Zittel) May 6, 2022
Davison, who linked up with Haney ahead of his fight was Jorge Linares, has also worked with the likes of Tyson Fury, Josh Taylor and Billy Joe Saunders.
If Haney, who touched down in Australia on Thursday morning, is to knock off Kambosos in Melbourne, he’ll have to do it the hard way.
23 years old, agreed to everything they wanted, to make the fight, travelled across the world, to their backyard, without his coaches, to fight for the Undisputed title. Champions mindset! @Realdevinhaney 👑👑👑👑👑 pic.twitter.com/85TXXiiw2c
— Ben Davison (@BenDavison_) May 18, 2022